What a spectacular prog this was! Not only were all the thrills absolutely top notch, but even the paper quality seemed better! Whether this will become an on going thing remains to be seen, but it was fitting for the gorgeous artwork which was on display this prog.
Let’s begin with the cover: Brass Sun is back, and a lovely cover art by INJ Culbard to get things going. The colour composition is eye catching with all our familiar characters on show; Wren sporting a shorter haircut and Septimus a longer one, and a mysterious masked figure in the background. It carries a feeling of mystery and intrigue which makes you want to get stuck into the story as soon as possible.
Judge Dredd: The Heart is a lonely Klegg Hunter (Part 1): We have a new story to kick off proceedings and what fun it is too! Sensitive Klegg is back, as we find him trying his best to assimilate himself into a society which fears his kind. He’s a gentle soul our Klegg, and he wants nothing more than to be accepted, passing his time reading books (as he has a fascination with human literature). But everywhere he goes the people flee… or are busy trying to recruit him for TV shows where he is ridiculed. It reminded me a little of Richard Starkings’ brilliant Elephantmen series, where we see these animal hybrids also trying to adapt in a society which fears or misunderstands them. There’s a light hearted tone which Rob Williams brings to the story, and it’s potrayed brilliantly by Chris Weston and his wonderful artwork. Everything from the people and the MC1 environment is rendered with superb detail and colourwork. It reminded me of the daylight noir we see in Carnales & Guarnido’s superb anthropomorphic series; Blacksad.
I love the four panels at the bottom of page 4 where we see Sensitive Klegg discovering a flower growing from the crack of the pavement, the delight in his eyes as another event unfolds behind him. It’s brilliant storytelling indeed and there’s almost a poetic message there as our Klegg is very much like the flower depicted in the panels; a gentle soul yearning for friendship in a harsh and unforgiving environment. Even Dredd, whom Klegg feels shares a special bond with him (having rescued him in a previous story) seems to ignore him. In his desperation he tries to take drastic measures but is rudely interrupted. This is a brilliant opener and I can’t wait to read more in the next episode.
Brass Sun: Floating Worlds (Part 1): Wren and her companions have been taken captive by the Mercantile Guild lead by Chairman Pei. They are propositioned with a dangerous task to obtain ‘gaseous clay’ which will help Pei’s daughter; a ‘mordant’ (a sort of human machine hybrid, or ‘Borg’). Culbard’s artwork for this opening episode is not only outsanding, but the colour work is really eye catching and lovely to behold. There’s an epic feel to the opening splash pages which grab your attention from the offset. Things are getting more interesting now and Edginton’s script is developing at a nice pace. The world he has created is a fascinating one, one of the reasons why I was taken by it almost immediately when I first read it, and why it’s one of my favourite Thrills of recent years.
Tharg’s 3riller: Voodoo Planet (Part 1): we open on a settlement called Delta 509 Colony, we see a girl clutching a teddy bear as her father consoles her: “there’s nothing here to hurt you” he exclaims. But fast forward eighteen years and we see the the same girl (now a woman of course) fleeing for her life from a group of Voodoo men. It seems het father may have been wrong because the settlement is now run by very bad men indeed. It’s a pleasure to see PJ Holden back again, I really enjoy his art and this looks like being a great 3riller.
Grey Area: Nearer my God to thee (Part 5): Bulliett and his team are aboard the God-Star, a giant vessel which has come to consume earth’s life force, and is behind the mass ‘religious’ hysteria on earth. Of course the God-Star is not God, but an intelligent alien entity. We know Bulliett is part of the reason why it’s here (thanks to his alteration with the slippery alien ambassador Uuveth many moons ago). There’s some lovely stuff here by Dan Abnett, and a shocking ending….or is it really the end? I for one hope not, I’ve become pretty fond of the ETC team.
And Mark Harrison’s artwork is truly outstanding. I hoped that we would see more from him when the last series finished, and thanks to mighty Tharg, we have. And it’s been a pleasure to observe these past few weeks. I’m hoping the next series doesn’t take too long.
A fantastic line up, all of thrills were a pleasure to read. Next prog sees the return of Sinister Dexter, and the 2nd (and final) part of the Judge Dredd story which I really enjoyed.