The Simping Detective can best be described in three words – Mega City Noir. Yes, I know thats the description that 2000AD used to describe Low Life, but it is far more fitting in relation to The Simping Detective.

Jack Point is an undercover “wally squad” judge, posing as a Private Investigator in one of Mega-City One’s most scuzzy districts, Angeltown. Going undercover is a dangerous business in the big meg, and to this end Point disguises himself as a Simp, dressed literally as a clown, in order to better fit in. Jack Point is a fascinating character, being a judge but one whos just on the edge of being a lawbreaker. He likes his drink, he likes his tobacco, and he likes his women (although they don’t always like him in return). With a crooked Judge as his sector chief and a Raptaur as a pet, Point’s life is anything but straightforward.

Unlike many comic strips, The Simping Detective is incredibly wordy. Theres the standard speech bubbles for characters dialogue of course, but there are also seperate panels for Point’s inner monologue. This was a fantastic idea, as its helps the reader to get inside Point’s head, and get to know the character better, as well as adding to the Noir style of the story. I could just imagine the inner monologue being delivered straight to camera, while some jazz music plays in the background. This idea is really taken to the extreme for the final story in this trade, which is just pages of text with a piece of art every other page. Simon Spurrier hasn’t always been the most popular of writers on 2000AD, having written the unpopular comedy strip Bec & Kawl, but here is writing must be commended as it is nothing short of consistently top drawer.

Frazer Irving does an incredible jon on art duties. His stylish black and white art with the occasional splash of colour is exactly what was needed to fit a story like The Simping Detective. In the wrongs hands the art could have killed the strip, but in Irvings hands every page oozes atmosphere, perfectly evoking the feeling of a 1920’s hardboiled detective yarn, with a Mega-City twist.

The Simping Detective is one of the best strips and characters to have come out of the Judge Dredd Megazine in recent years. There are rumours that after a few years away Jack Point is set for a return sometime this year, which I sincerly hope turns out to be true. But when strips like Low Life allready exist, it would be easy to wonder if another strip centered around a Wally Squad Judge was really needed. Whats the point, you might ask? Well, “It comes right after the Jack.”

9/10

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