(Bagged with Judge Dredd Megazine 288)

They’re a very friendly bunch over on the 2000AD forum. During a discussion about what strips we’d like to see released as a supplement with the Megazine, I mentioned the Dredd world spin off Harmony. I’d never read any before but the premise of the story sounded intriguing. I was soon informed that Harmony had allready been released with the Meg and that I had managed to miss it. Within minutes however, the forum member known as Tordelback offered me his copy of the Harmony reprint, and within a few days I was sitting down to read, what was for me at least, a brand new Dredd world strip. So many thanks Tordelback, here as promised is the review.

As I said the premise for Harmony is an intriguing one. Harmony Krieg is a bounty hunter, living and working in Uranium City in the snowy wastes of Alaska. (And for those interested Uranium City is actually a real place in Alaska. Google it!) Now I’ve always had a fondness for any kind of story set against the back drop of a snowy desolate landscape, and given how much I had enjoyed the one off story Wynter, I was very much hopoing for more of the same with Harmony. The story for Blood and Snow is clearly written as an introduction to the character. While attempting to salvage a crashed ship full of diamonds, Harmony and her mutant accomplice find themselves pursued by Harmony’s former lover, who is now a cyborg working for the Uranium City Justice Department. This allows flashbacks too Harmony’s past, explaining to the reader who Harmony is and how her ex lover ended up as a cyborg. Its a fairly straightforward story, although one which does seem to take a little too long in getting to its conclusion. The main characters spend a good few pages trapped within a colony of cannibal nudists, which is an unusual turn of events to say the least. I did find the story to be an enjoyable one however, and it managed to keep me suitably entertained throughout, which is always appreciated.

I wasn’t too impressed by the art however. While black and white is always the way to go when drawing an icy wasteland as far as i’m concerned, Trevor Hairsine’s art never really gives the impression that we’re supposed to be in Alaska for this story. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the characters occasionally referring to how cold they were, I think I would have completly forgotten where Harmony was supposed to be set. I’m not saying the art is bad in any way, which it isn’t, just that I was hoping for something more akin to the art seen in Wynter.

As an introductory story then I think Blood and Snow just about succeeds. It would have been nice to see more of Uranium City rather than the outskirts of it, and I would have loved to have seen what their Judges look like, however I imagine this could well be something which would be seen in later Harmony strips. So apart from that and the art I can recommend you give Harmony a read if you happen to have the reprint lying around somewhere.