WARNING – REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS
A strong effort from Simon Davis for this weeks cover, announcing the return of Ichabod Azrael to the Prog. Its an eyecatching cover which acts as both a wanted poster and a play on the skull and crossbones motif. The background colour and the faded print on the tagline and logo are an effective addition to the image. A pretty strong cover allround.
Judge Dredd – The Days After:
Every week Dredd just seems to get better and better, and this weeks installment is no exception. The Day of Chaos is now over and what remains of the Justice Department is left to try and pick up the pieces. The announcement that 350 million of the Megs 400 millions citizens have died is one of the most shocking moments in Dredd history, and then on the very next page we get the resignation of Chief Judge Dan Francisco. The use of Children in this weeks part is particularly noteworthy with Dredd having to put down two infected children, while rescuing a child on the next page. I have to admit that the reason for the childs survival and the image of the child hiding in the cupboard almost had me in tears. As if all this wasn’t enough we also see Rico bringing in an army of mutants to help with the clear up, while Hershey returns to become the acting Chief Judge. How is it possible to cram so much into just six pages? I really am running out of superlatives for Dredd right now. All I can say is that this latest story arc is perhaps the best comic strip I have ever read.
Durham Red – The “Nobody Wants This Job” Job – Part 5:
Despite the lack of character progression in this strip, I am still finding it a pretty enjoyable read. There are quite a few holes in the plot, but if you take it as a nostalgic read once kind of strip then theres a lot to enjoy here. Ezquerra’s art is as excellent as we’ve all come to expect, so even if you don’t like the story there is at least plenty to look at (not least Ms Red herself of course).
Tharg’s 3rillers – 1947 – Part 1:
The last run of 3rillers I found to be very disapointing, with all three of the strips being average at best. I’m pleased to say that the first part of this latest effort is already a vast improvement on the previous run. It’s a timely strip too, seeing as it includes Alan Turing who would have celebrated his 100th Birthday recently had he still been alive. The story seems an interesting one, with an alien species called The Allies having helped defeat the Nazi’s during WW2 and now preparing to send the first British man into space. Indeed there seems to be a strong enough idea here to be a full length series rather than a three part one off story. If I have one niggle its that you might not realise The Allies are aliens unless you read the contents page at the beginning of the Prog, as they don’t make an appearence and it isn’t that clear from the way they are talked about in the strip that they are aliens. Despite this both the story and the art are excellent, and I’m lookng forward to reading the rest of this.
The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael – Manhunt – Part 1:
Ichabod Azrael makes his return by popular demand this week , two years after its original run. I must confess that I haven’t read the original strip as I only started buying the prog regularly about half way through its run, so I don’t have any clear idea whats happening yet despite the catchup we’re given on the contents page. Having said that this is a promising first part and I think I could well enjoy this once the story really gets underway.
Nikolai Dante – Sympathy For The Devil – Part 4:
Could it be that we’ll soon be seeing the appearance of Dante’s child? It certainly seems to be implied that Jena may well be in that condition. I have a feeling this story is either going to end very happily or very badly for everyone involved. The writer has to be applauded for this, as there is a real sense that this strip could go either way yet. Theres a really nice touch this week with Odessa Zhirinovsky, the author of Nikolai Dante: Too Cool To Kill, making an appearance. I don’t know if she’s appeared before, but either way its nice to see the oft quoted character in the flesh so to speak. Along with Dredd, Dante is proving to be an extremly good bookend to the Prog each week.
Now this is a Prog. All five strips are excellent this week, with the weakest (Durham Red) being good enough to be the best thing in any other Prog. I honestly can’t remember the last time I enjoyed the Prog so much, and talk over on the 2000AD forum of this being in the top 10 Progs of all time isn’t without reason. This truly is the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.
Quote of the Week: “The Mega City we knew is gone, Hershey.” – Judge Dredd
Thrill of the Week: Judge Dredd