WARNING – REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS

Cover:

A stunning cover this week to advertise the very last installment of Nikolai Dante. The sunset backdrop is a nice allusion to the strip finally coming to an end, while the subtle face of Dante appearing on the wall is a very nice little touch. This is a brilliant cover to use for the end of the strip, going very much for the quiet approach rather than an overly dramatic one, which would undoubtedly have failed.

Judge Dredd – The Rich Cabaret:

I’m afraid its two lacklustre Dredd’s in a row now. Once again this weeks strip feels like it was written before the Day of Chaos, with a couple of references to the events being seemingly shoehorned into the script. I find it quite hard to believe that all those people would be sitting around watching a cabaret after 350 million citizens have only just lost their lives. The artwork isn’t up to scratch this week either. What on Earth is going on with Maitland’s uniform this time around? On the plus side it was nice to see the return of Deller to the strip, having last been seen in an eight part story at the beginning of last year. However his appearance isn’t enough to save this week’s Dredd in my eyes.

The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael – Manhunt – Part 3:

Ahh now I understand whats going on here. This weeks installment of Ichabod is pretty heavy on the exposition, but for someone who has never read the original strip this is something I’m very thankful for. What we learn in this weeks installment sets up the rest of the strip quite nicely, and the contrast of black & white and colour art is extremly effective. I’m now looking forward to seeing where this will go.

Tharg’s 3rillers – 1947 – Part 3 (Final Part):

An excellent end for what has been an excellent little story. We finally get a glimpse of the mysterious Allies this week, and I love how this was done. Rather than make a big fan fare of thier rather grotesque appearance, we are instead given one panel of what they look like without any reference being made to it in the script. Once again this week I have to say that theres more than enough good ideas on show here for a full length series. Indeed the ending of this strip seems to be positively screaming out for a continuation. I sincerely hope that we get to see more of this alternate history strip.

Future Shocks – Other People’s Machines:

I have no idea what this strip was actually about, and to be honest I don’t really care either. This is a very poor story which seems to have been forced into just four pages when it most certainly needed more. Even had it been longer I wouldn’t have enjoyed it though, as there’s little to recommend here. A total contrast in quality compared to the excellent 3riller.

Nikolai Dante – Sympathy For The Devil – Part 6 (Final Part):

And so after fifteen long years, the saga of the Russian Rogue finally bids “Dosvedanya”. Thats a hell of a long run for a comic strip these days ( which to put into perspective I would have been just six years old when Nikolai Dante began!). This wasn’t the ending that I was expecting, but it is most certainly the perfect ending to the strip. Having Dante walk away from all his responsibilities to continue his life of adventuring is absolutly keeping in character, although it is perhaps a little bit harsh on Elena. Although this is most certainly the final end for the strip, its nice that we as readers are left in no doubt that Dante will continue to have many more adventures without us. A perfect ending to one of the most important strips in the history of 2000AD.

Overall:

A rather lacklustre Dredd and a very poor Future Shock bring down the quality of this weeks Prog, although the other three strips were so good that this doesn’t really matter too much. We’ll forever remember this Prog as the end of Nikolai Dante, but we should by no means overlook just how good the 3riller and Ichabod Azrael are this week.

Quote of the Week: “Damn you, Nikolai Dante. Damn you to Hell.” – Nikolai Dante

Thrill of the Week: Nikolai Dante

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