Cover:

Certainly an eye catching cover this week, announcing the return of Lenny Zero. It’s a bit busy for my liking, with the perspective on the two characters perhaps a little bit off (although if they’d been standing straight on then the whole thing probably wouldn’t work as well). However I still thinks it’s a good cover, I mean who doesn’t want to see a Polar Bear smoking a cigar? I like the little touch of having former Chief Judge Griffen on the 100 Cred notes, and the 2000AD logo is clear to see which is always appreciated.

Judge Dredd – Debris – Part 1:

Now this is much more like it. After two disapointing Dredd’s in a row we get the strip which should have immediatly followed the Day of Chaos. What’s really good about the set up for this story is that there’s no black and white good guys and bad guys. Everything is very much a shade of grey here. The Citi-Def units blockading themselves in their blocks are perhaps being a bit selfish, hording all their supplies from the hungry masses, but its hard not to sympathise with them. They’ve come through the Day of Chaos unscathed without any help from the city, and now they understandably don’t want to have to give up everything they’ve worked for. It will be very interesting to see how this story plays out, but after just one part I’m pleased to say that this really is a vast improvement over the last couple of weeks. Mind you, Tharg really needs to update the Dredd synopsis on the contents page as Mega City One is most certainly not home to 400 million citizens anymore.

The Red Seas – Beautiful Freak – Part 1:

Its been quite a while since we last saw The Red Seas in the Prog, and according to the Nerve Centre this is sadly going to be the penultimate story. It’s a very different start to this story, with the action being set entirely in the modern day and Captain Jack Dancer and his crew nowhere to be seen. I loved the little touches in the backgrounds of this weeks installment, such as Delboy and Rodney in the Cafe and Cavorite’s Spaceship from the First Men on the Moon. The appearance of Orlando Doyle in the final panel is surely going to be setting up the final Red Seas strip, and with several more Ian Edginton scripted strips on the way, I can’t help but feel that we will be getting some kind of cross over story soon. I thouroughly enjoyed  this weeks installment and am intrigued as to where this is going.

Aquila – Blood of the Iceni – Part 1:

I’ve been really looking forward to this since the Prologue way back in Prog 2012. Judging by the first installment this is going to be everything I hoped it would be. It’s a seemingly indestructible gladiator fighting against the Romans (or the Britons in this first part) depicted in gory detail. The art is absolutly stunning with special mention going to Gary Caldwell’s superb colours. This is shaping up to be a fantastic addition to the Prog and I am very excited about reading it each week.

The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael – Manhunt – Part 4:

I think I’m beginning to grow a little tired of this strip. As I mentioned previously I haven’t read the original Ichabod Azrael strip and I’m really struggling to find anything of interest here. The art is great but I still feel that there is far to much white space on the page between the panels. I’m certainly not suggesting that this is in anyway a bad strip, but I just don’t think this is going to be for me. However I will keep an open mind and hopefully this strip will win me over before the end.

Lenny Zero – Zero’s 7 – Part 1:

I’ve never read any Lenny Zero strips before although I was aware of who the character was. Judging by this first installment this is going to be a pretty enjoyable read. There’s lots too enjoy here, from the talking Polar Bear to the…erm…talking cash machine and just like The Red Seas there’s plenty going on in the backgrounds, with extra merit for the inclusion of a Shako poster in the pool room. The story is one we’ve seen loads of times before, even in a Judge Dredd strip not so long ago. But I think this is going to be a fun ride and I look forward to reading the rest of this strip.

Overall:

A really good Prog this week with four out of five strips firing on all cylinders. Often when we’re on the run into a hundred numbered Prog the line up of strips can feel a little tired, but judging by the four strips which started this week that is not going to be the case this time around. Roll on next week.

Quote of the Week: “You brought me here to meet a cash machine.” – Lenny Zero

Thrill of the Week: Aquila

 

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