Archive for August, 2012


Dark Judgement

Fancy a read of the Dark Judgement comic books? Well the guys over at Everything Comes Back To 2000AD are offering the comics for free download, having previously been published in print by Zarjaz. In their own words:

“Ok, this is a TOTALLY self indulgent post, but on the plus side unlike most small press comic creator ego-wanks I’m not asking you all to kickstart my hardback, leather bound, famous creator cover, first issue of something I’m not willing to pay for myself. It’s a freebie!

The Dark Judgement comics put out by Zarjaz, which they were good enough to say we could give away as a pdf are REEEALLLY close to getting 1,000 downloads. Small potatoes I know, but for a small press guy it’s a pretty cool milestone.

So, if you haven’t downloaded it already go check it out.”

You can download the comics by clicking on the following link:

http://2000ad.wordpress.com/dark-judgement/

Prog 1796 – Normal To The Max

Cover:

On the one hand this isn’t a great cover. It’s a very static image, and one which certainly won’t pull in any new readers. But on the other hand it’s announcing the return of Max Normal to the Prog, a fact which is very likely to pull in any lapsed readers. As a piece of art in it’s own right this doesn’t really work, despite being well drawn. But as a cover designed to promote the return of a popular character it’s a 100% success.

Judge Dredd – Debris – Part 5 (Final Part):

Debris comes to it’s conclusion this week, as Dredd takes down the block’s leader and sets about bringing down the whole block’s Citi-Def unit. As a story showing some of the aftermath of the Day of Chaos, Debris has worked very well indeed, although I hope we get to see more of what an impact the DOC had on the whole City soon. However I have a feeling that the main purpose of Debris has been to reintroduce the character of Dolman to the strip, and hopefully this will lead to another look at his character sooner rather than later. All things considered Debris has been a very competent strip, and one which I’ve enjoyed reading. Oh, and could we please see more of the Space Corps officer Easter please Tharg?

The Red Seas – Beautiful Freak – Part 5 (Final Part):

It’s difficult to really call this weeks installment of The Red Seas an ending, as the whole point of this story has been to set up the final Red Seas strip, which we should be seeing sometime next year. As usual with The Red Seas I’ve enjoyed every page of this little story and if truth be told I’m rather sad to see it come to an end. Credit has to go to Ian Edginton for keeping me hooked on this strip, despite the fact that all of the main characters were only notable by their complete absence this time around.

Aquila – Blood of the Iceni – Part 5:

An exposition heavy installment this week, but one which I found absolutly fascinating. It’s actually amazing how much I’m enjoying this strip, as despite having an interest in History I really have virtually no interest in the Romans at all. But I guess when both the script and the art are as good as they are here then it really doesn’t matter when or where a story is set. I’m guessing that this particular story only has another three weeks to run, so I sincerely hope that it won’t be too long untill we see more of Aquila in the Prog.

The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael – Manhunt – Part 8:

Even more amazing is the fact that I’m now enjoying this strip so much, and indeed it only seems to be getting better and better with each installment. I suppose actually having a grasp of what is going on in the story now means I can enjoy it a lot more than I could earlier in this strips run. This week there are a couple of factors introduced which now means that there is a genuine sense of jeopardy for the main characters, something which the strip had previously been lacking. This is turning into a pretty solid strip.

Lenny Zero – Zero’s 7 – Part 5:

Well Max Normal is back, and that can only be a good thing. I’d actually forgotten just how great a character he was, and arguably he was one of the most important characters during the early days of Dredd. Story wise Lenny Zero continues to be a tremendous amount of fun to read each week, and I for one am really looking forward to the actual heist taking place. This is proving to be something of a mini masterclass in how to write a Dredd world spin off.

Overall:

Another excellent Prog this week, with five out of five strips being absolute must reads. What else do I really need to say?

Quote of the Week: “This storm is a cacophony causing myriad toilet troubles.” – Ichabod Azrael

Thrill of the Week: Lenny Zero

Prog 1795 – Plane Crazy!

Cover:

Clint Langley’s artwork always seems to divide people, but I don’t think anyone would disagree with me when I say that this is an incredible cover image. It’s also a panel in the strip itself, although the strips version, while being well drawn, isn’t a patch on the cover version. A truly memorable cover.

Judge Dredd – Debris – Part 4:

As this story continues I can’t help but increasingly feel that Dredd would be able to take care of this situation on his own. He appears to be handling himself pretty well up to now, which is a lot more than can be said for the Space Corps involvement. The cliffhange at the end of this installment reveals that the non combatant is in fact the Dredd clone Dolman, something which everyone except me seemed to have allready worked out. It shall be most interesting indeed to see what they do with Dolman now he’s returned, as his decision to leave Justice Department was one which should have led to some very good follow up stories before now, seeing as he is a clone of Dredd. Debris continues to entertain and I’m enjoying reading it each week.

The Red Seas – Beautiful Freak – Part 4:

The current Red Seas story seems to be linking up with the main story at last, as Doyle’s time machine is activated and the way back to Jack Dancer’s time is now open. Having said that I would still like to see a lot more of Windsor and Newton, as they are a couple of really fun characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this weeks installment, although I do again have one slight niggle over the art. This weeks installment is set at 3AM so it should be dark outside, however the art work makes it look like its midday. Still when the story is as good as this I can overlook the artworks shortcomings.

Aquila – Blood of the Iceni – Part 4:

Not too much to say about Aquila this week, other than that it continues to impress in every department. Leigh Gallagher’s artwork just seems to get better and better every week, and really is the perfect style of art for this strip. There can’t be too many comic strips out there where the main character gets run through with a spear in only its second story. Aquila is immortal though so I’m sure he’ll be fine.

The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael – Manhunt – Part 7:

Full credit to all involved on this strip, as for the second week in a row it managed to keep my interest, despite not having been very interested in the story up till now. Having the action stop in one time zone for more than one installment has deffinetly helped the flow of the strip, as previously it almost felt like we were starting a new story every week. As I said before, the image on the cover is also seen more or less the same in the strip, even though it is nowhere near as eyecatching. This isn’t intended as a critique of Dom Reardon’s artwork though, which for the most part reminds me of a far more competent version of The Red Seas artist Steve Yeowell’s work.

Lenny Zero – Zero’s 7 – Part 4:

This is just so much fun to read each week, and I was pleased to see the talking Polar Bear back in it for this installment, as I think he’s a brilliant character. However this installment will most certainly be remembered for the return of another character, none other than the “Pin Stripe Freak” himself, Max Normal. It’s not too long since I was reading some early Dredd strips with Max in them, and was wondering to myself whatever happened to him, so it is an absolute delight to see him make his return. Roll on next weeks installment.

Overall:

The Prog continues it’s fantastic run of form, as we are treated to another five star line up this week. In fact it’s becoming increasingly hard to review every week, as everything is just so damn good right now. Whoever said you can have too much of a good thing?

Quote of the Week: “I’m busy – arrest each other.” – Judge Dredd

Thrill of the Week: The Red Seas

Prog 1794 – Warzone!

Cover:

A very eyecatching effort from Lee Garbett for this weeks cover. The use of the almost neon red colouring helps make what could have been a fairly static image jump out on the shelf. Has Lee Garbett worked for 2000AD before? It’s certainly not a name that I recognise. Not likely to be a contender for cover of the year, but a pretty good effort nonetheless.

Judge Dredd – Debris – Part 3:

The confrontation between the Judges and Sue Perkin’s block continues this week, with the Judges preparing to take down the Citi Def units by any means neccesary. Lots of action sequences in this installment, with the Judges most certainly not having everything there way. The panel where Dredd threatens to nuke the block is a particularly good one, seemingly conveying the message that no matter how well organised you are you will never be able to overcome the system. While the story is continuing to impress, the artwork seems to be a little bit rushed this week. Despite that Debris remains an excellent little story.

The Red Seas – Beautiful Freak – Part 3:

Not a lot to talk about this week, as very little actually happens in the strips five pages. If you’re going to have almost two pages of story without any dialogue then you need to have some really good art to keep the readers attention, and unfortunatly The Red Seas does not have that. Steve Yeowell’s artwork is far to simple to carry those two pages, with not a single background to be seen anywhere (and I say that as someone who actually likes Yeowell’s work on this strip). In spite of this I am still enjoying this story, and am still eagerly anticipating how this will effect Captain Jack Dancer and his crew once we return to their time.

Aquila – Blood of the Iceni – Part 3:

In total contrast to the minimalist style of Yeowell, is the highly detailed and beautifully coloured work of Leigh Gallagher on Aquila. That opening panel of Aquila and Felix walking through the countryside looks absolutly stunning. The story continues to impress as well, with the inevitable coming together of Aquila and the Roman monster drawing ever nearer. I do have one minor concern however, and that’s that Aquila and Felix seem to be very similar to Slaine and Ukko. Felix in particular seems to be a dead ringer for Ukko, both in his height and his character. However it’s still early days for the strip yet, and I’m sure the two lead characters will prove to be distinct from Slaine eventually.

The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael – Manhunt – Part 6:

I’ve not been the biggest fan of this strip, but I have to admit that this weeks installment was actually pretty good reading. The story seems to be moving somewhere at last, and I imagine that if you’ve read the original Ichabod strip then the Second World War aeroplane will be of great significance. A vast improvement over previous installments in the series.

Lenny Zero – Zero’s 7 – Part 3:

Another strip that has improved greatly this week is Lenny Zero. While I have been enjoying this strip, this weeks installment is a step up from the previous two, and was the highlight of the Prog for me this week. Zero seems to have everything expertly planned out for his bank raid, even to the point where he can manipulate the Special Judicial Squad to achieve his goals. The scenes in the Mega City nightclub were excellent, although I can’t help feeling that people wouldn’t be going out clubbing in the immediate aftermath of the Day of Chaos. Also I found it very unlikely that the SJS would have been able to rebuild their headquarters so quickly, but I’m not going to let these small niggles ruin my enjoyment of what is proving to be a very fun strip indeed.

Overall:

A cracking Prog this week, with even Ichabod Azrael rising to the occasion and managing to capture my interest. It would be so easy for the lineup to feel quite tired in the run up to a milestone Prog like the forthcoming Prog 1800, but instead the Prog really is firing on all cylinders right now. Zarjaz stuff indeed.

Quote of the Week: “I do not comprehend what you say, sir, but I obey nonetheless due to great confusion and terror.” – Ichabod Azrael

Thrill of the Week: Lenny Zero

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