Sunday, 16 August 2009 00:00
Synopsis by Robert Frazer
Review by Richmond Clements
Cover by Steve Yeowell and Chris Blythe
Richmond Clements: This is a good image. It’s a dynamic figure that’s been drawn brilliantly from an awkward angle, and Blythe’s colours do it justice.
The trouble is that as it’s a picture of a character who is not immediately recognisable to the reader, and this makes the reaction to this cover more of an ‘Eh?’ than a ‘Wow!’
Judge Dredd - Rehab - Part 5
Script: Al Ewing Art: Karl Richardson Letters: Annie Parkhouse
Dredd gets ready for the rematch...
Synopsis: Rage Hard is eager to get stuck in with Dredd, but the other perps are more reluctant, especially when he starts hosing down the are with Hi-Ex Widowmaker rounds. Frustrated, Rage Hard flings one of the eldsters at Dredd, distracting him and allowing Rage to get up close. Rage pounces on Dredd and starts beating him senseless, but Dredd defeats Rage by stuffing a Stumm grenade into his open, bawling mouth, knocking him out.
The surviving perps are transported back to Mega-City One, but Dredd also wants to arrest Macro-Zone Alpha's ruling Community Support Officers for causing the escape. Hale refuses to submit, but "Joseph", Dredd's doppelganger, willingly gives himself up and by his example his colleagues do so too - if they hadn't launched their mission, the perps would still be alive and so they ought to see prison for their neglect, for the sake of justice. Macro-Zone Alpha offers to share their advanced dimension-hopping technology with Mega-City One, provided that Dredd doesn't try to arrest the entire city as accessories to the escapes!
In the cubes, the MZA officers have the cell next to Rage Hard's, and the angriest man in the world has to contend with their signing...
Richmond Clements: I’ve been loving this alternate universe tale from Ewing, and this final episode hasn’t let me down. It’s been wonderful fun meeting Dredd’s nice guy equivalent, and I hope that Ewing can find a reason to bring him back again sometime. Love the touch of him still having his helmet on- even in the iso-cubes.
The only problem is that I’m not the biggest fan of Richardson’s work. While his layouts are good, and his colouring great, his figure drawing is, sometimes, all over the place.
The Red Seas - The Chimes at Midnight - Part 5
Script: Ian Edginton - Art: Steve Yeowell - Letters: Simon Bowland
Toten gets a grip...
Synopsis: Newton and Augustus attempt to escape from Toten, but all avenues are cut off by the Baron's doll-soldiers. Newton realises that Toten is here for himself, specifically - which means that Augustus was unwitting bait to lure him to Vulgharia. Knowledge of his mission must have been leaked; which means that there is a traitor in the Chapter of Twelve.
In order to find out all Newton knows about Dancer, Toten begins stripping Newton of his soul. He is interrupted by the sudden intervention of Captain Sarita and a few of her crew, who destroy the Baron's soldiers and rescue Newton and Augustus. As they make an exit the Baron, who was injured in the fight, pulls a concealed lever to activate a trap mechanism.
Richmond Clements: I was going to say Toten’s back- but he’s not really, as this is before we saw him previously- as time flies that is.
I love the feeling here that Edginton has managed to inject - the feeling that the story as a whole is heading somewhere, and in an ideal world, when this arc finishes we’d be straight into the next chapter - hopefully letting us know what Dancer and his crew are up to at the moment. But then again, with the appearance of Sarita, maybe Jack can’t be far behind?
Steve Yowell- can do no wrong.
Sinister Dexter - Rush From Her With Love - Part 2
Script: Dan Abnett - Art: Anthony Wililams - Letters: Ellie De Ville
Dexter gets his mojo back...
Synopsis: Surprisingly, Isobel doesn't want to leave captivity, but before she can explain why she's knocked out when she takes a glancing hit from a bullet shot through the wall - the mobsters' response team has already arrived and is hosing down the building with intense fire. Using his new implants, however, Dexter coolly wipes out all of the assailants.
Sinister carries Isobel to the Edsel. As they speed away, Isobel recovers and begins panicking immediately, screaming at the gunsharks to stop. We find out what she's worried about when she explodes...!
Sinister and Dexter are both thrown clear with only cuts and bruises, although the Edsel is destroyed. The pair return to Bonehinge's hideout, push past his cherubs (Dexter can analyse everything about them and the building with his implants, and so he knows how they function), and sorrowfully break the news of Isobel's death to Kal. They now know in hindsight that she had been implanted with a radius charge, a bomb programmed to explode if she moved too far away from her cell. Kal resolves to take revenge on the Mover.
Richmond Clements: Double length goodness from these fellas this week. And what a week it is! I think it’s a wonderful thing that even after all these years, Abnett obviously cares a great deal about this strip, judging by the obvious amount of work he puts into it. This is plotted to the hilt, and written beautifully. There are many highlights- Ramone using his new implants for the first time is uber cool. And then we’ve got the death of not one, but two character- yes I count the Edsel as one!
Can’t wait to see where this is going.
I’ve warmed to Williams’ art as this has gone on. Maybe I’m damning with faint praise when I say that his art looks simple- effortless even, but it’s lovely stuff.
Defoe - Queen of the Zombies - Part 9
Script: Pat Mills - Art: Leigh Gallagher - Letters: Annie Parkhouse
Defoe catches the zombiemobile...
Synopsis: The Barber-Surgeons return to the Wapping warehouse, with Bodie leading the charge against the escaped reeks. The zombified Spiriter freed too many reeks for them to be rounded up, and they must be destroyed - a Herculean task.
Back at Nonsuch House, La Voisin makes her getaway in her vehicle, with Defoe in hot pursuit - but an obstacle is put in his way when the drawbridge to the House begins to rise after La Voisin passes over it. Through this Defoe infers that Captain Blood, who is in charge of security, is Mene Tekel's alter-ego - and in retrospect, he realises that Nonsuch House is the perfect place for alchemical experiments given its suspension between the water of the Thames, the earth of London Bridge, the air of the sky and the fire of the Great Fire of 1666 itself.
Undeterred, Defoe ramps off of the rising drawbridge and rakes La Voisin's vehicle with gunfire, setting it alight and making it crash. La Voisin burns in the pyre of her vehicle, ranting defiantly at Defoe as he approaches, before he cuts off her head.
The job's only half-finished, though - Nonsuch House is now cut off from contact, and both Damned and Aphra are inside - at Mene Tekel's mercy!
Richmond Clements : Okay... I’ll have what Pat’s having. Just when you think you’ve seen the most insane thing possible in this strip, you get a Leveller in a steam powered armoured car with cannons on the front chasing a zombie queen on her giant chemical powered chopper bike. And did I mention he jumps off a closing drawbridge and blows her up. Then cuts off her head. And we’ve still got an episode to go yet..!
As always, Gallagher rises to the challenge- grud only knows what goes through his head when these scripts arrive, but he doesn’t half deliver the goods.
Richmond Clements: A pretty brilliant prog all told, I think. I’d happily wait a while more for the Dredd epic if every prog was as good as this.
Nice to see a letters page, and kudos to the Mighty One for printing a letter fairly savaging his glorious organ.
Best Story: It was going to be Dredd, but after looking over the prog again to write this review, I’ve had to go for Defoe. Sorry Al!