Villordsutch reviews Judge Dredd Megazine #350…
Greetings to all you Perps out there and welcome to a rather big milestone of a comic as we hit the 350th issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine. Who would have thought back in 1990 that in the year 2014 you’d be sat here, slightly wider, getting your fix on a PADD from Star Trek: TNG? Well I did, but I’m a nerd to the core. If however you’ve bought the good old fashioned paper version of this month’s comic you’ll be enjoying an A3 sized poster which I’m unfortunately not, but with a more positive spin on it I’m not faced with an argument from my better half on why there is a Judge Dredd poster occupying a space where our family photo used to be.
We have three brand new stories beginning in this issue with Dredd both opening and closing in “Dead Zone” and “Uprising” and stuck between the mighty Judge we have another new tale “Lawless – Welcome to Badrock” and the continuing adventures of “The Man from the Ministry”. The interrogations this month include Trevor Hairsine, Kev Hopgood, Leah Moore and John Reppion. It’s odd to see how many fingers in pies that these artists have had in the past (and present).
The opener “Dead Zone” written by John Wagner and art from Henry Flint is the perfect start to this celebratory issue as Dredd is sent to investigate the supposed accidental death or perhaps suicide of accountant Mr McPhee at the Chaos (Plague) Memorial Interment Facility. The scheming which is unfolding in the background, that involves the kidnapping and forced labour, is amazingly macabre and I am so very much looking forward to the second part of this tale.
Leaping straight from the dank catacombs of “Dead Zone” and into the dusty Western town of the “Lawless-Welcome to Badrock” story by Dan Abnett and art by Phil Winslade. We meet Marshall Lawson assigned to this small town with a plucky community spirit along with a want to rid its unsavoury element. It all seems to be a run of the mill “fish out of water” sort of story, that is until we get to meet the last Marshall (who is also a Psi-Judge) currently held in jail and already giving us two threads of a mystery to follow; it’s in these closing pages I’m taking the bait and Abnett begins to reel me in.
Picking up from last month, “The Man from the Ministry”, story by Gordon Rennie and art Kev Hopwood, seems to be a small slice compared to our two stories delivered already. The previous month I loved it, but this month I feel I’ve been given just a taster of what’s coming soon, as we get to witness the interrogation of returned astronaut Guy Britton and something we could see coming from the initial panel. I’m hoping that by our next instalment I’m feeling as enthusiastic for this strip as I did last time.
Our final tale to wrap up this issue is “Dredd – Uprising” from Arthur Wyatt and art from Paul Davidson. Not as brutal as “Dead Zone” however I have no idea where this story is heading and who our trench-coated figure is so I am rather intrigued to see what path this tale will drag me down. Do we have a keen opponent against Dredd here?
I haven’t, as you can see, mentioned any of the artwork as yet because I had the fear of repeating myself, as for each story this issue I couldn’t fault the work of any of the artists; it really is that fantastic and they have all done the 350th issue of Megazine proud with their collective work.
As for a story that wins my praise this month it has to be “Dead Zone” from Wagner and Flint. It’s brutal, the humour is as black as night and the closing panels of part one are just perfect and enough to make you smile and feel sick at the same time. Very much the winning story for this special event.
Today go out and buy the 350th Megazine and a cake to celebrate. Perhaps place a candle in the top as well.
Villordsutch likes his sci-fi and looks like a tubby Viking according to his children. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.