One of those iconic Dredd stares into the distance, overseeing his domain sort of covers, this time from Phil Winslade. Damn fine cover too, iconic and looking great.
As always, the text pieces are interesting and worthwhile; a retrospective on Robocop, with a look at how Dredd influenced it’s original creation, a feature on Rob Williams and Simon Coleby’s new Vertigo series The Royals, Masters of War (as reviewed and featured here at the blog), and an obituary of Jose Ortiz, one of a golden generation of Spanish artists, and artist on Rogue Trooper, Dredd, and Helltrekers.
The shock moment here is that Rob Williams and D’Israeli’s excellent series Ordinary gets to part 6 and finishes. I simply wasn’t expecting a resolution so quickly, and now I’m left rather bereft, wondering what I’ll actually find to love in next month’s Meg….
Oh, there’s always the old favourite of a damn fine Dredd serial….
Judge Dredd, The Call Of K. Cattrall Part One by Arthur Wyatt and Paul Davidson
Psi-Judge Zheng and Dredd are investigating a homicide at Kim Cattrall Block, CEO of Gammell Industries. Lots of enemies no doubt in the business world, but as Dredd points out, business enemies are very unlikely to decapitate a man. Likewise as Psi-Judge Zheng points out, the situation here is far from ideal for her ….
I like Zheng, like the way Wyatt writes her, strong, interesting, sparky, not in awe of Dredd, and I think a lot of that is because Wyatt feels proprietorial towards her, as far as I know, he’s the character’s creator. Nice to see more female characters that aren’t Anderson in Dredd.
I like Davidson’s art as well, strong and confident, good storytelling. In fact, the whole thing starts very strong, as it needs to, seeing as it’s a simple two-parter, which means I reckon this is down there as a simple (but very well done) police procedural Dredd tale.
As for the plot, it starts out as a simple homicide, but very quickly we’re deep into an old case, alien/human hybrid cults, and something distinctly fishy on the prowl.
DeMarco P.I. by Michael Carroll and Steve Yeowell
Michael Carroll seems determined to tell the story of Mega-City Two, first moving all the Sov Citizens in MC-1 there post Chaos Day, now explaining away the continuity problems of the Hondo thing (a thing I only know because I went to Wikipedia). It seems so simply explained, perhaps because I really don’t care too much, and enjoy Carroll’s writing so much to let continuity things slide because I could care less.
Anyway, ex-Judge Demarco, now PI Demarco is here in MC-2, working to find out just why SovSec citizens are disappearing here, there, and everywhere. Add in Claude, the indestructible mutant, and here we have something that sort of works, sort of confuses the life out of me.
Anyhow, Pinned down outside an anti-mutie free compound in Mega City Two, Demarco finds a creative way to get inside. Claude the indestructible mutie may not like this, but hey, that’s one of the downsides of being indestructible. Inside Demarco is told of ‘The Whisper’, a possible mutie bogeyman stalking MC-2.
It’s good, although I honestly can’t work out exactly why it’s good. Confusion reigns here thus far, I’m enjoying it even though I’m not entirely following it. Is this something that Carroll and Yeowell should be proud of or not?
Ordinary by Rob Williams and D’Israeli
I shall be treading oh so carefully here, as I really don’t want to be responsible for unleashing any of those spoiler things. Just that Scarlett Johansson line above will have to do you for now.
Surprisingly Ordinary finishes this issue. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really well done, very emotional, very affecting ending, done very, very well by both Williams and D’Israeli but first time around the surprise was little …. well, surprising.
I was expecting at least three, maybe four, maybe more episodes of this great series, instead, Williams manages to tie everything up in one, right here, right now, the most ordinary man in this suddenly super-powered world finds himself laden with responsibilities, big, big responsibilities, saving the whole world sort of responsibilities.
How it all goes down may seem just that little too fast, that little too easy. But much of that is the shock of having it all resolved so fast. The shock dies down once the mental adrenalin of finishing the story dies down, and after that the thinking kicks in, and the brain realises that, even though this might have been a quicker resolution than it was expecting, it’s a bloody good resolution, it works within the structure of the story, and when read all in one, it’s some story. Williams and D’Israeli make a great team.
Anderson Psi Division: Dead End – Alan Grant and Michael Dowling
Anderson is turning out to be a really surprisingly satisfying piece of great writing by Alan Grant, delivering an intriguing Justice Department investigation on the one hand but far more importantly, this one’s all about Anderson’s state of mind, just how fragile her psyche has become and just how bad things are right now. Over the past few episodes she’s caught herself entertaining dark thoughts, suicidal thoughts.
This is excellent work, proof that a few bad things shouldn’t convince you that a great writer is no longer a great writer. And whilst we’re handing out praise, lots of it is due artist Michael Dowling, his Anderson comes off both strong and fragile, his scene setting lovely, his vistas frankly gorgeous.