Jake Lynch with a really nicely done iconic bit of Dredd there. Still reminds me of Mick Austin though.
Judge Dredd: Reclamation by Michael Carroll and Colin MacNeil
Ok, let’s have a moan first, this is the final Reclamation. Except it’s not. The actual story concludes over in this month’s Megazine. And call me a stick in the mud, but I really don’t like when they do that. It feels unfair and needlessly forced, a crude way of chiselling an extra few sales out for the Meg.
Ok, moan over.
Bloody hell, Reclamation, and in fact the entirety of Michael Carroll’s recent extended run on Dredd has been really damn good. Damn, damn good. Great in fact. Carroll’s been allowed to play a little more in the Dreddverse and it’s been well worth it, with a massive potential coup from Texas City exposing just how weak and exposed MC-1 post Chaos Day really is. Hershey nails it right at the end here..
So yes, a fabulous series of tales, this most recent illustrated in fine style (as you expect surely?) by Colin MacNeill. More please. Much more. And soon.
Brink by Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard
Bridge is being held at gunpoint, after uncovering the secret plan of those looking to establish new human colonies off the habitats. Friends turn to enemies, plots thicken, stuff gets talked over. And that’s been the absolute joy of this one, the amount of bloody brilliant dialogue that’s going on, with Culbard’s artwork just delivering alongside Abnett’s really tight plot and dialogue. Seriously, this is a top notch series.
Black Shuck by Leah Moore, John Reppion, Steve Yeowell
The Queen is in labour, the priest’s efforts to lift Black Shuck’s curse seem to no avail, and meanwhile Black Shuck himself is elsewhere, battling other sorts of demons.
As I’ve said before, Black Shuck isn’t stellar, isn’t a wow kind of strip, merely a good romp, a fine yarn, but to be honest, that’s just fine, there’s always a place for a well done, readable, yet not the greatest thing you’ve ever read strip in 2000AD.
Outlier by TC Eglinton and Karl Richardson
One really good thing 2000AD have been doing recently is giving those with terrible memories (hands up Richard!) a little recap of returning series, meaning I don’t have to wrack my little brain for what the hell Outlier is about. Here’s that recap….
When the personnel of salvage ship the Outlier start showing up dead, PI Jared Carcer is hired by its captain Ramona Farson to investigate who is responsible for their murders. The culprit turns out to be a former crew member, Caul, who was trapped by mysterious alien race the Hurde when the Outlier docked alongside the wreckage of a Hurde craft and was in the process of stripping it. Caul was experimented on and transformed into a lethal hybrid, who took his revenge on those that left him behind. Farson captured Caul so she could sell the Hurde technology to weapons company Falcorp, but Caul had allowed himself to be caught, enabling him to access the system and destroy any information on the Hurde. Months later, Carcer — who’d had his own brush with the Hurde as a child when he lost both his parents and his eyes — is asked by Colonel Amita Luthra to investigate another Hurde ship the military has in their possession, but when he plugs into the tech he is taken over by it, becoming a puppet for Caul. Caul wants help freeing his body and that of his girlfriend Jess that are being stored in a Hurde Ark Ship, where Carcer’s parents are also being held. The pair crash the Ark Ship, freeing those contained in stasis, but in the escape Carcer is left in the hands of the Hurde, and a guilty Caul goes on the run.
So yes, that’s Outlier. In all honesty, it’s another so-so strip like Black Shuck to me, but like Black Shuck it’s very readable, looks great and it’s a damn enjoyable thing.
Scarlet Traces: Cold War by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli
Oh, this is shaping up to be great, really great. Edginton’s writing is spot on, D’Israeli’s art just leaps off the page, and there’s so much to enjoy. I’ve always been a fan of world-building, where we don’t just leap into an action packed story but we get to see the events leading up to the tale, get a glimpse into the society, the people, and that’s exactly what Scarlet Traces is doing. It opened with a bang, last issue we saw the repercussions of a Martian-Human construct landing on Earth, full of secrets, maybe lies, and an attitude that owns more to an old fashioned Victorian dandy than anything else.
Here, we’re down on the ground, seeing just how this modern world works, the British Empire that was now a shadow of it’s former self, the Air Force clinging onto dreams of imperialism, Air Force officers straight out of 1940s war movies, all private school educated, cut glass accents and hideous racists. And with a country that’s grudgingly welcomed so many Venusian refugees, there’s a lot of racism to go around. The more things change eh?