Out on the 7th March… the brand new Prog 2071. It’s all rather good…
Inside this Prog, it’s all the same as last Prog, with the excellent new Dredd Live Evil hotting up, and Savage, ABC Warriors, Brass Sun, and Bad Company all reaching their ends either now or pretty soon, each strip ramping up the action and/or tension really well. And it’s all underneath a suitably technicolour Bad Company cover by Rufus Dayglo and Dom Regan.
There’s been so much love online for the return of Dave Taylor, and the return of his, and Ian Edginton’s fascinating creation; Exorcist Judge Lamia. And you can see why the minute you open the pages. Taylor’s Dredd has a beautiful, rounded, Euro styling to it, something that sets it apart from so many other versions of Dredd and MC-1. As for Judge Lamia, things get very strange for her right now. Turns out that one of the conditions of her resurrection is her new role as a Soul Herder, even though she has no idea what the hell that is. From the gloomy tones of MC-1 straight to some very Wizard of Oz style realm of the senses, Taylor’s art is full of beautiful little details, and Edginton’s tale is determined to take us in unexpected directions. Much appreciated, highly recommended.
Brass Sun, ABC Warriors, and Bad Company: Terrorists are all bouncing along nicely towards conclusions in the next few issues. We’re witness to a dispirited Wren reactivated in Brass Sun, circumstances forcing her into action once more. And wow, there’s some gorgeous Culbard art in here. ABC Warriors is all about the final huge battle between the ABCs and Blackblood, Blackblood, and more Blackblood. Devious evil bastard that he is. And Bad Company are closing in on Crawley, him who’s responsible for the orders that transformed Bad Company’s lives at Ararat.
(INJ Culbard’s gorgeous art on Brass Sun)
One strip that does end this issue is Savage, with one of those low-key ish endings, as Savage and Nika say farewell. Oh, except first there’s a small matter of pulling her out of Howard Quartz’s tempting trap, Nika directing traffic in a bomb vest, Savage coming to the rescue in a careering 18-wheeler. Satisfying as all heck, especially as it sets up future Savage tales to not be so dominated by Savage’s blind revenge against those Volgs, and instead sets him on the path against the all-powerful Complex.
(Bill and Nika, with Bill sporting a rather fetching new-look to go with a new mission, striking art courtesy of Patrick Goddard.)
Oh, I’ve enjoyed this one a lot, part of my Pat Mills reavaluation of late!
But there’s one moment of hmmm here, all to do with that moment where the suspension of belief is pushed just that touch too far. As Bill screams down on Nika, in that 18-wheeler, we’re expected to think it’s perfectly ok for this to happen….
(Highway code stopping distances = bad news for Nika)
I know, I know, I know I’m meant to just go with it, but some things just rip you out of the action far too much to ignore. C’mon, look at those speed lines. That’s not a truck that’s going to slow down any time soon, and Bill’s valiant rescue should turn out to create a Nika based smear on the road. BUT, aside from that little bit, pretty darned great.
Judge Dredd: Live Evil – Ian Edginton and Dave Taylor
Savage: The Thousand Year Stare – Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard
Brass Sun: Engine Summer – Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard
ABC Warriors: Fallout – Pat Mills and Clint Langley
Bad Company: Terrorists – Peter Milligan, Rufus Dayglo and Dom Regan