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JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE, #398

by Gavin Johnston on July 18, 2018

Writers: Michael Carroll: Si Spencer; Rory McConville; David Baillie; Gordon Rennie
Artists: John Higgins; Nicolo Assirelli; Mike Dowling; Brendan McCarthy; Tiernan Trevallion
Colourists: Sally Hurst; Eva De La Cruz; Len O'Grady; Brendan McCarthy
Letterers: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Ellie De Ville
Publisher: Rebellion

Dredd’s battle against the dimension hoping demon Razorjack ends the only way it could in Judge Dredd: This Corrosion. After an extended fight sequence over three issues, the ending is blunt and fairly sudden. The strange, otherworldly art from John Higgins has been the main draw here, completely different from any other Dredd story. It's brutal but it does end on a strangely poetic note.

 

The Returners: Irmazhina takes another surprising turn as it reaches its fifth episode. After gathering together a band of misfits and throwing them together in a fairy standard haunted house adventure, we now discover unexpected motives in a series of flashbacks. Although we’re given new information, everything becomes much more complicated. The art from Nicolo Assirelli, with colours from Eva de La Cruz, is full of lovely touches – note the colour-coded flashbacks with rounded panels – but the slow pace of the story, coupled with the sudden bursts of information, makes this a tale you might want to read in one sitting.

 

Devlin Waugh: Kiss of Death heads in the opposite direction. Starting with an incredibly complicated conversation designed to confuse the reader with a flood of irrelevant information, things quickly settle down into some classic Devlin Waugh swashbuckling. With a city suddenly under the sway of a nightmare virus, Devlin journeys deep underground to discover its source – whilst his date for the evening tags along like an especially confused Dr Who companion, serving as the audience's window into Devlin’s world. Waugh mixes obscure references to the occult with the brutally down to earth. One moment Devlin is discussing ancient secrets with ghostly nuns, the next he’s looking for a secret passage behind a falafel shop. This balance is wonderfully maintained throughout. One moment there is violence, the next there are small, touching moments.

 

There’s nothing subtle about Chopper: Wandering Soul. The skysurfer battles a massive demon, whilst the Australian Judges ponder over whether to launch a nuclear strike, killing Outback dwellers to save to city. Art is vibrant, soaked in colour, with shamelessly visible lettering. A double splash page rounds things off, as things get even more outrageous.

 

Rebellion aren’t just a comic publishing company – they also produce video games. They’ve produced a handlfull of games based on 2000AD characters, but Strange Brigade is a new endevour – both an original comic book story and a video game. Its the same sort of cynical marketing ploy that brought us He-man and Transformers, so it may well work. Four classes of adventurer battle through levels of dungeon in an all-action opening episode. The gun-totting characters who make up the British Government’s Department of Antiquities are paper thin, but the story seems aware of its ridiculousness and doesn’t take itself at all seriously. This could be fun.

 

This month’s Megazine also incudes written articles on what makes up a decent Future Shock story, and a short piece on the new Strontium Dog miniatures game.

 

 

 

Our Score:

8/10

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