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Judge Dredd Megazine #424 (e-magazine review).

October 25, 2020 | By | Reply More

‘Thirty Magnificent Years’ says the cover of this special anniversary issue but I bought it because the stories are all just beginning, on part one, which makes it easier for the reader. That said, each of the strips has a lot of background now and, if you haven’t been following religiously for the last thirty years, you might get a bit lost. Like me.

I’ve dabbled in Dredd for a long time but ‘The Victims Of Bennett Beeny’ had a few unknown factors. Bennett Beeny Block is under attack by TW ops, terrorists belonging to or affiliated with the Total War organisation. There’s a Judge Beeny working with Dredd and the block is named after his famous father. It’s also full of rich and famous people. TV show hosts Vik and Dik are pushed off a balcony to prove that the terrorists mean business. The Judges launch a siege, aided by new robot judges who are programmed to be kinder and more empathic than their human counterparts. Script by John Wagner so you can’t go far wrong and the art by Colin Macneil and Dan Cornwell was okay.

‘Megatropolis’ is another cop story set in a different big city. Officer Amy Jara has just been transferred and her new partner is Detective Joe Rico, known as the Choirboy because he’s not on the take. She finds him on the street among corpses, one of whom is a cop, a known bagman for the mob. It’s all a bit ‘Serpico’ with Amy and Joe perhaps the only honest police people around but it shows promise. Script by Kenneth Niemand and art by Dave Tayler.

‘Dreadnoughts: Breaking Ground’ is set in Boulder, Colorado during the early days of the Judges. New recruit Veranda Glover came out of the Academy with the best scores ever recorded and has grasped that the concept of due process is dead. She shoots rioters. Her colleagues are a bit old-fashioned. Script by Mike Carroll and art by John Higgins and this, too, shows promise.

There’s an ‘Anderson: Psi Division’ story entitled ‘No Country For Old Psis’ where she has to visit the Institute for Troubles Psyches. Burnt-out Psi-Cops are cared for there and some of them are still dangerous. This looks like a single-parter. Good script by Maura McHugh but artist Steve Austin’s version of Anderson is not as pretty as Brian Bolland’s.

It was hard to make much of ‘The Returners: Heartswood’ because not a lot happened in part one. Four immortal persons arrived at Mosley landing strip in Brit-Cit and planned a heist at a shopping mall. More to come.

‘Deliverance’ has a script by David Hine and art by Nick Percival and seems to be a follow-on from an earlier story in which the Dark Judges attacked colony planet Dominion. The marines are heading back to Earth but the dark ones may not be finished. This didn’t work for me because I’m not a big fan of the Dark Judges and the art looks as if it’s been scanned through a dirty milk bottle. I’m sure the murky tones are a deliberate artistic choice to go with the subject matter but it doesn’t suit my taste.

I like Paul Winslade’s detailed, fine lines in the black and white art on ‘Lawless: Badrock Melody’ and the script by Dan Abnett demonstrates a talent for writing comedy songs. This episode features the entire city singing and dancing through the streets for reasons that become clear later. A bit of fun.

Judge Dredd Megazine’ also features bonus pages nowadays and in this issue that’s ‘The 2000AD Encyclopaedia Part One A-B’ by Scott Montgomery. A careful reading of this detailed document will help fill in the back story I’ve missed over the past thirty years of thrill-power.

There’s also an interview with Dave Hunt, an old editor which reveals something about the history of British comics. All in all, a lot of content for the price.

Eamonn Murphy

October 2020

(pub: Rebellion/2000AD, 2020. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). Digital: £ 4.99 (UK))

check out website: https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/megazines/2020/MEG424P

Tags:

Category: Comics, Scifi

About the Author ()

Eamonn Murphy is a science fiction, fantasy, horror and graphic novel reviewer who writes a bit. See https://eamonnmurphybooks.wordpress.com His latest book 'Federation and Empire' is out now - links here https://nomadicdelirium.wordpress.com/

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