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2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, December 15, 2008

Prog 731

Garth Ennis’ run on Judge Dredd continues with Emerald Isle, which reaches its penultimate episode this prog. Ireland in the twenty-first centaury is now a giant Irish theme park and a group of previously harmless activists called The Sons of Erin don’t like that. The problem is that they’ve been infiltrated by a Mega-City hit-man who has persuaded them that they can only hope to achieve their aims by violent means. For diplomatic reasons, Dredd has been sent to help the Irish judges with the investigation.

I’ve commented here before on how increasing the number of international judges, something that is being done often at this time, compromises the impact of Mega City One’s post apocalyptic isolation. I’ve also remarked on how, ultimately, I found Ennis’ time on Judge Dredd disappointing. However, I remember enjoying this story. I felt at the time that, in spirit, it was more successful as a Dredd yarn than the previous Hunters Club which was a revisit to an old episode. Emerald Isle has original ideas and a more successful sense of satire. I particularly like the Spud Gun shifting its ammunition between Roast Potatoes, Chips and Mash the same way the judges’ lawgiver switches between its various bullets.

I also like the art by Steve Dillon with colour by Wendy Simpson. Recently, Dillon has been prolific at the expense of quality whilst his team-up on Harlem Heroes with inker Kevin Walker proved disappointing in the end. On Emerald Isle, it looks like a return to form thanks partly to Simpson’s wonderful paint washes.

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