2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, January 19, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 1.4

The version of The Megazine for the US market might have bombed but the original in the UK is a success. I put this down to John Wagner and Alan Grant working as Consulting Editors. Tonally, it holds together as a whole well; five Judge Dredd themed strips, by accomplished creators threaded together with mock ads and newspaper stories. I’ve always believed that a small team of writers benefits an anthology of this type and this is what The Megazine has here.

Wagner writes the majority of the stories, which is exactly as it should be. His three strips are as diverse as they can be given the limiting theme of the comic. Last issue saw Beyond Our Kenny finish with Dredd committing a rare act of mercy and deporting frustrated trashzine artist, Kenny Who?, back to Cal Hab instead of sending him to the cubes. It’s as if the positivity surrounding The Megazine is actually affecting Dredd’s judgement now.

Alan Grant writes Midnight Children, however. On the surface, this is more of a traditional Dredd tale, which is exactly what The Megazine needs to keep the tonal balance right. It’s probably Grant’s best Dredd strip from around this time featuring some great one liners emerging from the confident pacing. It’s plotted like an episode of Seinfeld where all the various stories come together in a satisfying way as the end approaches. Of course, Jim Baikie’s almost perfect artwork is half the battle won.

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