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2000 AD Prog Slog

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.33 24/07/93

Judge Anderson’s despondency about, well, all things leads her to taking a break on Mars only it’s not a break but another adventure. She’s part of a team investigating an alien pyramid on the surface of the planet. As they make their way through the structure, members of the team are picked off one by one so that all that is left is Anderson and the police officer who we learn was Orlok the Assassin all along. Now the aliens who advanced our evolution from ape to man are back and have decided to undo their “mistake”.

Now that I’ve written it down, the latest Anderson PSI Division story, Childhood’s End, seems better than the actual experience of reading it. Writer Alan Grant succeeds at creating that sense of eerie foreboding that alien encounter stories of this type should have but, uncharacteristically, he fails at making the cast or the traps that kill them interesting. Furthermore, like us, Anderson seems swept along by the story rather than the focus of it. Kevin Walker’s art is probably very strong but reproduction in general at The Megazine seems poor recently. It’s only been the later episodes where things have improved that the strip has lifted.

At this time, 2000 AD is going through a design overhaul and the bright, youthful Summer Offensive. The Megazine looks stale and old fashioned in comparison which is ridiculous considering that it’s the younger of the two. Thanks to her length of service, Judge Anderson in entitled to a period of introspection if that’s what the creators want to do but in this dour environment her depression is almost infectious. I want the cheeky, irrelevant, dynamic character she used to be back for all our sake.

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6 Comments:

  • I think this is perhaps the first time I've really disagreed with you!
    I loved Childhood's end when it came out, it was all cinematic and felt like a new way to do comics. (although Walker's art was a touch too steroidal when it came to the humans). And the story really blew me away at the time.

    Having reread it recently, I'm now aware that the plot is cliched - that aliens created humanity was not a new idea in 1991 - but I still think the way Grant tells the story is excellent.

    By Blogger alexf, at 11:43 am  

  • I've got some vague memory of loving that story as well though it's years since i read it. I guess I'm a bit of a sucker for those 'co-operation is better than conflict' type stories. Must've been corrupted by all those CND marches my parents used to drag me along to.

    By Blogger Tam, at 4:40 pm  

  • I read Childhood's End not too long ago and really enjoyed it but agree when Paul says

    "uncharacteristically, he fails at making the cast or the traps that kill them interesting."

    Its a fun romp with nice overall reprocussions for Anderson BUT there's a bit in the middle were the cast are getting killed off one by one that a bit Mah seen it before.

    Still iver all loved it.

    Oh and man do I hate that cover!

    By Blogger Colin, at 10:45 am  

  • Alex, you don't have to agree with me. :-) There were aspects to the story I liked but, overall, I felt it could have been better.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:49 pm  

  • Same to you, Tam. You're entitled to like it. As it happens, I like the way it ended.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:50 pm  

  • Colin, I don't like that cover either. in fact, I would say that there have been some pretty poor covers recently.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:51 pm  

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