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2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.67 25/11/94

Judge Dredd, whose comic this is supposed to be, doesn’t even make an appearance this issue. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Ironically, if this were to happen as often in 2000 AD, the comic that isn’t his, it would cause outrage amongst the Squaxx dek Thargo. Is this happening here because Megazine readers are more open minded or is it because they’re jaded by the overall editorial attitude? I don’t know. You tell me.

In prog 913 of 2000 AD, Tharg reacted badly to complaints from readers that the latest Judge Dredd epic, Wilderlands, runs through the two comics. He claims that the story is written in such a clever way that readers of only one of the comics would be able to follow it. Having read both, I’m not sure that this is the case.

In Wilderlands, the craft that Dredd, McGruder and Castillo are leaving planet Hestia in is sabotaged and crash lands before it can leave orbit. While in the weekly, Dredd uncovers the saboteur as he fights to protect the surviving passengers, Castillo treks across the planet’s surface with a Hestian native towards a research station in the fortnightly.

Wilderlands doesn’t function in the way that a Judge Dredd epic is expected to. In fact, it’s more accurately the culmination of a series of Dredd stories beginning with Mechanismo over a year ago. Long lasting plot threads are rarely dealt with in this way in the strip. In fact, if anything, it’s deliberately avoided such soap operatic tactics more commonly used in American superhero comics.

Reading the story over both titles has felt a little like listening to a radio show on the BBC Iplayer over an unreliable broadband connection; just as you’re into the flow of the show, the bandwidth narrows and it pauses as it polls for connection. The art, however, has been interesting. In the weekly, we have Carlos Ezquerra’s computer generated imagery, while here, in The Megazine, we have the early work of Trevor Hairshine. Hairshine is clearly influenced by 2000 AD artists from the early days. It’s probably another irony that the new artist is drawing in a traditional style while the old one is experimenting with technology.

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