2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, October 09, 2009

Prog 915 25/11/94

Once Judge Dredd got his own comic, it wasn’t unreasonable to expect strips set within the character’s world, such as Anderson PSI Division, to migrate over to it. It’s a surprise to see it happen the other way ‘round, though. But that’s what’s happened with Red Razers, whose enjoyable premier book was serialised during the Megazine’s first volume and whose second big adventure appears now in the Galaxy’s greatest comic.

In The Hunt for Red Razors, Red’s judge conditioning fails for some reason and as a result he goes on a great destructive spree that involves blowing up buildings and slaughtering lots of judges. As a result, Mega City One has loaned East Meg Judge Dredd, who by 2177 is kept in cold storage and only defrosted for emergencies, to help deal with the problem. The city’s gangs are rioting and Red’s friend from his pre-judge days, Spike, now bigger and badder than before, is leading them.

Where the first book was packed with fun pop culture references, The Hunt for Red Razors reads like a dumb action pic version of the character and his world. Seeing Razors and Dredd brawl across the city is like watching a good old fashioned superhero fight from the sixties; it presses a lot of buttons I like having pressed. Although the story leaves plot threads flapping about in the wind, Mark Millar has written an adventure, deliberate or otherwise, that feels as if it could, in a different world, have appeared straight after Dredd’s first epic, The Cursed Earth. Dredd has a stripped back, uncluttered, less formed quality to him here.

The true creative star on this thrill, however, is artist Nigel Dobbyn. Dobbyn embraces the energy, violence and nastiness of the script with real professionalism. The art robot’s self control has enabled him to draw an edge to the strip that other, more popular artists, might have failed at doing. Truly thrilling.

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  • Man I wasn't a big fan of this Red Razors at all. The series best character Ed killed off panel for no decernible reason and it just spirls into Millar off form nonsense from there. Nigel Dobbyn's art is however glorious as ever I've said it before and I'll say it again I wish Tharg would get him back in the Prog. The last panels of the series he changed apparently in his own distaste and frustration at what he was having work with. So rumour would have it anyway!

    By Blogger Colin, at 8:33 pm  

  • Colin, I wonder if there was a lot of behind the scenes tension between Millar and editorial at the time after the strip migrated between the comics. Who knows.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:34 pm  

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