Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.75 17/03/95
In Judge Dredd Skar, a man monster with claws, wings and teeth is on the hunt in Mega City One and Dredd is the guy whose job it is to hunt him down. This isn’t by any means John Wagner’s most original story, in fact it’s almost a retelling of Alan Grant’s superior Raptaur, but then, recently for The Megazine, they rarely are. The art by Ashley Wood, however, is stunning. Airbrushed, curiously composed and atmospheric, Wood’s art is definitely stunning. Unfortunately, I can’t tell what’s going on.
I’ll be honest with you, I’m unfamiliar with Wood’s work other than I know his name and that he goes on to be a big success, but at this time, on Skar, his art is impenetrable. Maybe he’s trying to create a scary atmosphere but, if he is, he’s gone too far as the characters are undefined, even, quite often, the most easily recognised, Dredd. Sometimes, I’ve only been able to tell what is happening thanks to the descriptive sound effects provided by the always clear Tom Frame. ‘Thwump’ is in there and ‘Slishhh’ but it’s the use of ‘Stab’ that I found most helpful.
It’s not all hard to follow. Some pages are absolutely clear and they demonstrate an obvious talent for story telling but most of it is a fancy demonstration of Wood’s art style that, if I had wanted to see, I would have bought an art book of and not a comic.