Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Meg 222 - Hack Jack

Great cover! My copy, BTW, is signed by the fabulous Si Spurrier as I had the Meg with me to read on the train home after I had been to the Trifecta signing. He signed it to "Simoon" - because we were laughing about how my name is spelt... Anyway, I'm digressing... I could tell it was Frazer Irving who had drawn it straight away and it's a fabulous action shot of Jack Point versus the Raptaurs. What's a Raptaur? Yeah, that's what I wondered...

...so let's start with the cover star The Simping Detective in the second part of his adventure Crystal Blue. I hadn't quite clocked what the enemy he discovered was last week, but apparently it's called a Raptaur and has previous form in the Dredd universe. Nice to see things crossover like that, not that I had come across them before. But it doesn't matter, you get the hint pretty quickly that these things aren't to be messed with. Another fast-paced story with wonderful art from Irving and I can't wait for the next episode!

The brilliant Judge Dredd story Six finished off this Meg. Big shame. Chris Weston's art was glorious and Wagner's story could have gone on and on as far as I was concerned. Thankfully, the story doesn't feel rushed - and this is probably because of the 14 or so pages in the episode. Nice to see PJ Maybe in the story.

Cursed Earth Koburn continued with the storyline Kuss Hard, and the Cursed Earth judge shows his MC-1 partner just how things work out of the big city when you are on the trail of a perp. Super stuff from Rennie and Ezquerra and thoroughly enjoying this romp.

Having read back the last three reviews, they are kind-of boring. I mean, all I do is say how great they are. But they are really great - I can't emphasise enough how much I am enjoying these stories (or in the case of Six, 'enjoyed', as it is finished). These three are comic book writing at it's best!

Right, before I get a dose of Thrill Power Overload, let's skip on to Anderson: WMD. This made a reasonable start last time, but dipped a little episode. I can't put my finger on why. Perhaps I'm not sure who is who yet - or whether I care enough about what happens to the Judges involved. I like the introduction of the 'Magic' division - a sub department of the Justice Department - and wonder if their role will be significant in the plot as it unfolds. I would hope so, otherwise their introduction is kind-of pointless... And it's not really Anderson. They are in her head, but she's not in it. Or maybe she is. I dunno - perhaps I'm just finding it all a bit confusing!

Black Siddha: Kali Yoga carried on being pretty good. It's not quite at the peak of the first three stories I reviewed, but it's still good. I've no doubt it will divide opinion - with many not taking to it - but the Indian mythology still holds my attention and the motivations and actions of the characters still have some way to develop. Good stuff all round.

In the reprints, Hell Trekkers felt a little bit like a Hell Trek this time. I just didn't get into it and am wondering if the concept is waning. The group passed the halfway marker towards the end of the last Meg and I'm hoping we haven't got loads more episodes before it concludes. It is starting to feel a little formulaic now - trekkers encounter a challenge, some die, move on to the next one. No dinosaurs as well :-(. Charley's War was pretty good still. The tank storyline resolves and new recruits are bought to the frontline. Meanwhile, the Germans are bring in fresh troops of their own. Still a fair way to go if all the story is to be reprinted, but I'm liking it. Gordon Rennie wrote this Meg's Metro Dredd and it showed as the story was much better this time. The art has been iffy at best for my money, but it seemed more in-keeping with the story this time around.

I didn't know it when I got him to sign my Meg, but Si Spurrier was in the Interrogation Cube answering the standard questions. I would have got him to sign that page if I'd have known!

And finally... I'm going to spend a little time on The Dredd Files because I've been very quiet about them. I just don't find them interesting at all. However, in Dreddlines, Andrew Kaplan of Las Vegas, USA stood up for them. Because I hate them, and can't find anyone I know to write a counter-point, I will reproduce the relevant paragraph from his letter in a separate blog posting. Then I can wash my hands of the whole cursed thing and move on!

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