Friday, 4 October 2013

Meg 231 - Murder Juan

(Link to BARNEY)

Two reviews in one day? Not quite - I had Meg 230 for a while in draft form. But onto this Meg and we have a fabulous cover from the utterly brilliant Chris Weston. Regular readers may remember he did the previous Phillip Janet Maybe story called 'Six', which appeared in Megs 221 and 222 and I was hoping he's draw this new one. Turns out it's Ezquerra, but at least Chris provided this cover.

So let's get on with the Dredd and PJ Maybe story Monsterus Mashinashuns (sic) which sees Dredd visit Cuidad Baranquilla (South America) where Maybe is living as wealthy philanthropist Pedro Julio Montez. Old Stoney Face thinks Maybe is hiding out here, and is on a 'good will' mission to try and seek him out. A good episode this and the makings of a good story. John Wagner is having a very prolific period as, once again, he is on script duties. I hope we get a few episodes for this story to play out.

Si Spurrier and Cam Kennedy team up for a strange little story also set in Cuidad Baranquilla called Zancudo. Two Cuidad judges are escorting a perp to a high security prison when their flight is downed my a mysterious assailant. They then have to try and keep an eye of their perp whilst trying to get back to civilisation and avoiding their attacker. Bit of an odd one this, and as I have said before, I like to give Meg stories a bit of room to establish themselves before making a decision on whether they are my cup of tea. At the moment, it's in the 'a bit weird' pile, but happy to see what the next episode holds...

Talking of weird, I was completely lost in the new Devlin Waugh adventure All Hell. I just had this sinking feeling part way through that I had been here before with Red Tide in the early part of my Odyssey... I just got lost with who was who, who was a good guy or a bad guy and who the hell appeared at the end. Was Devlin tied up, or was it another guy... John Smith and Colin MacNeil are, once again, on script and art duties respectively. I'm just going to try it again next week and see if it falls into place, but I'm not holding out much hope. Ho hum.

Contrast this with a fabulous all-action Gordon Rennie and PJ Holden story called A Bullet In The Head featuring the Hong Tong detective and Triad enforcer Johnny Woo. I'm on record as saying no-one handles action like Rennie and Holden's art keeps pace perfectly. This story has it all; intrigue, rival gangs, exotic locations, scumbags, good guys who are bad guys and lots of fights and shooting. Can't wait for the next episode of this one!

And now onto The Bogie Man in part 5 of Return to Casablanca. Boy this was a struggle again. I just think I can't be bothered with it and am rapidly losing interest. I mean, I'm giving it a fair crack of the whip, but it really isn't something I'm hugely enjoying. I am interested to see how it ends, probably just to see if anything interesting does happen, but it's two parts too long already and shows no sign of ending soon. Still like Robin Smith's art - a very clean style and looks great in black and white.

Anderson started this Meg (making that five new stories in this issue!) in a tale called City Of Dead. A really stunning full page splash opening by Ranson, whose art I am really enjoying. And in a welcom turn of events, Anderson does some street judging! We still are having references back to the previous stories (nano-bots and half-life virus) but it's not yet clear if this will play a major role in this storyline. The setup seems to indicate it will, so let's see how it plays out.

The reprint was a couple of Dredd stories called Playaday and A Child's Tale. Both were good single episode stories dealing with some fairly unique subject material. The first one was quite the comedy, the latter a tragedy - so they worked well as a pair. Quite a good Metro Dredd (haven't said that for a while) with Si Spurrier on writing duty and Steve Roberts on art. Quite a good little story.

Si's Movie column, reviewing Spaghetti Westerns was pretty decent too. Has he changed his style or am I warming to him? Difficult to say... The final part of Cam Kennedy's Interrogation didn't disappoint with an account brining us right up to date (2005 of course!). He recalls his work on Star Wars (which was pretty important in resurrecting the franchise) as well as some other work for 2000 AD. Again, he missed some opportunities, but isn't prone to regret or bitterness. He seems happy with his lot.

And finally...Dreddlines is still going strong at this stage in the Meg's life. Floyd has now begun to write in as 2000AD characters, which is an interesting twist, and there was a letter complaining Anderson wasn't attractive enough in her old age!

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