Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Meg 239 - All Rise

(Link to BARNEY)

Apologies for the lack of reviews recently. I have been away for a few weeks and I have started a new job so it's been a bit manic! Can't promise 'normal' service will resume, but I will try and fit some reviews in when I can.

Nice to see Koburn on the front cover, expertly penned by the one and only Carlos Ezquerra. It's quite a plain cover with the white background, but I'm not going to moan about that... For once!

A long Dredd (12 pages- nice!) bought the story Blackout to a conclusion. Lots of action in here, although I don't think the artwork quite kept pace. A couple of frames had me confused and heading back to the previous ones. Still, it didn't detract from the overall story and I still enjoyed it. Cam Kennedy in colour still takes a little getting used to as I am so used to reading his older stuff in black and white. Sympathetic colouring by Chris Blythe helps (Chris is one of the best around for my money).

Part 2 of the Shimura story The Harder They Come saw us head into the Radlands of Ji as the Taoka Corporation master plan begins to be unveiled. And a lot of the residents aren't too happy about it! Shimura has his work cut out protecting his new employer (and lover). I do like Shimura and Robbie's story continues to intrigue, mixing action with mystery. I love Colin MacNeil's depiction of some of the Radlands terrorists, but I'm not too keen on his version of Taoka. Can't put my finger on why, but it's possible she was set in my mind by the strip's previous artist (Andy Clarke). This sometimes happens in strips with different artists, which is often why I prefer stories and characters that are the vision and realisation of one writer and one artist. Like Shakara, Defoe and...

...The Simping Detective, who finishes his current run in the Meg with the last part of the story Petty Crimes. I'm really confused about what has gotten into Cliq, Jack's loveable alien killing machine, so was hoping he'd be ok as he is a character I like a lot. I won't say if he is or not, but it was happy with how the plot resolves. Spurrier really is on top form -again - and is complemented by Frazer Irving superbly- um - again! We also find out a lot more about femme fatale Anna Thrope. Good stuff all round. Come back soon Jack!

It's the second part of the Anderson story Lucid, and for those following her hairstyle adventures, the flowing locks are still cropped... As the story is developing we are getting some of those wonderful Ranson paintings of the chaos happening in the victims minds. He really does capture these weird images wonderfully. There is a particularly good splash page of the rampaging army of Nausea and Phobia. I must confess to feeling slightly lost during parts of this tale. Will see if it makes a bit more sense next time. What's with the lizards?

And so on to Cursed Earth Koburn in a new story called The Assizes. In the main, this is a tale of Koburn performing circuit judge duties in a mutie town, judging a series of increasingly bizarre cases as a bemused Bonaventura looks on (she seems to have all her uniform still, unlike Koburn with his 'modifications'). Towards the end we have a new character introduced. Someone quite sinister. Looks like this strip will be back next Meg, which is good news.

In the reprints, Charley's War feels a little bogged down in the tale of this deserted legionnaire. It just seems like it wrapping up, when something else happens. It's not reaching the heights of the earlier episodes, but it's still decent enough. The Metro Dredd was ok.

In the text articles, I sat and read all of the Meg history article 15 Years Creep! This surprised me slightly, but this is Bishop at his best and I enjoyed his writing and story telling. There was something about The Tomorrow People I skipped. I flicked through the Heatseekers articles, but nothing stood out.

And finally... Sir Alan's editorial acknowledged the drop in page count (100 pages to 84) but countered the complaining by saying he was going for quality rather than quantity. It was that or a price rise.. That's the way of the world, I guess...


And MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my readers. Thanks for the support over the last months I've been doing this. Hopefully I will get some time in 2014 to get some more reviews done!

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