Tharg’s Summer Assault continues with 2 more stories joining last week’s offerings.
The green skinned one has done us proud this year with strong offerings across the board.
First up is Judge Dredd. John Wagner continues to show us that Dredd is far more than a one-dimensional robot-like lawman. Wagner has produced some brilliant stories that show chinks in Joe’s emotional armour but these seem to have become more pronounced since the new Rico came on the scene.
The current Rico a clone from the same stock as Dredd and as Regie (Fool Britannia) has said before he is, in truth, ‘Ultimate Judge Dredd’. Rico represents what Dredd was and even without stories like this one there is a marked difference between the two of them.
This week Dredd continues his search for his niece, Vienna. Charlie Adlard’s art is very clear and crisp and Wagner has produced a nicely paced tale. At the end of this strip we are left with more questions than answers, is Dredd having a breakdown? Is he being stalked by a Psi? Is he being drugged? Are there dark forces at work?
We’ve got letters! 2000AD continues to be one of the few comics to still have a letters page despite also having a bustling online messageboard.
Next we have Bec and Kawl a comedy/horror strip. This definitely seems to be the best Bec and Kawl yet. Si Spurier has really come on and this is good, sticky fun. As always the duo are living their normal lives when they happen to stumble across some weird supernatural crap. Imagine Buffy the Vampire slayer, in the UK if Buffy was a weird goth chick without any powers and Angel was dumber than Xander. Add a dash of British humour (which to be fair Buffy has in spades) and you’ve got Bec and Kawl.
Leviathan…it’s funny how some people seem to come up with the same ideas separately. Leviathan is a mile long ship so big it even has a zoo onboard. It has no relation to a similar ship featured in The Filth a few months back (and damn it I’m now torn between buying Chris Weston’s excellent splash page from said issue or seeing if D’Israeli has his glorious splash page for sale at the UK Festival in November). There is also no connection between the madness and mass murder onboard both ships.
Ok that isn’t fair this is a totally different story and it isn’t mass murder but suicide on Leviathan. The ship set sail for America 20 years ago and it has still to arrive. This is a pure dark eerie horror that 2000AD does so well Ian Edginton produces a fine script (neatly inserting 2 characters from ‘The Good Life’) with a good pace and D’Israeli’s art is wonderfully atmospheric.
Slaine…oh dear. Whilst this story is certainly better than the previous one it seems that we’re in for another torturously long-winded blood and guts tale with only tiny bits of plot development hidden away each week. Clint Langley’s art is glorious and thankfully he’s lightened his pallet so we can actually see what he’s drawn this time which is great.
Which brings us neatly to the last thrill in the ish, Strontium Dog. Great work here from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. As always this is fast-paced with a high action quota. Not much I can say about Johnny and Wulf to be honest, this is a Stront tale in the finest tradition, great for new readers and old hands alike.
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