Well, that is the smuttiest cover I have probably ever seen (if you have better ones, send them in on a postcard to the usual address). The contents inside are generally thrilling (but nowhere near as smutty).
Dredd, in another of the episodic tales within the larger framework of the ‘Tour of Duty’ epic, is picking up a bit. ‘Dragons Den’ is not without it’s problems – the concept is a bit too fantastical for the general grittiness of the overall story (and I get the sense that some of it is intended as light relief from the political machinations going on at Mega City One – but it just feels out of place). However, things picked up in this installment, with Mackman in grave danger, Dredd all but beaten and an inspiring use of pre-atomic wars everyday objects making this Dredd episode one of the better ones of late. There is a scene with a great use of a culinder.
Stickleback is wonderful. Our man with the hook-nose and hunched back calls in favours from the Establishment to try to get to the root cause of all his recent trouble. What he finds out is frustrating and enlightening in equal measure, but shows to the reader Stickleback’s place in the grand scheme of things. As ever, Edginton’s script is deliciously ripe with dialogue and D’israeli does wonderful things with pencils. Victoriana at it’s most thrilling. Bravo!
Ampney Crucis Investigates….The End of the Pier Show has fantastic art, and Edginton again imbues the story with cracking period dialogue (this time post-war Britain). There is something faintly Lovecraftian about the premise, and it is engaging without being outstanding (or as entertaining as Stickleback or Dredd).
Nikolai Dante – Hero of the Revolution seems to be imbued with the spirit of Frank Hampson and The Eagle, thanks to John Burns stirring artwork and use of colour. The story is equal to the illustrations, with tragedy at the heart of this episode, and enough action and events for the consequences to be felt for the rest of this series. Highly entertaining.
But, I am afraid I just cannot get in to ABC Warriors. I don’t know if it is Clint Langleys art style (which I love for Slaine) or the script. But something (or everything) is not engaging with me. The pages look too busy, there is an overload of information. I just don’t get it. Sorry. The cover is more entertaining than the strip.