Cover: Superb. Brilliant composition, which gives it real impact. Nice take on Death (is it supposed to be a proto-Death?). Good to see some Langley art that doesn't involve photo captures.
But yes, not the best likeness of Jess. And point taken about the picture not fitting the events in the story. But that happens a lot now, doesn't it? There seem to have been a few similar remarks lately, about the Kingdom cover (why does Gene still have blades?), and I mentioned that Sinister and Dexter don't actually fire any shots in the episode in the prog that has them blazing away on the cover. I don't think covers are expected
to be scenes from episodes in that prog any more. It's just a grab-image.
Dredd: Oooh, stoking the tension nicely. Damn but Wagner knows how to pace a story. My latest thinking on the twist (I won't put it in spoilers because it's utter speculation): the robot performs flawlessly but when it returns to the Grand Hall of Justice, it for no apparent reason flicks out a fist and splats Hershey's head.
Brink: It's blissful, isn't it. I swear I go into a kind of zen-like state when I'm reading it. Ian Culbard's art is such a perfect match, so beautifully warm.
Scarlet Traces: By comparison, I don't think D'Israeli's art is at all a good match for this story. The double-page spread, excellent. The rest is too cartoonish. And the story's tone is all over the place - one second you've got Alan Whicker reporting on an interplanetary armada; the next, it's devilish machinations in a space lab. Not bad stuff as such, but difficult to connect.
Future Shock: Disappointing. Forty years ago a twist like that would have been OK for an unsophisticated short like that, today I think we expect a bit more. I can only assume that the retro-stylings in Steve Yeowell's art (costumes, shoes etc.) were an attempt to make the silly idea of juke-box-sized 'dream machines' less anachronistic. And there seemed to be a very obvious category of 'dream' that wasn't represented at the start of the strip...
Deadworld: Liking this very much. Great, suspenseful last panel. And... those mutants. After decades of mutants in 2000AD being represented by silly things like hands growing out of the top of their heads, this was a terribly gruesome shock.
Overall, another outstanding prog. Wish I was getting a bit more from Scarlet Traces, it's such a wonderful concept.
And next week... for the first time since my return to 2000AD at prog 2011, we get...
a PAT MILLS story...
Looking forward to it with a mixture of excitement and apprehension