A longer review than normal in honour of 40 years- but aargh
all the top points I wanted to make have already been made!
jaw dropping cover = check
Satisfactory ending to a good Dredd = check
"electric Landlady" as the best pun ever and Abnett's general skill as a pun-master = check
As the "real" 40th aniversary prog (we don't count specials) I think this is an absolute triumph - even strips that may not be my faavourite are are of such good quality that they would have been the best thing in some progs from darker years.
As much as I love it, I think Kingdom should
come to it's logical conclusion - I hate it when comics or TV shows are extended too far just because they're popular - always leave 'em wanting more!
Mike Carroll's Judge Dredd
stories have always had great concepts and he "gets" Dredd's speech and attitudes 100%, but they have sometimes ended abruptly or unsatisfactorily, but this one wrapped things up beautifully - nice twist (she WAS a wrong 'un, but also a good 'un)
, and I loved Dredd's line "I'm not known for giving advice ... and the instead of some heartfelt plea to emotion, his advice was basically "suck it up and get back to work ya big jessie"Kingmaker
has won me over - I wasn't sure about the concept at first but the protaganists feel like real characters rate than character-types. This episode was mentioned in the "building worlds" panel at the 40th fest (video is online now)- when discussing how much input artists have into stories, Edgington said that on reading the original concept of high fanatsy vs SF, Leigh Gallagher said "oooh - can we do dragons fighting spaceships?" and so he wrote that into the story.
I'm still not 100% sure what's going on at any particular moment in The Order
, but it's such a madcap bonkers rollercoatser of a strip that I really don't care. It may make more sense on a re-read but for now I'm just enjoyingt the energy, the lush art and the tight scripting ("Madam if you would be so kind ...I would have that word" - great line)
I've always been a fan of Sinister Dexter
- it did lose it's way a bit in the over-long alternate-Moses stories, but was always at it's best with punchy one or 2-3 parters. Just as I could enjoy a well-written Dredd procedural about solving a simple robbery, I could endlessly enjoy these vignettes of character-based banter with a bit of ultraviolence thrown in.
I am beyond chuffed that after entertaining me for 4/5 of my lfetime, the prog is in rude health and delivering top notch thrills week after week. It was great to hear at the 40th bash (well on video afterwards 'cos I was in the bar at the time), the Kingsley brothers' enthusiasm for the prog and their philosophy behind running it (eg the number of times they have turned down a lucrative licence offer because they didn't beleive the licensees would stay true to the character), and also their unequivocal praise for Matt Smith our current Tharg who has done, and continues to do, such an incredible job. When I heard in the late 90s that a compuer game company had bought my beloved 2000ad I despaired as I was sure that we would get a few years of shite game tie-ins and then it would fold.
How wrong could I be.
Here's to another 40!