Judge Dredd 29 (March 1986)

Judge Dredd #29

It’s a fairly strong issue, with only one weak story–a retelling of Frankenstein, only in Mega-City One; the other three stories are good.

The first couple, with art from John Cooper, shows a kinder, gentler Dredd. The first deals with animal experimentation, the second with the plastic substance they use in the future dissolving. Writer Wagner goes for a final twist in the latter, which doesn’t do it much good (he’s thrown Dredd into a story not needing Dredd), but it’s still a good story. Cooper handles the humor of the situations and the action well.

The last story, with Brendan McCarthy art, opens with a New Year’s Eve thing, then reveals the actual story. It’s still kinder Dredd, but ruthless too.

As for the Frankenstein story–Brett Ewins does okay with the art, but it’s still weak. Wagner’s details are better than the plot.

Still, nice overall.

CREDITS

Writer, John Wagner; artists, John Cooper, Brett Ewins and Brendan McCarthy; colorist, John Burns; letterer, Tom Frame; editor, Nick Landau; publisher, Eagle Comics.

2000 AD 22 (23 July 1977)

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Odd, odd issue. Lots of too long stories and too short ones.

Invasion and Shako are both way too short. Invasion is dumb and–inexplicably–for laughs. Shako is dumb and serious; at least it has good art from Arancio, who’d have been better served just doing wildlife studies.

Bad Harlem Heroes. Bad Dan Dare. Dare reads really, really long. For that matter, so does M.A.C.H. 1. Dare is just more nonsense with Dare versus the Mekon, who isn’t actually very smart, but M.A.C.H. is this really complicated story about the machine man proving himself in the Middle East. Writer Nick Allen relies a whole lot on the computer talking to the protagonist, which flops.

But not even Dredd works out until the end. Writer John Wagner takes a while to get going. Ian Gibson’s art is good throughout and the story ends well, but the beginning’s weak.

Weird issue.

CREDITS

Invasion, Cheddar Gorge; writer, Nick Allen; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Jack Potter. Shako, Part Three; writers, Pat Mills and John Wagner; artist, Arancio; letterer, Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Twenty-two; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Eleven; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, John Aldrich. M.A.C.H. 1, Arab Story; writer, Allen; artist, Cooper; letterer, Potter. Judge Dredd, Mr Buzzz; writer, Wagner; artist, Ian Gibson; letterer, Peter Knight. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 19 (2 July 1977)

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This issue has about fifty percent good stuff. Maybe even a little more. It feels like more.

Invasion is fine. Finley-Day comes up with a gruesome way for the lead to kill the bad guys. Dorey draws it well. There’s a little humor at the expense of the military “resistance” too.

Flesh is, for the first time, entirely awesome. Mills comes up with a great finish for the series and he’s got Ramon Sola back doing the art. So it’s gorgeous and hilariously fun. Wish Sola’d just done a dinosaur series.

Harlem Heroes and Dan Dare are both in the crap pile; at least Heroes is shorter than usual this time.

Robert Flynn writes a strange M.A.C.H. 1 with a Japanese soldier left over from World War II. Even though there’s not much action, it’s all right stuff.

John Cooper starts ambitious with Dredd, ends not, but it’s fine.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Road to Hell; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Tom Frame. Flesh, Book One, Part Nineteen; writer, Pat Mills; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Jack Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Nineteen; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Hollow World, Part Eight; writer, Steve Moore; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Corporal Tanaka; writer, Robert Flynn; artist, Luis Collado; letterer, John Aldrich. Judge Dredd, Mugger’s Moon; writer, Finley-Day; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Potter. Editor, Kelvin Gosnell; publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 9 (23 April 1977)

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What a stinker of an issue. I think the M.A.C.H. 1 might actually be the second best story, which is sort of unbelievable.

It opens with a tepid Invasion. Not terrible, but not very good. Carlos Pino’s art is decent. Then a poorly written Flesh about family vacations through time. Studio Giolitti’s writing (whoever it is) is atrocious. Boix’s art isn’t bad though.

Awful Harlem Heroes. Tully can’t pace it for four pages. I guess Gibbons does draw a cool evil cyborg but he wastes a page on the cyborg’s reveal.

The Dan Dare is bad and visually confusing. Belardinelli is stuck drawing epic space battles in tiny panels; writer Gosnell doesn’t seem to understand what psychic means.

The aforementioned M.A.C.H. 1 has decent Cooper art. It’s dumb, but not bad.

The Dredd is crud. John Wagner front loads it with robot-related morality and doesn’t deliver any good action.

CREDITS

Invasion, Ships; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Carlos Pino; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Nine; writer, Studio Giolitti; artist, Boix; letterer, S. Richardson. Harlem Heroes, Part Nine; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Nine; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterers, Potter and Peter Knight. M.A.C.H. 1, Our Man in Turkostan; writer, John Wagner; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Tony Jacob. Judge Dredd, Robots; writer, Wagner; artist, Ron Turner; letterer, John Aldrich. Publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 8 (16 April 1977)

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Harlem Heroes takes place in a world with a Mega City-One. That one detail is more diverting than anything else in this issue’s entry, except maybe how Gibbons draws the Russian players. They’re giant bear furries. They’ve been so attired a while now, I just hadn’t bothered to comment.

The Invasion story isn’t bad. Finley-Day doesn’t really do any character or plot development and his last pages are always hurried.

Flesh, with new artist Boix, is dumb but not too bad. Apparently none of the characters outside Invasion or Dredd make any sense in 2000 AD.

The issue also has less loathsome Dan Dare and M.A.C.H. 1 entries. Dare because it moves too fast to leave an impression but John Cooper’s art on M.A.C.H. is decent. Rough but competent.

Belardinelli, who does so bad on Dare, does a decent job on Dredd.

CREDITS

Invasion, Concorde; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Mike Dorey; letterer, Jack Potter. Flesh, Book One, Part Eight; writer, Ken Armstrong; artist, Boix; letterer, Potter. Harlem Heroes, Part Eight; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Eight; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Spain Kidnap; writer, Nick Allen; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Judge Dredd, Antique Car Heist; writer, Charles Herring; artist, Belardinelli; letterer, Tony Jacob. Publisher, IPC.

2000 AD 5 (26 March 1977)

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It’s a distressingly tepid issue. Even with Judge Dredd fighting a giant robot gorilla–or maybe because of that emphasis on absurd bigness. The Dredd story does look good though–Carlos Ezquerra bakes dry humor into every panel.

The opening Invasion story is a bore. Finley-Day’s just writing dialogue for action scenes and he’s not particularly good at it. Sarompas’s art on the story is lacking.

At least the art on Flesh is good. Nothing happens in the story except dinosaur rampage (including raptors before anyone knew to call them raptors). Sola’s artwork is beautiful, which makes up for a lot. But it’s still pointless.

Harlem Heroes finishes the first game and then Tully speeds up the overall plot. The plot’s more interesting than the game coverage, but not much.

Dan Dare and M.A.C.H. 1 are both lame, but M.A.C.H. 1 is much worse. It’s exceptionally bad this programme.

CREDITS

Invasion, The Resistance, Part Five; writer, Gerry Finley-Day; artist, Sarompas; letterer, John Aldrich. Flesh, Book One, Part Five; writer, Studio Giolitti; artist, Ramon Sola; letterer, Bill Nuttall. Harlem Heroes, Part Five; writer, Tom Tully; artist and letterer, Dave Gibbons. Dan Dare, Part Five; writer, Kelvin Gosnell; artist, Massimo Belardinelli; letterer, Jack Potter. M.A.C.H. 1, Probesnatch; writer, Nick Allen; artist, John Cooper; letterer, Jack Potter. Judge Dredd, Krong; writer, Malcolm Shaw; artist, Carlos Ezquerra; letterer, S. Richardson. Publisher, IPC.

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