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Prog 2283 - Scare in the community

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Dredd remains fantastic. This feels like the ultimate pairing of current 2000 AD droids on the strip. More, please! Brink continues its slow burn build. I wasn’t convinced at first, but I’m more into it now; I suspect it’ll read better collected, mind (and will be a chunkier book than usual). Hope is in a similar ‘better when collected’ space, but this episode was nicely grim. Dexter worked for me. The strip seems happiest in smaller chunks rather than having massive arcs that don’t really go anywhere. I still hate the lead mooning after Sinister’s ex, mind, which feels like manufactured confrontation waiting to happen. And then Fiends, which looks superb and is thoroughly engaging.

Everything above the bar of goodness this week. The Prog’s firing on all cylinders. Dredd > Fiends > Brink > Hope > Dexter

B/W Cover:

Some more Bolland linework from this weeks Dredd:

Barrington Boots:
I'm going to go against the flow here I'm afraid: more misses than hits in the Prog for me this week.

Great tagline but not sure about the cover - I'd have preferred just Dexter / Billi without the big head.

Dredd Fantastic story, fantastic episode. Everything about this shines. It's looking more and more than Asher will end up conflicting with Dredd, which sounds like it could spell his doom - and tbh that'd be preferable than Dredd being outwitted again, but I hope this doesn't come about. He's a genuinely sympathetic character as well as being very grounded, rather than having some super-awesome capability that allows him to stay one step ahead of Dredd and / or the strip events. The art is just perfect and Tom Foster is incredible.

Brink Also very strong. Old faces reintroduced - less tense and more exposition-y than last week, although I really liked the layouts on the first couple of pages for conveying that sense of paranoia. Great stuff.

This Prog is great so far! But wait...

Hope Nice episode visually but this run on Hope has been awful. The storytelling is so vague - not helped by the various crazy page layouts - and the protagonist is so distant that I have little reason to just flick past looking at the pictures. Huge step down from previous Hope tales.

Dexter - After a good start, something of a perfunctory wrap up. This would be less of a problem if we had any reason to care about Dexter, or the one-note Carrie, or the annoying Billi. I also dislike the romance subplot. A shame we didn't get to see the robot fight the monster as Tazio Bettin's combat scenes last time out were a real highlight.

Fiends With this episode I can feel my interest in this tale crumbling. The (cold)war setting seems to be have been rendered pretty much irrelevant: instead we've got Constanza facing off against another legendary monster, which isn't really a direction I'm keen to see this going. This is the THIRD 'I'm the villain behind this' reveal we've had, following both Baba Yaga AND Rasputin, with this one being the most divorced from the setting (and if you're familiar with Vampire:TM, a bit cliche). We've also seen both Cain and Constanza get absolutely destroyed in this story and get back up: if this is going to boil down to two unkillable dudes slugging it out it's all a bit Freddy vs Jason.
Those complaints aside, the art is stunning and I especially like the crocodile-bear-bat monster.

norton canes:
There's a wonderful synchronicity with what's happening on 'An Honest Man' right now - the Niemand droid is taking all the best elements of John Wagner's writing (the noir genre, the terse prose, the ghoulish humour) and cranking them up to eleven, while Jumb sorry Tom Foster is doing the same with Brian Bolland's artistic style. The result is a classic Dredd tale of old on steroids. Love it.

The outsized visor and head bubbles in Brink were a nice touch. Don't want to think what goes on at the 'DISCO XXX YOGA 24/7' emporium. Not too bothered about the lack of a conventional plot in Hope as long as the surreal detours are this wonderful. I'm okay with Dexter coming in three-part bursts - they're pretty much like 3rillers with a bit of linking continuity. And yeah, Fiends is all over the shop but I can cope.

Is there anything on the way from the estimable Rennie droid? Currently reading the first Jaegir collected edition, it's whet my appetite for more - or failing that Aquila, or The Alienist..?


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