The Comicon Monthly Megazine Preview – Issue 410: Anderson Goes Babysitting In The Cursed Earth

by Richard Bruton

The Monthly Megazine – Comicon’s regular preview of the sister publication to 2000 AD. We’re looking at Megazine 410, out in the UK and on digital on 17th July.

This issue, we have the usual five strips, with continuations of the excellent Judge Dredd: Red Queen’s Gambit, Diamond Dogs, and The Returners from their starts last issue, plus two new strips with two of 2000 AD’s great female characters, the greatest Psi-Judge of them all, Anderson plus the not greatest P.I. of them all, Demarco.

All this under a rather stunning cover from Mike Dowling. A serious contender for best cover of the 2000 AD or Megazine year.

JUDGE DREDD: THE RED QUEEN’S GAMBIT – PART 2 – Arthur Wyatt, Jake Lynch, colors John Charles, letters Annie Parkhouse.

The Red Queen and her gambit has been something Wyatt and Lynch have been developing quite a while now, through Krong Island and even, you could suggest, through their brilliant Orlok strips of the past. Now, things are kicking into high gear, with the Euro crime syndicate, La Reine Rouge, making a play to become a world power with the anarchist Meditteranean Free States as their power base.

Which is where Dredd finds himself right now, making a trade and gaining vital information on the crime syndicate. But, as you’d expect, things don’t go quite to plan.

As I said last time, the Wyatt/Lynch partnership really does work well and here, with a sense of a Dredd strip where they get to play more on a worldwide scale, telling tales that may well have lasting importance for Dredd and MC-1, it’s really coming good. And, as I keep saying, Lynch is a great Dredd artist, evoking shades of MacMahon as he goes.

DEMARCO, P.I.: AN EYE – PART 1 – Laura Bailey and Paul Williams, letters by Ellie De Ville.

Bailey and Williams have come a long way from their Thought Bubble script and art wins and are now nicely established in the roster of talented 2000 AD creators. And I know that Demarco is a dream gig for at least Bailey, and you can see that from the opener of this new series of MC-1’s most famous P.I..

William’s artwork has that crisp and clear black and white look, with the same clarity and flow that Steve Yeowell’s b&w work has. Everything here is neat and well told, with Bailey’s tale, of DeMarco being slowly dragged into a new investigation, setting a really good scene for what looks like being a good series.

DIAMOND DOGS – PART 2 – James Peaty, Warren PLeece, letters Simon Bowland

In part 1, we were introduced both to the nastier, more down at heel side to Brit-Cit and to young Nia Jones, second-in-command of the street gang The Diamond Dogs. But she’s also a Judge’s informant and that makes her life very complicated. Problem is, when an old acquaintance turns up at her door with a bag of stolen cash, her life isn’t getting any simpler.

It’s developing beautifully and seeing Warren Pleece’s art once more for 2000 AD is a real delight.

THE RETURNERS: CHANDHU – PART 2 – Si Spencer, Nicolo Assirelli, colors by Eva De La Cruz, letters by Simon Bowland

The four Returners, brought back from near-death experiences with immortality (but sadly for them, not invulnerability) have been unceremoniously dropped into the Mongolian Free Zone, a lovely place full of terrorists and pilots. The Banana City Justice Department that run this quartet of individuals received a message from Sino-Cit that sent them there. Although now we’re just discovering that all may not be as it seems.

Meanwhile, on the ground, the group dynamic isn’t going well and there’s more bickering than teamwork going on.

Still loving the artwork by Assirelli, such lovely open pages and big, big artwork, all brought popping off the page thanks to De La Cruz’s fabulous colors.

ANDERSON, PSI: THE DEAD RUN – PART 1 – Maura McHugh and Patrick Goddard, colors by Pippa Mather, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The Dead Run is the Psi-Judge version of the Hotdog Run, where two Judges lead older cadets into the Cursed Earth. And now it’s Anderson’s time to take the school run.

And it all coincides with the appearance of a gang in the Cursed Earth going by the name of W.S.F., We Silent Few. Anderson and Psi-Judge Ryan now have five rookie Psi-Judges; a witch, telepath, pyrotechnic, empath, and shamen, all under their watch as they head on out.

As always, Goddard’s art is a joy to see and McHugh, with her first Megazine tale after first writing Anderson in the 2018 Sci-Fi Special has come up with both an interesting scenario and a fascinating cast of characters. Looking forward to see what comes next.

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