The Monthly Megazine is our regular look at 2000 AD’s sister publication, featuring some of the best UK sci-fi strips, including good ol’ stoney face Dredd. It’s Megazine 411 time, out in the UK and on digital on 21st August.
Jake Lynch on cover duty here and inside we have continuations of everything from last time, which means more Dredd in Red Queen’s Gambit, more Diamond Dogs, more Returners, and second parts to Anderson, Psi-Div and Demarco, PI.
Shall we begin?
JUDGE DREDD: THE RED QUEEN’S GAMBIT – PART 3 – Arthur Wyatt, Jake Lynch, colors John Charles, letters Annie Parkhouse.
Dredd has gone missing during the mission to make a trade in the anarchist Meditteranean Free States, looking to get the drop on the Euro crime syndicate, La Reine Rouge. He’s on the Malacoda, flagship submarine of La Reine Rouge, and the Red Queen wants a word… and her pound of flesh.
Dredd… he’s probably got it covered…
Yes, part three of The Red Queen’s Gambit really is a perfectly done bit of espionage plotting, complete with double-crosses and grandstanding, Wyatt and Lynch bringing their own bit of Dredd world to bear and doing it extremely well with a thoroughly entertaining series. And yes, as I keep saying, Lynch really does have a wonderful way with Dredd, loving those big, big boots.
DEMARCO, PI: AN EYE – PART 2 – Laura Bailey and Paul Williams, letters by Ellie De Ville.
It’s lovely to see Williams’ clear and crisp black and white artwork here, and Bailey’s script is suitably clear as well, featuring the ongoing adventures of everyone’s favourite MC-1 PI.
DeMarco’s been dragged into a new investigation, as a friend’s mother’s death looks increasingly suspicious as she undercovers bugs in the apartment and gets herself, as DeMarco is want to do, deep in trouble.
DIAMOND DOGS – PART 3 – James Peaty, Warren Pleece, letters Simon Bowland
Back in the seedy parts of Brit Cit where Nia Jones is playing a double life, of second-in-command of The Diamond Dogs gang and judge’s informant. But it’s not either of these getting her into grief now, but an old friend’s troubles pitching up at her door, fully armed and wanting payback.
Here’s where we find out just how Nia managed to get herself in hock to the Js, and her plan to get herself and her friends out… out of trouble, out of Brit-Cit. Can she pull it off? We’re going to be here to find out.
As always, a sheer pleasure to see Warren Pleece’s artwork on this, so rich and vibrant, alongside a story from Peaty that is something of a real slow-burn.
THE RETURNERS: CHANDHU – PART 3 – Si Spencer, Nicolo Assirelli, colors by Eva De La Cruz, letters by Simon Bowland
Compared to the strips around it in the Meg, The Returners is something bigger, with Assirelli and De La Cruz combining wonderfully to give us big panels, rich colors, great lines.
As for the tale itself, the word is out that the distress call from Sino Cit was a fake, and the four Returners are in the worst amusement park in the world, the dead are talking, and there’s danger all around.
ANDERSON, PSI: THE DEAD RUN – PART 2 – Maura McHugh and Patrick Goddard, colors by Pippa Mather, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Psi-Judges Anderson and Ryan are on the Dead Run, leading Psi-cadets into the Cursed Earth, with the We Silent Few gang active in the area.
Inexperienced, unready, and with psi-active perps in the neighbourhood, this would be difficult enough, but there’s something nasty muttering in the ear of the Psi-cadet witch… this is going to be a Dead Run that could well live up to its name.
There’s a great joy to the isolated adventure, even somewhere as huge as the Cursed Earth, and McHugh and Goddard are doing a grand job on this one.