The Monthly Megazine Issue 421: Be Pure, Behave… Be Vigilant!

by Richard Bruton

The Monthly Megazine – doing just what it says, taking you through the latest goings-on in the sister monthly to 2000 AD.

Cover by Simon Coleby and Len O’Grady

The latest Megazine hits shops and digital on 17 June. Please, try to get out there and support your local comic shop now at least some of them are opening back up. They’re the lifeblood of the industry and they’re in trouble right now. So give them some cash.
Now… Megazine 421. Just four strips this issue; a done-in-one Dredd, the penultimate psychedelic episode of Blunt III, more from Marshall Metta Lawson in Lawless, and that cover featured and feature-length ending to the saga of The Vigilant.
Now, let’s take a little look-see inside…

JUDGE DREDD: THE FUGITIVERory McConville, Staz Johnson, colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Annie Parkhouse.
‘Grud, what a shithole.’ You have to love that opening line from Judge Calvin, Euro-Cit Judge (the one with the ridiculous star helmet), here in MC-1 to pick up a perp.
He’s about as impressed with the Justice Department and Dredd as he is with the city. And it all just goes from bad to worse when he’s out on a mission to find his perp.
McConville does a fine, fine done-in-one tale and this is no exception, although perhaps he’s setting up something in the future with the end of this one… intriguing stuff that might be cropping up again at some point in McConville’s Dredd strips. And it’s never been anything less than a pleasure to see Staz Johnson’s art in these pages.

THE VIGILANT: RAPTURESimon Furman, Simon Coleby, colours by Len O’Grady, letters by Simon Bowland
After two specials, this is the end, the culmination of the return and updating of so many of the British heroes from the long history of weird Brit super-types.
The DJ and rapper Sin Tax inherited the mantle of ‘Sultan of the Supernatural’ from his Grandfather to become the new Doctor Sin, he also inherited the responsibility for attempting to prevent the apocalyptic Blood Rapture. But the apocalypse is a lot easier to face down with a team, which is where the Vigilant come in.
The Leopard from Lime Street, Blake Edmonds, Steel Commando, Death-Man, Thunderbolt, Pete Parker and his Pocket Army, and Yao; they are the Vigilant.
Now, Von Hoffman and Dr Mesmer have brought something very, very bad to Earth, but you knew that from Coleby’s excellent cover. And Dr Sin’s been told that there’s a spy in his camp who’ll betray the team.

After two Specials, it does seem that ending The Vigilant here in the Meg is a little bit of a whimper, but it is what it is and that’s the end of it. Although with 22 story pages here, we do get a really satisfying chunk of Vigilant action and a satisfying ending to the first set of Vigilant tales. Furman and Coleby have crafted something that’s been great fun, bringing some great characters back into the spotlight.
However, as stated in the little text piece here, there’s always the chance to revisit the team or drop in on individual characters in the future, perhaps as specials, perhaps as strips in the Meg or 2000 AD.
There’s too much potential in the characters here (and the surprise special guests appearing on the final page as well) not to see them coming back at some point.

BLUNT III – PART 7TC Eglington, Boo Cook, letters by Simon Bowland
A Zhind crisis (not the only one this issue either – see Lawless), a turned-on mech whose psychedelic epiphany last issue made things so much clearer, and the remains of a colony who really just want to get the hell out of Getri-1; that’s where we’re at with the penultimate episode of Blunt III.
Oh, it’s been a ride, and a damn fine one at that, with Eglington and Cook fully delivering on the psychedelic nature of all that’s gone before, fully exploring the very unique nature of the planet and its unique position in the Dreddworld.
There’s exposition aplenty going on here, where everyone finally gets to understand just how different this planet is. But not before we get one horrific reminder of how the planet has a way of infecting those who venture forth as the Zhind mutated creature spores and infects those unlucky enough to be in its way…

It’s been a fabulously different sort of strip has Blunt, full of environmental theory mixed with good old-fashioned sci-fi thrills. And all through it, Cook’s wonderfully organic artwork has ruled the day, his organic lines perfectly capturing everything about the strip. As for the final episode – well, I’m simply hoping it sets up a Blunt IV.

LAWLESS: BOOM TOWN – PART 7Dan Abnett, Phil Winslade, letters by Jim Campbell.
A show begins this episode of Lawless, but that’s mere intermission. For the rest of the episode, it’s a case of exploring all that’s happened thus far. We have Metta Lawson questioning the fundamentals she was so sure of previously, strange body swaps going on, SJS Judge McLure getting on side with Lawson, and Nerys having a little dress-up time.

Yes, it’s an intermission of sorts. But there’s a hell of a lot happening in Badrock during this intermission, things that are going to feed into at least the next half of Boom Town and maybe for adventures to come.
And all the while you’ll be looking at Winslade’s artwork and wondering just how the hell he manages to do so much, month after month, perfect b&w artwork so packed with detail.

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