The Monthly Megazine Issue #422: A Fond Farewell To Blunt…

by Richard Bruton

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

Cover by Paul Williams and Chris Blythe

The latest Megazine hits shops and digital on 15 July. Put on your PPE, grab your mask and sanitiser and get out there to the shops to grab a copy – support your local comic shop!
The lineup for Megazine #422 includes the very final finale for Blunt III, the penultimate Lawless, and done in one strips including a Dredd, a Tales From The Black Museum, and the slight return of Devlin Waugh. It’s all building towards the 30th-anniversary issue of the Meg with 424 in September, hence the bittiness of this issue. Although having said that, given that the three done in one strips are all fine, fine things, I’m not bemoaning the fact.

JUDGE DREDD: EXTRACTION – Rory McConville, Ben Willsher, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Dimontinium? It’s a new wonder mineral. And the Tek boys have called Dredd in after an overnight attack on the processing plant in the Rad-Wastes.
Is it just me, or does Willsher really like orange? I’m not moaning, just observing. It gives this whole thing a suitably desolate look. In fact, his colours all through are so deep and rich, whether it’s that orange of the outside or the night-time blues.

And then there’s the fantastic page of shifting camera angles, head on to the bikes, overhead shot, ground-level perspective and then back to overhead… all on a page, none of it looking out of place. Great art.
As for the story… well, it’s a done by wrote Dredd in one, but it’s a well-done one, start, middle, end, and nicely done at that.

TALES FROM THE BLACK MUSEUM – THE CACKLE – Alec Worley, Leigh Gallagher, letters by Simon Bowland
Always fun things, these Black Museum tales, a little b&w slice of weird and nasty from MC-1. This time it’s one unfortunate citizen with the sort of bizarre condition you’d only ever find in the big Meg – compulsive laughter at the very worst moments. Not exactly the sort of thing to keep you in a job, especially if it’s at Resyk.
There’s hope for him in the unexpected form of the old dear who sits down to bother him. She’s convinced she knows what’s wrong and has a plan…

Well, it takes all sorts.
A great bit of Mega-City horror played out by Worley, and so damn good to see Gallagher’s fine lines gracing the pages once again.

DEVLIN WAUGH: THE WOLVES OF ST VITUS – Ales Kot, Patrick Goddard, colours by Pippa Bowland, letters by Annie Parkhouse
We only just had the chance to say au revoir to the vampire dandy and his pet demonic dildo, and here he is again. This time around, he’s resplendent in stripes, with the added fashion accessory of a dildo pouch round his neck (don’t scoff, all the best-dressed fashionistas will be adopting this one soon).
And damn, Goddard and Bowland really do wondrous things with the art here. Just look at the fashion, the architecture… wow.
Anyhow, fashion statements aside, it’s a jolly holiday for Devlin… Prague, The Cathedral of Saint Vitus, a discussion on priests, teenage girls, boiling of said priests…

Oh yes, it’s a simply fabulous return for everyone’s favourite dynamic duo.
There’s a sacrificial offering, bickering teens, tales of werewolves and Papal misinformation.
So, just your average day out with Devlin. Divine stuff. Such fun.

BLUNT III – PART 8 – FINAL PART (EVER) – TC Eglington, Boo Cook, letters by Simon Bowland
Well, I don’t think I was expecting Eglington and Cook to be wrapping up Blunt for good this time round. Frankly, it’s way too soon, as there’s plenty of storylines that really needed to play out longer than this. But hey, if it’s the end they wanted for it, then that’s their decision. Personally, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for some form of continuation – although I doubt it’s going to be called Blunt.
So, what we get here is a quick end, with the planet survivors up against the planet, the thing down in the hold, and the Zhind. So fast in fact that we’re not even finished with page one before the ‘I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit’ route is taken.

And from that point onwards, it’s time to say our goodbyes and farewells to what’s been a rather excellent series, one that explored, at its very best, the nature of evolution, Gaia theory, biotechnology, and the nature of synergistic relationships, all wrapped up in a simple Colonists versus aliens adventure story. And of course, Cook’s artwork was absolutely perfect for this, his organic stylings went into overdrive through all three series, psychedelic, kinetic, characterful, and just plain damn great.
So… Eglington & Cook… The outer space adventures of Ilya? I’m game if you are.

LAWLESS: BOOM TOWN – PART 8 – Dan Abnett, Phil Winslade, letters by Jim Campbell
Ginny Waylons’ papa is foreman at the mines, Archibald Ames is her friend. Archie want to run away. He has a theory about towns like Badrock growing up the way kids grow up and he doesn’t want to be around when Badrock goes through puberty.
Marshal Metta Lawson is part of that puberty process it seems, but right now all she’s got to look forward to is never-ending paperwork.

SJS McLure just got an ‘eyes only’ mail drop. SJS McLure isn’t sharing with Lawson. And all of a sudden, Archie’s idea that Badrock’s only going to get worse seems very, very real. Archie really does seem far older than his years… almost unnaturally so.
(Oh, interesting thing… the Justice Department still uses faxes or whatever the future equivalent is. Weird.)
The way Abnett and Winslade walk us through the various lives in Badrock, with young Archie’s words resonating in our heads along the way. There’s bad times coming for Badrock, that’s for sure. But damn, the bad times are sure gonna to be a great read.

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