The Monthly Megazine Issue #423: Wakey-Wakey, Hands Off Snakey!

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.

Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague

The latest Megazine hits shops and digital on 12 August. 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 this time round gives us a taste of Judge Dredd, more tales from that Black Museum, another bit of debauchery from Devlin Waugh, and the double-sized finale for Lawless‘ latest… Boom Town – but having said that, we do have another Lawson tale next issue anyway.
Next issue… the 100-page 30th anniversary issue of the Meg, featuring the return of John Wagner to Dredd and Mike Carroll and John Higgins going back to the early days of the Judges in Dreadnoughts amongst the many delights inside.
But first… Judge Dredd Megazine #423:

JUDGE DREDD: GRAND THEFT ROYALE – Arthur Wyatt, Jake Lynch, colours by Jim Boswell, letters by Annie Parkhouse
It might look like a done in one Dredd, but this one from Wyatt and Lynch is a little interlude in that ongoing saga of Orlok and the Red Prince, last seen in The Red Queen’s Gambit that began in Megazine 409.
With the Red Prince in Justice Dept care, it’s time to dig into him, psychically and physically to see just what he’s all about – specifically just what the strange mass is on his brain. But the problem Dredd has is that the Red Prince (and that thing in his head) is in demand.
Like I say, it’s one of those little placeholder things, moving on Wyatt and Lynch’s whole Orlok/Red Queen saga along just that little bit more, a tantaliser for something bigger coming down the line. But I don’t mind that at all, it’s a great few pages in the bigger story and Lynch’s Dredd art, all that great looking, McMahon-ish, angular work.

TALES FROM THE BLACK MUSEUM – THE CACKLE – David Baillie, Anna Morozova, letters by Simon Bowland
The thing I enjoy about these Black Museum strips is that they never feel like fill-ins. Rather, when they work they have that sense of something that belongs in an old EC comic.
And that’s what we get here, with a Death Cult operating out of MC-1, working possession ritual from dead Judge’s helmets.
Baillie’s script mixes a nice bit of horror alongside the requisite tongue in cheek feel, whilst Morozova’s artwork, last seen in Prog 2128 on a Future Shock, is just gorgeous – spooky yet stunning.

DEVLIN WAUGH: WHEN I WAS A YOUNG DEMON (I DID A BAD, BAD THING) – Ales Kot, Patrick Goddard, colours by Pippa Bowland, letters by Annie Parkhouse
Another delicious bit of Devlin, another single issue strip, letting Kot and Goddard really go to town on the character. It’s a ridiculous, funny thing – whether it’s the dildo demon Titti in full on toff hunting gear or Devlin getting his junk checked out for whatever nasty little infection he’s picked up down there.
Although, just for a change, Devlin’s lost his pants for a reason… and not the usual reason.
Part ridiculous tale involving a Boris Johnson-a-like Judge Holden and a plot involving imps and bodily fluids, part public service message for safer sex and the importance of testing, When I Was A Young Demon is just a wonderfully done thing.

LAWLESS: BOOM TOWN – PART 9 – FINAL PART – Dan Abnett, Phil Winslade, letters by Jim Campbell
Double-page end to Boom Town… and we get the profound joy of Marshal Metta Lawson saying ‘Wakey-Wakey, Hands Off Snakey!‘ as she kicks in the door to the room of a possible mob boy setting up in Badrock.
This double episode is an end of sorts, but it’s more of a round-up, catching up with the cast as we prepare to set off on the next chapter of life in Lawless. We get a chance to catch up with Nerys, whose learning from Lawson nicely when it comes to a fluid application of the law. Next up, SJS McClure, who’s making a really bad move by getting in with Brotherly in looking into the Radtus toxin and letting him turn thoughts to the idea of a town election. There’s Rondo struggling with his own demons, temptation coming head-on. And new SJS Judges coming into town to replace those we lost.

And then there’s Lawson again – struggling with the things the Zhind did, with the old chestnut of who she actually is, and trying (as always) to work out what the hell to do next.
Damn, this is good. A sprawling, incredible epic tale with some of the best artwork you’ll ever see in these pages.

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