The Monthly Megazine Issue #436: Not The Carrots. Not Again.

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, 30+ years and still going strong!

Cover by Paul Williams & Chris Blythe

The latest Megazine hits shops and digital on 15 September – with a one-off epilogue to the Judge Dredd: Project Providence storyline, plus continuing thrills from Angelic, Diamond Dogs, The Returners, and more and more depraved delights with Devlin Waugh in The Reckoning.

Right then. Off we go…

JUDGE DREDD: HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE FRANCISCO – Rory McConville, Nick Dyer, colours by Gary Caldwell, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Project Providence the storyline is finished, but the fallout continues, with questions over Judge Dan Francisco.

Now, just in case you need reminding, Providence was/is a fascinating idea – MC-1’s Tek-Judges developing temporal travel to jump Chrono-Agents into the near-future and grab future tech from other cities and countries. A temporal arms race brought about due to the ongoing impact of Chaos Day still overwhelming MC-1. Trouble is, Sino-Cit found out, with an agent getting the info out of MC-1. The secret’s out, the other countries know what MC-1 have been doing.

Right now, there’s a sense of waiting, MC-1 expecting others to respond, react, attack even. Something, no doubt, McConville will be returning to in the future.

However, this issue we get an epilogue asking the important question, what the hell do you do about Dan Francisco? The issue of suitability for street duty has been raised – and Dredd’s out on the streets for a fitness review.

As you’d expect, there’s a great bit of street Judging stuff going on here. But there’s also a lot of reference to the future, especially the worrying future MC-1 faces with the fallout from Providence… and even a potential link (if I’m not just imagining it, that is,) to something with the Euro-Cit Crime Syndicate… more on them with the next jumping-on point and 2000 AD Prog #2250!

DIAMOND DOGS – BOOK 2 – PART 6 – James Peaty, Warren Pleece, letters by Simon Bowland

Brit-Cit, 2142 AD. Young Nia Jones is/was a Justice Department informer as well as running with the infamous Diamond Dogs. Now, her Brit-Cit Justice Dept handler, Magellan, has manipulated her into assassinating DuPont, one of the big Euro-Cit Crime Union bosses – and she knows it.

Revenge and retribution time, with Jones out for blood, a meeting, threats, and a chance to see Jones getting clever.

And then, well, I’m not spoiling the ending on this one, of course. But there’s a very different future for Jones, with a rather familiar Brit-Cit figure appearing on the final page.

Excellent little ending, all showing us that there’s plenty of life in the whole Diamond Dogs story, especially with Warren Pleece continuing to deliver all that great-looking artwork.

THE RETURNERS – AMAZONIA – PART 5 – Si Spencer, Nicolo Assirelli, colours by Eva De La Cruz, letters by Jim Campbell

With the Returners back in South-Am, things are getting a bit out of control… huge, nasty monster things. The native tribe they’ve fallen foul of are putting them through the wringer, so it’s time for a bit of magic, as the story moves on.

Again, as you’re no doubt bored of hearing me say, it’s all about looking at Assirelli’s artwork and the big, big things he’s doing with it, page after page of big imagery. And yes, it works a treat, just continues to leave what may well be a satisfying story when read long feeling just too inconsequential episode by episode.

ANGELIC: RESTITUTION – PART 3 – Gordon Rennie, Lee Carter, letters by Annie Parkhouse

The Texas Radlands, 2077. The return of ‘Angel’, making a new life out in the Cursed Earth with his adopted son Linc and the strange mutant known only as the Varmint.

Angel’s headed to the town of Restitution, out in the Wild West, or at least the Dreddworld version of that, complete with what might be a MC-1 Judge from the long walk, or maybe not… we’re just not sure of much yet.

Well, not sure of much apart from the fact this one reads and looks so good. Mean and moody, Carter’s art, all light lines and dark shadows, surprisingly suiting the moodiness of Rennie’s writing here.

DEVLIN WAUGH: THE RECKONING – PART 5 – Ales Kot, Mike Dowling, letters by Simon Bowland

And now, as they say, for something completely different.

Page one, splash page, a giant solo shot of a bright pink dildo in the dock, eyes ablaze and mouth screaming – ‘Titivillus Innocent!’

Page two, three panels, dancing demonic cheerleaders, a demonic octopus declaring Titi guilty and the demonic Judge having his own say.

Yep, that should about do it. Different indeed.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of Kot and Dowling’s Devlin Waugh before, this is perhaps not the best entry point as we’re right in the middle of Kot’s long and winding, multi-faceted story of love and betrayal, the friendship between the vampire dandy, Waugh, and his friend, the demon in a dildo, Titivillus… although, whether they were actually friends seems a little up in the air right now. Like any relationship – it’s complicated.

Devlin is down in hell. Devlin is on trial. Titi is on trial. Devlin gets to watch Titi being consigned to eternal suffering before he gets the same. Realisation is coming to Devlin…

‘They don’t like me here?’
‘Shocking, isn’t it?’
‘Inconceivable.’

Oh, and there’s an impossibly good-looking football team down here as well… who will (impossible to believe) come in rather handy… almost as though Devlin’s had a plan all along.

This is just beautifully, disturbingly, sublimely good. And funny. Absolutely, ridiculously funny. Seeing Kot do the Kafka gags over and over again, watching and hearing Titi protest, the to-and-fro of Waugh’s deadpan and the courts screeching chorus… perfect insanity.

And all along, Dowling is just drawing the hell out of the thing. Simply amazing.

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