The Monthly Megazine Issue #417: Pirates Of The Crustacean? (NSFW Preview)

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 Karl Richardson

This month, everything continues, with the finale of the latest Dredd strip in ‘Plunder’, plus a magnificent Devlin Waugh, survivors trying to get off-world in Blunt III, and the latest instalment of Lawless. Plus, the second episode of the wartime zombie adventure Zombie Army: Last Rites.

The new Megazine, issue #417, hits shops on 19th February for the UK and on digital. Now, let’s take a little look-see inside…

 

JUDGE DREDD: PLUNDER – PART 3 – FINAL PART – Michael Carroll, Karl Richardson, letters by Annie Parkhouse.

This has been a weird one, a Dredd adventure in the Black Atlantic, recovering the wreckage of Luna-2 and under attack from pirates.

And it’s been fun. It’s been a pretty straight-forward Dredd, stuff happens, Dredd responds… and that’s about it really. To be honest, it’s been a little bit hmmm in my so humble opinion. But then again, not everything hits, and that’s the point of any anthology. Although Karl Richardson is doing grand things.

 

DEVLIN WAUGH: A VERY LARGE SPLASH – PART 3 – Ales Kot, Mike Dowling, letters by Annie Parkhouse.

Okay, this is simply magnificent. It’s set out in cinematic style, Agatha Christie crashing up against Lovecraftian nightmare, a ballad of sex, death, magic, and yes, still with the talking dildo.

But bloody hell, Ales Kot and Mike Dowling are doing something fabulous here.

The panel to panel cuts in the first few pages, a couple of which you see below, are amazing things, ramping up that tension… as Devlin begins to realise that he’s well and truly in way too deep this time, as he’s well and truly swimming in blood.

Kot has said this is one that was going right back to the very beginning, back to Swimming In Blood.

But you don’t need to have knowledge of that tale to enjoy this, as this is a brilliant thing in and of itself. And so many good lines. Funny, clever, looks great, reads great.

BLUNT III – PART 3 – TC Eglington, Boo Cook, letters Simon Bowland

With the few survivors desperate to get off the nightmare of Getri-1, they’re in no mood to tell the Marines what really happened. But these are trained soldiers and can see they’re being lied to, with Marshal Lamb keen to get to the bottom of things…

Three parts in and we’re in no danger of leaving this fascinating world quite yet. But the questions are just building, echoes of Aliens here, with the thought that, once Justice Department gets wind of things, they might not really have the survivors best interests at heart.

And again, Cook’s artwork just looks so damn good here. The strip is perfectly suited to his lush, organic style and it’s a delight, it really is.

 

ZOMBIE ARMY: LAST RITES – PART 2 – Chris Roberson, Andrea Mutti, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Simon Bowland.

It’s no surprise that this reads like a well-crafted video game romp, with the group of soldiers battling a new horde of undead Nazis.

After all, it’s a video game spin-off. But the surprise is that it’s a damn fine little strip, with all the thrills of playing a good game. And that includes little things like this… laying out the game characters…

It’s slight, of course it is, but it’s also a fast-paced, enjoyable thing, ably assisted by Mutti and Soffe’s great artwork.

 

LAWLESS: BOOM TOWN – PART 3 – Dan Abnett, Phil Winslade, letters by Jim Campbell.

Always the best thing in the Meg (although this time it’s run ever so close by Devlin Waugh), Lawless always has a wonderful rhythm to it, with Abnett pulling out all the stops… this time it’s a pause, that simple storytelling trope of spending a day looking at things through the eyes of a bit-player, here one of the children of the settlers in Badrock. It’s an old trick, but Abnett makes it feel fresh and interesting, walking us round the new regime in the new free-town.

And then there’s the thing that’s happened out in the wilderness, the thing with the SJS and Nerys. It’s not looking good.

Not something you could ever accuse Phil Winslade’s art of… it’s just superb all through, although that panel above, of Rondo looking broken and lost… that’s just superb.

Yep, still the best thing in the Meg.

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