The Comicon Monthly Megazine Preview: The Meg 397, Coming To You Soon

by Richard Bruton

Time once more for us to run the 2000AD Judge Dredd Megazine Preview, giving you a glimpse of the strips to look forward to in 2000AD’s monthly sister publication. Granted, it’s already been out for weeks over in lil’ old Britain and it’s also been out since late June digitally from the 2000AD store. But, thanks to distribution that could best be politely described as patchy as all heck, the Megazine should be appearing in the States sometime in July. Maybe. Sadly you’re going to have to ask at your local comic shop to get hold of this goodie. But hell, do it. It’ sure worth the price of admission.
Cover featured, we get the sexy back with vampiric dandy Devlin Waugh, courtesy of Cliff Robinson and Dylan Teague.
That new Devlin Waugh strip begins inside with writer Rory McConville stepping into the shoes of series creator John Smith. There’s continuations of the Judge Dredd / Razorjack crossover, more South American intrigue in The Returners, and more psychedelic skysurfing with Chopper. Finally, rounding out the issue there’s a done in one Tales From The Black Museum and the usual features and interviews.
Yep, this Megazine is packed with everything from camp vamps to surf champs. It’s another fine, fine issue. Enjoy the preview and go pester your local comic shop to order it now!
Judge Dredd: This Corrosion – Part 2 – Michael Carroll and John Higgins
Last month we glimpsed the threat, as Razorjack pushed into Dredd’s world, but right from page one in this second part, Dredd’s taking the action right back. Mounting an assault on the world of Razorjack might seem to be going pretty well, until you realise they’re only up against the lowliest of Razorjack’s footsoldiers here. If it’s tough now, wait till the main event!
Now, given John Higgins’ pedigree, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see just how good Higgins’ artwork looks, but here it’s just superb, the details filling every inch of the page, the action flows perfectly, and it’s turning into a cracking crossover already.

(Judge Dredd: This Corrosion – Part 2 –
Michael Carrol and John Higgins, colors Sally Hurst, letters Annie Parkhouse)

The Returners: Irmazhina – Part 4 – Si Spencer and Nicolo Assirelli
We’re just a couple of episodes away from the finale here, following the group of dysfunctional misfits deep into the heart of the mysterious pyramid that materialised right in the middle of Banana City. Needless to say, it’s far from smooth sailing, and this episode sees things take a dramatic turn for the worse.
Have to say I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this, a chamber piece with just enough going on each episode to pull me in. And kudos to Assirelli’s artwork as well, packed with depth in the atmospheric blacks, and absolutely delivering the claustrophobia of this locked pyramid tale, complete with madness taking over…

Next issue we’re promised we’ll find the secrets of Irmazhina, but I’m hoping that Spencer leaves enough hanging at the end of it all to see the return of The Returners.

(The Returners: Irmazhina – Part 4 –
Si Spencer and Nicolo Assirelli, colors Eva De La Cruz, letters Simon Bowland)

Devlin Waugh: Kiss Of Death – Part 1 – Rory McConville and Mike Dowling
When you’re stepping into the shoes of series creators John Smith and Sean Phillips, it’s a big thing. Thankfully, although I’m not overly familiar with the vamp dandy’s previous adventures, I reckon McConville and Dowling are going to do a fine job. There’s something of the Frank Quitely about Dowling’s art, thin of line and impressive of look. And McConville, from this first impression, writes a nice bit of Waugh dialogue.
Here, it’s all about Devlin the celeb, with the latest hot young thing negotiating a date with the high profile freelance paranormal troubleshooter as a way to distract the press from recent indiscretions. Dating the Devlin Waugh way is an impressive mix of autograph signing, gallery shows, spending oodles of cash, and avoiding the bureaucratic bores…

“I also wanted to let you know that the senior viceroy of Sino-Cit was wondering if he could talk to you for a second.”
“Well, I certainly can’t do it sober. Come back to me once I’ve had a drink or two.”

(Devlin Waugh: Kiss Of Death – Rory McConville and Mike Dowling, letters Simon Bowland)

Tales From The Black Museum: Prophet Of Stomm – David Baillie and Steven Austin
Deep, deep inside the Grand Hall Of Justice, Mega-City One. Down the back stairs, past the boiler room, take a left after the piles of Dredd’s laundry… and you’ll find yourself in The Black Museum, the place where the Justice Department’s exhibition of a criminal past. Or something like that.
Basically, Black Museum strips are a Tales From The Crypt sort of thing, with the Museum’s cranky custodian, Henry Dubble, telling us a tale of one of the exhibits.
So settle down and listen well to the tale of Byron Avacado, pulp sci-fi writer, prophet perhaps? Certainly looks that way, seeing as his works foretell the Atomic Wars, the Judges, the whole works.
Or is there some other explanation? Judges Burt, Ryan, and Reynolds are here to find that out. Yes, Baillie has fun with the names, but that’s the whole point of the Black Museum really, tongue planted in cheek, in we go…

(Tales From The Black Museum: Prophet Of Stomm – David Baillie and Steven Austin,

letters Annie Parkhouse)

Chopper: Wandering Spirit – David Baille and Brendan McCarthy
The second of David Baillie’s tales in this Meg, but unlike Black Museum, where it’s a story led thing, Chopper is art first, specifically the incredible psychedelic color rush that is Brendan McCarthy’s art.
Chopper’s outback adventure keeps throwing some incredible visuals, with Chopper facing down the oncoming storm, with a heady mix of Dreamtime imagery mixed in with banned nanotech to really make Chopper’s life difficult. Let the visuals wash over you, bask in the over the top dreaming going on, it’s a fine, fine ride and the surf’s up.

(Chopper: Wandering Spirit – David Baille and Brendan McCarthy,

colors by McCarthy & Len O’Grady, letters Ellie De Ville)

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