The Comicon Monthly Megazine Preview – Issue 405: More Heartbreak As Lawless Draws To A Close

by Richard Bruton

The Monthly Megazine is Comicon.com’s regular roundup of the best monthly action in the sister publication of 2000AD. This month, behind a suitably fearsome cover from Nick Percival, there are five excellent strips, including furious foliage in Dredd, more heartbreak in Lawless, psi-procedural action in Storm Warning, psychoactive revelations in Blunt II, and the fearsome return of the last of the four Dark Judges in The Torture Garden.

Megazine Issue 405 is out in the UK and on digital on 20th February, with copies reaching the North Americas sometime later.

JUDGE DREDD: PLANTED – PART 1 – Rory McConville, Dan Cornwell, colors Jim Boswell, letters Annie Parkhouse.

It’s a hard life being a Judge, perfectly elucidated by poor Judge Elroy here on the opening pages of a new Dredd multi-parter. And by the end of page one, with a particularly gory death by tree (oh, the eyes, the eyes!), you can see just what he means.

There’s a plant outbreak in Mega-City One, on a slow walk through the city, killing any Judge that comes between them and their goal. It’s the start of one of those science gone wrong serials that Dredd does every so often. McConville and Cornwell are both solid talents, who’ve found their feet on 2000AD and Dredd and show every sign of pushing on to great things.

LAWLESS: ASHES TO ASHES – PART 6 – Dan Abnett, Phil Winslade, letters Ellie De Ville.

Last issue, Abnett and Winslade tore out our hearts, jumping forward in time, to a Badrock laid to waste and a narrator, an old woman, telling of terrible losses. It completely transforms Lawless into a reverie on loss and making things right. It is, you can only imagine, the final series of Lawless, and everything here seems set to see things reach the inevitable end.

This has been an incredible series, from start to finish, and with the end in sight, this issue sees the narrator make peace with the screts of her past, talking to her ghosts.

STORM WARNING: GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND – PART 2 – Leah Moore, John Reppion, Tom Foster, colours – Eva Del La Cruz, letters Simon Bowland.

Brit-Cit Judge Lillian Storm is constantly Worn down, tired, grumpy. A side effect of being able to see the dead. Now she’s on a case where the dead bodies are mounting up and, as the body count increases, there’s political protest around a new transport project just for the rich that’s starting to intrude on her investigations.

So far, as with both series of Storm Warning, this is a really well done procedural, with a particularly enjoyable central character that Moore and Reppion are, obviously, having a blast writing. And Foster’s artwork is wonderfully evocative, capturing the essence of Brit-Cit, pointing up the huge differences with MC-1 so vividly, thoroughly enjoyable stuff.

BLUNT II – PART 6 – TC Eglington, Boo Cook, letters Simon Bowland.

In her post psychoactive high after last issues trippy experience, the fungal intelligence and unusual fauna of the planet has transformed Ilya. She’s now plugged into the world, the people here, part of the ecosystem. And because of this, she’s beginning to piece together just what caused the mutations of the colonists. And no surprises, it’s all tied into criminal activity from Mega-City One.

Blunt’s continual enjoyment comes from the unusual storyline, that sense of the organic, the planet’s importance, and looking at the impact of human on nature and vice versa. Something both Eglington and Cook have been instrumental in bringing to the fore in this most enjoyable and unusual series.

THE DARK JUDGES: THE TORTURE GARDEN – PART 6 – David Hine, Nick Percival, letters Annie Parkhouse.

When three of the Dark Judges, Death, Mortis, and Fire turned up on the remote colony of Dominion, the lives of all there were over, sooner or later. But, the Dark Judges have been slow in killing them all, biding their time, waiting for the space marine ship that’s on its way from Mega-City One, with a mission to save the colony.

Yet, with Judge Fire missing from the containment cells, and Hershey uncovering some very important information about the rescue mission, things are looking like they’ll be getting a lot worse for Dominion very soon.

There’s a laid back horror here, with Hine managing to deliver a tale of the Dark Judges full of the nastiness and strangeness that’s often missing from their appearance. And, of course, Percival’s art is perfect for the nightmare of The Torture Garden.

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