Anderson Takes The Dead Run: Preview The Monthly Judge Dredd Megazine #414

by Richard Bruton

Every week we get a dose of thrill-power with 2000AD, but there’s also the sister publication, the Judge Dredd Megazine, hitting shelves every four weeks, with longer strips and extra content for your reading pleasure. Strap yourselves in… it’s the Monthly Megazine.
And it all starts with a cracking Anderson cover by Dylan Teague

This month, there’s another done in one Dredd, more Tales From The Black Museum, and the finales of both Diamond Dogs and Anderson on The Dead Run, alongside the penultimate Returners episode.
The new Megazine, issue #413, hits shops on 20 November for the UK and on digital. Anywhere else, get your local shop to order it for you.

JUDGE DREDD: FATHER’S DAY – Rory McConville, Ian Richardson, colors Matt Soffe, letters Annie Parkhouse.
Another of those done-in-one Dredd tales here, this time focusing on the possible secret love child of ex-Chief Judge Volt. Erica X has a tale to tell and she’s hitting all the media to tell it.
The consensus around the Justice Dept table is let it ride, they’ve issued the denial and that’s that. Dredd, as you might expect, wants to bring her in for a forced DNA test.
Problem is, it’s not going away, and Erica’s attracting the wrong kinds of publicity, with the Democrazy group wanting an in…

So, how does it normally go in MC-1 when a common citizen gets involved with a terrorist group? Yeah, it’s never going to end too well for the citizen or the terrorist group.
And, no surprise, that’s just what happens. What makes it work though isn’t anything to do with the obvious end to the story, it’s the way McConville plays it all out, the inevitability an integral part of reinforcing just how things go down with Dredd and the Justice Dept in MC-1. They are the law. And you do not mess with the law.
Great little done-in-one, perfect little story, great art from Richardson, his clean, stylish artwork looking equal parts his own, with some Yeowell and some Alan Davis thrown in for good measure.

TALES FROM THE BLACK MUSEUM – BIG MARILYN – Laura Bailey, Brian Corcoran, letters by Ellie De Ville
More from the Black Museum, where the writers and artists get to flex a little of their horror muscles in a MC-1 setting.
Denver Moraine was an Eight Brawler, fighting in the elite leagues, where you need expert skills in wrestling, boxing and weaponry. Unfortunately, he had none of those, yet thanks to his psi-powers he managed to make and blow a small fortune before getting found out and beaten out of the sport.
But Denver’s not finished yet. He is, unfortunately, something of an idiot. After all, bringing this perfect fighter to life and expecting her to do whatever he desired to get famous in the ring again was always going to have flaws. But the biggest flaw has to be that Big Marilyn gains sentience.
Another great little tale, full of tight storytelling from writer and artist, including a fascinating question on the nature of sentience and on crime.

DIAMOND DOGS – PART 6 – FINAL PART – James Peaty, Warren Pleece, letters Simon Bowland
All through Diamond Dogs it’s been a question of not if but when the wheels would come off Nia’s plans. After all, she’s been playing both sides of the law for so long, as Judge’s informer and Diamond Dogs’ gang member, and whatever luck she had was always going to run out at some point.

But that was never the thing here, it was all about just how Peaty and Pleece would tell the tale. And here, with the finale, we get the proof that they had everything just right, all the pieces moved about the board just perfectly.
It’s a satisfying ending to what’s been a great strip and, thanks to the ending, it’s one we can really imagine will come back at some point.

THE RETURNERS: CHANDHU – PART 6 – Si Spencer, Nicolo Assirelli, colors by Eva De La Cruz, letters by Simon Bowland
Ok then, the penultimate part and things are hotting up in The Returners, with demonic possession taking hold and this motley crew about to be hung out to dry.
It’s been a beautiful looking series, with Assirelli’s artwork given huge amounts of space to really breath and he’s absolutely made the very best of it with some pages that just ooze texture and great line work…

Next issue, we get the big finale where this little crew of misfits will find themselves really up against it, demons on one side and their Banana City controllers on the other, with little between them in terms of brutal actions.

ANDERSON, PSI: THE DEAD RUN – PART 5 – FINAL PART – Maura McHugh and Patrick Goddard, colors by Pippa Mather, letters by Annie Parkhouse
What was just a standard babysitting job on the Dead Run where a couple of Psi-Judges take out a team of Psi-Cadets into the Cursed Earth has now turned into something far more dangerous. The spirit of the Wendigo has manifested and latched onto one of the cadets.
So, after four episodes of great action and some really intriguing insights into the makeup of all the different aspects of the Psi-Div Judges, we end up with a finale that does everything it needs to do to wrap things up, all the way to the last page and a minor twist in the tail.

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