The Monthly Megazine Issue 418: It’s Getting Bad In Badrock For Lawson

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 Phil Winslade

This month, more Devlin Waugh, more Blunt III, more Zombie Army, more Lawless, plus a brand-new Judge Dredd. It is a seriously good lineup in the Meg right now, and this new Dredd looks a bit special as well.
The new Megazine #418, hits shops on 18th March for the UK and on digital. Now, let’s take a little look-see inside…

JUDGE DREDD: BAD SECTOR – PART 1 – Arthur Wyatt, PJ Holden, colours by John Charles, letters by Annie Parkhouse.
Judge Caliban is having a bad time of it. Five years of service in Sector 304 has left him broken, exhausted, and in the pocket of some bad people. So have a wild guess how pleased he is when Dredd calls a sector meeting…

Yeah, that much.
Yep, Dredd. Over in Sector 304 when the maintenance team meant to be bringing the derelict Jan Michael Vincent Block back into use find a nasty fungal infection.
Which should have been the end of Dredd’s involvement. That would have given Caliban a break. But then Dredd goes and does this…

Oh, poor poor Judge Caliban.
Yes, we’ve been here before, Dredd dropped into a Sector gone bad, but what the hell, just watching Wyatt go through the procedural motions here is just great, the very spirit of a well-executed thing, and with PJ Holden returning to Dredd, it’s a double cause for celebration.

DEVLIN WAUGH: A VERY LARGE SPLASH – PART 4 – Ales Kot, Mike Dowling, letters by Annie Parkhouse.
A demonic summoning… that was never going to go well, now was it? And so it goes, with Devlin in deep trouble and it’s all thanks to an off-hand bit of Devlin showing off on a TV chat show.
So now it’s time For Devlin to pay the price, or as Kot puts it so wonderfully…

You’re in over his head. You’re magically crippled. Most of your friends are dead or dying, and you desperately need a power boost of some sort to beat an angry youth who had subterfuged you to the point where he’s now effectively topping you from the bottom.

That’s Titty talking, Tittivilus, the demon delightful Devlin exorcised into a dildo and, bizarrely, possibly Devlin’s last hope here. Even more bizarrely, there’s even something of a little romance between the pair of them in a couple of beautifully done pages towards the end of this episode.
Kot and Dowling are doing spectacular things here, it’s ridiculous, it’s tight, it’s tense, it’s funny, and it’s perfectly paced, incredibly drawn.

BLUNT III – PART 4 – TC Eglington, Boo Cook, letters by Simon Bowland
Rescue seemed to be perfect for the survivors on Getri-1, the rescue ship lands, they get off the planet, all sorted.
Except Marshal Lamb has suspicions that Blunt, Ilya and the rest aren’t telling him everything they should be. Of course, we know they’re just trying to keep everything contained. But Lamb has that thing, that irresistible urge to pull at something until the truth comes out, no matter what the danger.
So the secrets of the planet, whether thanks to the investigation of the science droid or the Zhind/Getri hybrid thing attacking the colony, they’re going to get out somehow.
Again, Eglington and Cook are putting together something with its own look and style across the three series of Blunt, crafting a tale that looks so wonderfully different in the pages of the Meg.

ZOMBIE ARMY: LAST RITES – PART 3 – Chris Roberson, Andrea Mutti, colours by Matt Soffe, letters by Simon Bowland.
Like I said before now, Zombie Army reads just like a good video game, hardly surprising as it’s based on the ZA game and there’s no harm in it romping along so well, as the team of deadhunters find themselves boxed in by a constantly respawning horde of undead Nazis.
But more than that, it’s also got a nice cinematic quality about it, nothing too taxing, nothing more than it is, but a fun ride nonetheless.

LAWLESS: BOOM TOWN – PART 4 – Dan Abnett, Phil Winslade, letters by Jim Campbell.
Lawless has been consistently superb through the years of its publication, and although Boom Town is still in its early stages, it’s showing all the potential of what’s gone before.
Abnett and Winslade do such a damn fine job of putting it all together, with Winslade’s b&w artwork just looking so magnificently different compared to the rest of the Meg artwork.

This time round, it’s Marshal Lawson out in the badlands looking for Nerys, SJS Judge McLure taking Brotherly to chat to the Zhind, and a weird thing going on with one of the kids in town. Oh, and a nice little surprise for us in the last couple of pages.

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