"Enceladus: New Life" comes to a sort-of-abrupt, but fitting halt, and will be sorely missed (at least by me). I'm happy to hear the team of Williams and Flint will be back doing Dredd in the Christmas issue. Together, they are nothing short of outstanding. I have praised each of the two runs of Dredd I have been lucky enough to cover as created by these fellows, and I'll be recommending this one for a long time to come.
I spend a lot of time talking about Flint, and have only scratched the surface regarding the quality of his sequential art. In the initial "Enceladus" run, I often praised how fitting his gritty art was for the title. On this run, I spent a lot of time talking about his knack for colors and layouts. The guy is a pro.
But Williams deserves praise too. I have never once looked at one of Flint's layouts and thought, "wow, this script page was a mess and he saved it." Williams has successfully scripted a beautiful take on Dredd which I think captures the essence of this world and the character, without taking any of it too seriously.
Dredd wasn't the star of "Enceladus." He's just one particularly tenacious agent of justice. He doesn't save the day, he doesn't figure out whodunit, and he's not even featured in a majority of the panels; but, he does save the Chief Judge, he is the only Judge still on his feet with that level of injury, and he does ride right into a massively suicidal boss battle on fucking horseback.
This wasn't a joke of a story, since the entire Meg was under the threat of being wiped off the map. Yet one of the real stars of this story, Dirty Frank, is the comedic centerpiece of this universe. Bringing him in for this story brings a human connection to the villain Nixon, in addition to some much-needed levity. It doesn't hurt that Frank is also one of the smartest characters in the world of Dredd.
I'm a little bummed about the state of the Progs for the next few issues. I'm not crazy aboutThe Alienist, the latest3riller was similarly lacking personality, Kendall's art on Deadworld still feels far too stiff to me, and Grey Area's syrupy art risks turning into mush as the story reaches its far-too-belated climax.
The next best jumping on point, according to Tharg, is going to be a few weeks away in Prog 1950. I'll likely spend next week expanding on some of my issues with what will be left of the current run, as well as digging into whatever new stuff Tharg throws our way.