Dredd improves visually this week, as this chapter of Brass Sun comes to a close. I thought the fourth volume of Brass Sun was the shakiest of the four, but ultimately another solid entry. It's hard enough picking back up with a series that has been out of the Progs for awhile, but I thought the choice to jump forward and then jump back in time to begin this fourth installment was jarring. While it made for a thunderous (at times, literally so) return to the series, it made the end of the installment feel more removed than it really was.
To be fair, the reveal that the initial dramatic return was happening in Wren's head and that she was well and truly fucked was probably worth the brief detour into the future. The drab look of the protagonists and their underground locale was a far cry from the land of airships floating above poison gasses. But Edginton and Culbard still managed to add a lot to the world by demonstrating what an absolutely dire situation is occurring.
The best way I can explain the improvement in Dredd this week is that it took its time. Though I was hard on the setup chapter's visuals, looking back after reading this chapter, a lot of the clamor among the panels was due to how much the artists were being asked to set up in the initial chapter. Such is life in a short-form anthology: sometimes narrative choices aren't with obvious purpose until several weeks later. In any case, the real headline of this Dredd run is its topicality, since it deals with police brutality. It's unclear how it's going to deal with police brutality at the moment, so I don't have too much to say about that aspect of it just yet.
We get a double helping of Defoe this week, which I've been markedly lukewarm about. I have pointed out that some chapters feel less claustrophobic in their use of too much black, however, and I thought these chapters definitely fell into that category. Defoe benefits from a little more length, and a chance to balance intrigue with adventure... and some awesome masks to boot. Seriously, I love those masks.
2000 AD – Prog 1959 Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Rebellion Price: £1.99 (Digital) £2.55 Release Date: 12/2/15 Format: Weekly; Print/Digital