A well-rounded set of stories with different kinds of excellent art helps carry a couple of the slower titles in this week's Prog. Line artist and colorist Holden and and Brown are a great pair on Dredd and the first pages of this chapter show exactly why. After the soft but angular skyline of the Meg is shown off at night on the first page, we pick up where we last left off: with Joyce punching a guy out of a window. This balance of environment and punchery is what defines a lot of my favorite Dredd stories. After all, things like punching and motorcycle riding can happen anywhere, really: it's the fact that they are steeped in the Dredd aesthetic that makes me want to keep reading. Holden and Brown are doing an excellent job bringing that aesthetic to life in a unique way.
Survival Geeks is still an explosion of color, pop culture references, and stoner hijinx, and the fact that it gets to be juxtaposed with the return of Slaine is excellent. The former feels distinctly digital, both in its production and obviously in its subject matter, where the latter is the complete opposite: painted, analog, ancient, and bloody.
Brink and Tainted round out that contrast, but I confess to not enjoying Brink as much as I typically enjoy anything Culbard gets his mitts on. From the beginning, the whole thing has been very chatty, and I'm still waiting for it to break away from that and offer something more stimulating. I think this happens with stories handed to Culbard at times, but even though his style is interesting enough to carry the pages, Brink feels impenetrable. I constantly have the urge to go back and read the last few in order to feel like I'm really absorbing the story. Sometimes, I don't mind putting that kind of work in. At least this far into the story, however, it's unclear what warrants that much investment on my end as a reader.
[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
2000 AD - Prog 1980 Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Rebellion Price: £2.55 Print / £1.99 Digital Format: Print/Digital Website