We're down to four strips this week, with a double-helping of Slaine taking up the extra space. One thing I haven't spoken about before in this long-running weekly is the letters page - frankly it's a total and utter waste of space, and Rebellion would do well to follow Marvel's lead if the sorts of letters printed in this issue are representative of those printed each week. Running 100% positive letters is (a) pointless to the average reader/fan; (b) boring when read for the 100th week in succession; (c) a waste of space in the mag; (d) pandering to the theory that the predominant readership of 2000AD is early teen. Read them this week and weep.
Onto the strips.
Part Six of Judge Dredd/Aliens (by Wagner/Diggle/Flint) hits, and the Alien escapes from its confinement in the hospital thanks to a miscalculation by Dredd...finally the story shows potential of breaking free from following the movies slavishly - if the Alien can get loose in Mega-City One and start spreading eggs and shit (yeah, I know, it's not a queen, so probably no hope of this) then we can start to justify such a crossover - dozens of Aliens rampaging through the streets of Mega-City One would be totally cool. Dredd vs. one sole Alien is a bit crap, to be honest.
Slaine: Moloch reaches the end of Book One, thank goodness. Mills dishes up another load of fighting and clever-clever Slaine dialogue, as the warped one renounces his High Kingship and goes in search of vengeance. The painted art by Clint Langley is superb in the well-lit daytime scenes, and a terrible mess when combined with shadows or dark backgrounds. At least this time Slaine treats Ukko with almost a hint of respect and friendship - he's obviously packing his bags to depart this mortal coil (and not before time, really). Moloch, on the other hand, is a bit of a berk - fancy underestimating Slaine so badly, how the hell did he get as far as he did by being so stupid?
Caballistics, Inc ends with a whimper rather than a bang, as Rennie and Reardon wrap up a series that started fantastically well, yet descended into irrelevance and tedium by the last episode when one realised that the whole first storyline was really just a prelude for other (hopefully more interesting) stories down the line.
And so to Nikolai Dante by Robbie Morrison and John Burns, topping off all the violence seen so far by throwing a few bouts of sex into the equation...and why not? This is currently the best thing abut 2000AD at the moment, each of the last five parts have been of a consistently high standard in writing and art; maybe this strip closes each issue to leave it on a high? In any event, long may Dante reign.
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