It's the start of Tharg's Autumn (er... Fall?) Offensive, and it's very low-key indeed. Normally you'd see these launch with a major, multi-part Dredd story in pole position; instead we get a done-in-one tale by John Wagner and Dean Ormston, which takes a slightly mystical take - there's a particular nightclub in Mega City One which is more exclusive than most; the only people allowed in are, well, ghosts. It's a slight tale, suitably gruesome art from Ormston, but not at all satisfying.
Maybe this is to provide the proper impetus to the overall theme of this relaunch - it's a female-dominated set of new strips, and these are rather a mixed-bag too. "Dead Man Walking" is by James Stevens and Boo Cook and is very reminiscent of Harry Twenty On The High Rock currently running in the Megazine. In this one Jude is consigned to an inescapable prison, run by a strict governer and tough guards, where prisoners are subject to execution for minor rule infringements (one buys it early on in this strip in a Battle Royale-esque scene). Jude vows to escape...er, and that's it. I do like the dialogue, however, especially the nice use of "shiv" and "vucking" as profanities.
"Synnamon" is another brand-new strip; she's a top secret stealthy agenty type spy thing for the United States of Earth in a futuristic setting, stealing an ultimate weapon from a rogue colony and performing all sorts of nasty deeds in the meantime...finishing the whole deal off with a glass of champers and a hot bath. Appealing art from Laurence Campbell and Lee Townsend goes well with an interesting script from Colin Clayton and Chris Dows...one to watch in future episodes.
Dan Abnett and Mark Harrison contribute a double-sized episode of Durham Red...apparently in a previous adventure she was responsible for pretty much the extinction of mankind, leaving a load of mutants inhabiting the Earth...what looks like the last few human survivors return in search of the vampire woman, and although they see one whhom doesn't look too familiar to us, there is another hiding away somewhere else...lots of plot twists and turns to come, but this is set so far into the future that it is really hard to care about any of the characters.
Next issue sees the return of Caballistics Inc, presumably this was bumped from this issue to allow Durham Red to actually appear in Episode One of her own strip, but this is the one I'm really looking forward too...next issue might well act as the proper relaunch...
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!