One Mad Dog


[Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 02] – (Pat Mills, John Wagner, Mike McMahon, Gary Leach, Brendon McCarthy, Dave Gibbons, Brett Ewins, Ron Smith, Brian Bolland,

Volume 2 collects the Judge Dredd appearances in 2000AD from prog 61 through to Prog 115 but unfortunately with several progs missing due to copyright infringements. Missing from this collection are progs 71-72 and 77-78. This book contains two epic story arcs in the form of “The Cursed Earth” (Progs 61 to 85) and “The Day the Law Died” (Progs 89–108 and prologues in 86–88) which are themselves linked together. It also collects “Punks Rule !” (Prog 110), “The EXO-MEN” (Progs 111 – 112), and “The DNA Man” (Progs 113-115)

Writers:

  • Pat Mills (“The Cursed Earth” – Progs 61-70, 73-76, 81-85)
  • John Wagner (“The Cursed Earth” – Progs 79 and 80), (“The Day the Law Died” – Progs 86 – 108), (“Punks Rule” – Prog 109), (“The EXO-MEN” Progs 111, 112), (“The DNA Man” – Progs 113 – 115)

Artists:

  • Mike McMahon  (The Cursed Earth – Progs 61-64, 66-68,73-76, 79 -80,83-85), (“The Day the Law Died” Progs 89-91, 96 -97, 99, 100)
  • Brian Bolland (“The Cursed Earth”  – Progs 65,69,70, 81,82), (“The Day the Law Died” – Progs 86-87, 94-95, 98,  101 – 102,  (“Punks Rule” – Prog 110)
  • Ron Smith (“The EXO-MEN” – Progs 111,112), (“The Day the Law Died” Progs 104 , 106, 107, 108)
  • Brett Ewins (“The DNA Man”  – Progs 113 -115), (“The Day the Law Died” Progs 88,92, 105)
  • Dave Gibbons (“The Day the Law Died” – Prog 87
  • Brend0n McCarthy (“The Day the Law Died” Progs 88, 105)
  • GaryLeach (“The Day the Law Died” Progs 94 -95, 103)

Both main story lines in this volume are classic Judge Dredd at his prime.  The story telling is witty and sharp and the epic arcs format read very well in collected form. The shorter stories in this book are also a really good read.

There isn’t any bad artwork in this collection but there are some distinct differences in style. Mike  McMahon’s art is quite rough and gritty at the start but seems to improve in it’s level of detail and clarity as the progs progress.  Bolland’s artwork is crisp and highly detailed and he is my favorite Dredd artist in this collection. It’s just a shame he didn’t get to draw more progs.  Ewins and Smith also do some really good artwork and they both approach Bolland’s  attention to detail.

Volume 2 of the Judge Dredd case files is a must read for Dredd fans. ISBN-13: 978-1906735999. 8/10.

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[Rogue Trooper: Tales of Nu-Earth Vol. 1] – (Gerry Finley Day, Dave Gibbons, Colin Wilson, Eric Bradbury, Cam Kennedy, Brett Ewins, Mike Dorey, Alan Moore)

Rogue Trooper is a classic 2000 AD comic strip that was created by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons. It follows the adventures of Rogue, a G.I. (or Genetic Infantryman) and his search for the traitor that ochestrated the massacre of his entire unit. What makes Rogue unique is that he has been genetically modified to be able to survive the poisons of new earth and that he carries the personality of 3 of his fallen comrades around with him in the form of biochips implanted into his helmet, Backpack and gun.

Rogue trooper is one of the classic series from 2000AD and ranks amongst my favorite strips. Considering it was originally published in the eighties it still feels fresh today.  Most of the stories are pretty short with a satisfying start and end within only a few pages (designed for weekly comics) but there is an overlying story arc throughout all of them. Reading the stories in collected form really helps to hammer home the ongoing plot which I wasn’t as aware of when I originally read the weekly comic episodes. Rogue Trooper is a bit more serious than other 2000AD stories of the day.

In this volume the following issues are collected (all written by Gerry Finley Day).

  • “Rogue Trooper” with art by Dave Gibbons (2000 AD #228, 1981)
  • “Nu Paree” with art by Dave Gibbons (2000 AD #229, 1981)
  • “Glass Zone” with art by Dave Gibbons (2000 AD #230, 1981)
  • “Clash in Doomsday Valley” with art by Dave Gibbons (2000 AD #231, 1981)
  • “Terror of the Decapitators” (with art by Dave Gibbons (2000 AD #232, 1981)
  • “Raiders” with art by Dave Gibbons (2000 AD #234, 1981)
  • “Scum Sea” with art by Dave Gibbons (2000 AD #235, 1981)
  • “Ascent To Buzzard-Three” with art by Colin Wilson (2000 AD #236-238, 1981)
  • “The Rookies” with art by Dave Gibbons (2000 AD #239-240, 1981)
  • “Blue Moon” with art by Colin Wilson (2000 AD #241, 1981)
  • “Poison” with art by Mike Dorey (2000 AD #242-243)
  • “Fear of the Machine” with art by Colin Wilson (2000 AD #246-248, 1982)
  • “The Dreamweavers” with art by Dave Gibbons (2000 AD #249-250, 1982)
  • “The Buzzard” with art by Colin Wilson (2000 AD #251-253, 1982)
  • “The Petrified Forest” with art by Mike Dorey (2000 AD ##254-257, 1982)
  • “War of Nerves” with art by Colin Wilson (2000 AD #258, 1982)
  • “Bagman Blues” with art by Colin Wilson and Eric Bradbury (2000 AD #260-262, 1982)
  • “The Body Looters” with art by Cam Kennedy (2000 AD #265, 1982)
  • “All Hell on the Dix-I Front” with art by Colin Wilson, Cam Kennedy and Brett Ewins (2000 AD #266-277, 1982)
  • “Assassination Run” with art by Cam Kennedy (2000 AD #278-279)
  • “Hats Off to Helm” with art by Cam Kennedy (2000 AD #280-281)
  • “Marauders” with art by Colin Wilson and Cam Kennedy (2000 AD #282-289)
  • “Fort Neuro” with art by Brett Ewins and Cam Kennedy, (2000 AD #290-310)
  • “Major Magnum”  with art by Brett Ewins (2000 AD #311-315)
  • “Bigfoot” with art by Cam Kennedy (2000 AD #316)
  • “Bio-Wire” with art by Cam Kennedy (2000 AD #317)

Two Specials written by Alan Moore

  • “Pray For War”  with art by Brett Ewins (1983 2000AD Annual)
  • “First of The Few” with art by J Rendondo (1984 2000AD Annual)

There is great B/W art throughout and surprisingly for a long running comic series there is great continuity between the different artists. Out of all the artists I liked Bret Ewins the least and Dave Gibbons the best. At times Ewins art seems a little heavy handed compared to the rest but it did not detract from this excellent collected edition.

My favorite stories in the book are  “All Hell on the Dix-I Front” and “Marauders” and these really are up amongst the cream of classic 2000AD stories. The longest story in the book is “Fort Neuro” which reminds me a lot of the “Robohunter” or “Judge Dredd” style of writing. It has more of a comedic style which at first felt out of place to me but the story got better as it progressed and the end was very satisfying. The two Alan Moore stories are a nice bonus but I prefer Gerry Finley Day’s take on Rogue Trooper.

This book is highly recommended to British SCI FI comic book fans.  [ISBN-13: 978-1906735340]. 8/10



[Doctor Who Classics Omnibus Vol 1] – (Pat Mills, John Wagner, Dave Gibbons, Steve Moore, Grant Morrison, John Ridgeway, Steve Parkhouse)

This Doctor Who collected edition is set for the most part in the Tom Baker era and it is  written and illustrated by some very big names in British comics.  The writing is witty  and intelligent and the art is of a high standard throughout.  I believe these stories were originally published in B/W and they have been updated in Color for this edition.  Charlie Kirchoff has done a excellent job of coloring  and it looks like they were always supposed to be this way.

I particularly enjoyed the Pat Mills/John Wagner written episodes “City of The Dammed”  and “Dogs of Doom” both of which had a very 2000AD feel to them.  “Dragons Claw”  and “Dreamer of  Death” written by Steve Moore were also great stories. I felt that the one shot stories didn’t really have time to breathe and were not quite as good as the multi part arcs.  Each story followed a familiar formula where the doctor is pitted against seemingly insurmountable odds and by cunning, guile and jelly babies he always seems to save the day (well nearly always). All the stories had a very British Comics feel to them.

This Collected edition Contains:

  • “Doctor Who and the Iron Legion” written by Pat Mills and John Wagner with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “City Of The Dammed” written by Pat Mills and John Wagner with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Timeslip”  with art and story by Paul Neary
  • “Doctor Who and the Time Beast” written by Pat Mills and John Wagner with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Doctor Who and the Dogs of Doom” written by Pat Mills and John Wagner with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Doctor Who and the Time Witch”  written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Dragons Claw” written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “The Collector” written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Dreamer of Death”  written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Changes*” written by Grant Morrison with art by John Ridgeway.
  • “Culture Shock**” written by Grant Morrison with art by Bryan Hitch.
  • “The World Shapers” written by Grant Morrison with art by John Ridgeway.
  • “The Life Bringer” written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “War of The Worlds”  written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Spider God” written by Steve Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “The Deal”  written by Steve Parkhouse with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “End of The Line”  written by Steve Parkhouse with art by Dave Gibbons.
  • “Free-Fall Warriors” written by Steve Parkhouse with art by Dave Gibbons.

* Colin Baker.
** Sylvester McCoy.

This is a great book for fans of classic era doctor who and British Sci-Fi comics in general. The book is a nice convenient size and is printed on good quality glossy paper stock. If you are a Tom Baker era Doctor Who fan you should enjoy this book. [ISBN-13: 978-1600106224] 7/10.



[Tom Strong Book 1] – (Alan Moore, Chris Sprouse, Arthur Adams, Gary Frank, Cam Smith, Dave Gibbons, Jerry Ordway)

Tom Strong is a superhero comic book with a classic feel to it. The characters are almost Victorian in values and although much of the book is set in some strange vision of the future, it also calls upon key events in human history such as WW2.  Tom Strong was born a regular human but became super strong  when his parents kept him in a 5 times gravity chamber until he was 11 and fed him on some strange root from a lost tribe.  He is also super smart and uses his science skills to fight evil. Tom doesn’t fight alone, he is supported by his wife (also from the lost tribe), daughter, a talking ape and a steam powered robot.

The stories in this collected edition are enjoyable and have a pulp fiction weekly comic book style to them. The  artwork is excellent and the color pallet vibrant. Although there are futuristic elements, the book has a bit of a steam punk look to it. I don’t always enjoy Alan Moore’s work but I think this is the type of thing he does best. [ISBN-13: 978-1563896644]. 8/10



[The Complete Robusters] – (Pat Mills, Alan Moore, Chris Stevens, Carlos Pino, Dave Gibbons, Ian Kennedy, Jose Lewis Ferrer, Kevin O,Neil, Kev.F Sutherland, Dave Harwood, Steve Dillon, Bryan Talbot, Joe Eckers, Mike Dorey)

The Monthly UK Comic book Starlord was a huge thing for me when I was a kid. It was unlike any other comic I had ever read and I instantly became hooked. I still vividly remember the first issue that my mum bought me to read on a train trip to visit my grandparents. One of my favourite story lines in Starlord was “Robusters” and it is great to finally see it collected in one large TPB. The good news is that the adventures of Rojaws and Hammerstein are as good as I remember them to be. The bad news is that the book is just Black and White and I seem to remember some of the stories were originally in Colour. The other bad thing is that the book looks like it was made by photocopying the original comics. Some of the pages have blurry bands running down the middle and occasionally information is cropped off the top of the page.
Robusters is sort of like Thunderbirds but with ill behaved Robots and tyranical human bosses. It has that typical Pat Mills feel to it where every story has a not so hidden undercurrent that pokes fun at the class system, politics, the publishers or other social issues. The writing is witty and the artwork excellent for a comic series.

My favorite story is the “Terra-Meks” that features the writing of Pat Mills and the artwork of Dave Gibbons.  A true British Comic classic. [ISBN-13: 978-1905437825]. 8/10



[War Stories, Vol 1.] – (Garth Ennis, Chris Weston, Gary Erskine, Dave Gibbons, David Lloyd)
May 25, 2010, 2:00 am
Filed under: 7 stars, Chris Weston, Dave Gibbons, David Lloyd, Garth Ennis, Gary Erskine
Johann’s Tiger (Chris Weston) – A gritty story about the commander of a tiger tank and the final chapter of his part in the war. This is a Well written short story with excellent artwork by Chris Weston and a satisfying conclusion. Chris Weston ranks as one of my favorite war artists.
D-Day Dodgers (Gary Erskine) – Based upon a true story whereby a prominent lady figure called the soldiers fighting on the Italian front “D day dodgers”. This story is very much in the style of the classic British Comic Book “Commando” whereby class distinctions and the inneptitude of the generals all take a front row seat in the narrative. Good story and good artwork too.
Screamin Eagles – (Dave Gibbons) – A somewhat strange story with a unusual premise but not a bad read. Artwork is good.
(Nightingale) – (David Lloyd) – A superb story about HMS Nightingale and her crew as they battled to protect convoys during WW2. This tale is fantastically crafted to really portray the horrors of war at sea in to make the reader really care for the plight of the characters. I am not usually a fan of David LLoyd’s artwork but it fits this story perfectly. His dark colours and drab pallet really help to bring home the drama. Best story in the book.
A great collection with some nice extras explaining the background of the stories. Typical Vertigo cheap paper. [ISBN-13: 978-1401203283]. 7/10