I don't want to come off as all "sterotypical American" or anything, but I have to admit that I don't really get the appeal of soccer. I realize that it's the sport of choice for the vast majority of the world --- and that I also don't get the appeal of most sports that don't involve steel cage matches and a zombie cowboy whose brother is a fire demon --- but something about it just continues to elude me. But maybe, just maybe, I could finally get into it if someone found a way to combine the Beautiful Game with, oh, I don't know, a secret alien invasion and scenes of planetary-scale destruction.
Fortunately for me, legendary writers John Wagner and Alan Grant have teamed up with artist Dan Cornwell to do just that in Rok of the Reds, a new comic from Glasgow-based indie publisher BHP. Check out a preview!
If, like us, you've spent the past weekend binging on Netflix's second season of Daredevil and reveling in all the superhero exploits, ninja action and all-around punishment, you probably still haven't had your fill. While there are great Daredevil runs from the likes of Frank Miller and Mark Waid that you could read to get more of a hornhead fix, what are you supposed to do if you've read all of them too? We've got five of the best independent comics to try next if you can't get enough of the Man Without Fear.
What a week! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sit back and read some comics. The weekend is finally here, and the world can relax and rest once more — but the comics industry has been busy too, you know, and the last seven days have seen a flurry of comics-based news and announcements fly past at high speed.
ComicsAlliance has got your back, though: when it comes to comics, we never slow down, so here’s a look back and just what’s been going on. New comics, new stories, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!
"I'm about to kill an important 2000 AD character, but I don't normally do that anymore."
If you were listening to this week's installment of 2000 AD's Thrill-Cast, then you heard John Wagner, the co-creator and still the primary architect of Judge Dredd, offer up that ominous sentence when he was asked about his plans for upcoming stories. The result was, of course, a cloud of... well, dread hanging over the fans of the future's toughest lawman.
Dystopian futures have been a fixture of the sci-fi genre for as long as there's been a genre to have fixtures; cautionary tales about the crushing of the individual or the dangers of unchecked technology. In the second issue of 2000 AD, a British comic anthology that promised readers a weekly dose of thrillpower from the far-off future of the 21st century, John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra asked exactly the kind of question that great sci-fi is built around: What if there was a story about a dystopian future plagued by hyperviolent crime, ruled over by a totalitarian state, where things were so bad that even existing could drive a man insane from future shock... and the fascist cops were the good guys?
The result was the stone-faced lawman who would become the UK's greatest comic book character: Judge Dredd, who made his first appearance on March 5th, 1977.
With a creator as widely read, celebrated, and analyzed as Alan Moore, it's pretty easy to think that you could go out and get everything he's ever written. I mean, you can find the big stuff like Watchmen or V For Vendetta just wandering around airports, and even older, more obscure titles like Halo Jones or DR And Quinch aren't that hard to track down. Heck, you can even get CDs of that dude singing his poetry if that's what you're into, and I know that because I've bought them.
But there's one title that has managed to elude all but the most die-hard completists for the past three decades: Monster, a horror comic by Moore and artist Heinzl that ran in the British comic Scream in the mid '80s. But now, 2000 AD is collecting the entire series in a 190-page paperback, set for release in July.
Soon Judge Dredd will find himself outnumbered by the Dark Judges... at least as far as ThreeA's 2000 AD figure line is concerned. Last year, the Ashley Wood-led company unveiled the first figures in the partnership with 2000 AD, including Judge Death, Judge Fish, Judge Dredd, Sam Slade and Gronk. 2016 will see even more of the classic British comic characters come to life, starting with the terrifying Judge Fear.
Based on designs by Brian Bolland, the new Judge Fear figure will feature the imposingly-helmed Dark Judge with all the accouterments expected of the undead master of fright. Sure, he might be remembered best by more casual observers for that panel where Judge Dredd punches him square in the "face," and orders him to "Gaze into the fist of Dredd!" That doesn't mean the guy isn't deserving of his own highly-detailed and articulated figure. I mean, who doesn't want to a toy of a man so assured in his own abilities that he wears giant bear traps as pauldrons and has giant bat wings sprouting from his furnace-like helm?
If you've ever read through Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, the sprawling epic that took the future's most brutal lawman outside of Mega-City One on a journey across an atomic wasteland in the years since its original publication, then you may have noticed that there are a couple of strips missing from the paperback collections. Four strips from the original story, the two-part 'Burger Wars' and 'Soul Food' arcs, featured versions of Ronald McDonald, the Burger King, the Jolly Green Giant, and other corporate icons, twisted into post-nuclear villains.
As you might expect, that caused a bit of a problem back in 1978, and under fears of a lawsuit, those four strips were excised from later reprints of the landmark story. Until now, that is. Today, 2000 AD announced the upcoming Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Uncensored, a new printing of the story that will restore the "banned" strips for the first time in almost forty years.
As someone who only got really into Judge Dredd relatively recently, I get asked pretty often about good places to start. For more recent stuff, it's not hard to figure out a good place, and if nothing else, the folks at 2000 AD are pretty good at providing jumping-on points for new readers. When it comes to finding those classic Dredd stories, though, the ones that sometimes played out over the course of years and explored not just Dredd but the strange world in which he lives, that can be a little more difficult.
But that's about to change. Next week marks the release of John Wagner and Colin MacNeil's Judge Dredd: America, in paperback for the first time on the west-side of the Atlantic --- and when even the publisher is declaring it to be "the best Judge Dredd story ever," that's probably something to take note of.
Mega City One has been through an awful lot over the past few years. Not only is there the usual crime that comes with being a fascist future state, but the city's also had to deal with stuff like the Chaos Plague, space lasers, all sorts of other problems. It's got so bad, in fact, that the city's 40,000 wealthiest citizens have got together to buy a spaceship and just get the heck out of Earth before something else happens.
That's where John Wagner and Greg Staples' Judge Dredd: Dark Justice picks up, with the launch of the Mayflower into deep space. Oh, and also the Dark Judges, the genocidal, immortal, inter-dimensional entities who see life itself as a crime, and punish it with mass murder are also coming back. So, you know, I'll let you guess how well that's gonna work out for 'em.
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