Welcome Dreddheads to the Bookshelf comics. This time we shall take a look at Judge Dredd Meg 202. Originally published February 11th 2003, it introduces us to a new character the Black Siddha.
We start as always with the cover, a bold striking image mostly black and red. We have the new character Black Siddha, sword raised and hand reaching out to grab us. The Black Siddha will be this month's theme, one I am excited to meet and learn more about.
- Judge Dredd Bato Loco- Script Gordon Rennie Art Simon Coleby
Carlito Agarra a.k.a ‘Bato Loco’ or ‘crazy guy’. Somehow bad news follows this guy around like a bad Phartz and let he always seems to come out ahead. In this caper, Carlito is hired to grab some diamonds from inside a dead body at the local morgue! Unfortunately for Calito, he isn't the only guy after the diamonds. What follows is a few pages of standard comedy involving; chainsaws, shootouts and riding a fat dead body. Ultimately Carlito manages to escape the criminal gangs and Dredd, whilst also getting diamonds.
A pretty comical tale if full of farfetched ideas. Makes for a light hearted tale for most part even though it lacks any depths.
- Juliet November (Part 1)- Script Alan Grant Art- Graham Manley
Juliet is a psi and has the ability to set things and people on fire (good start). After being approved as safe by the Justice Department, Juliet is going out on her first real date. But can she really control her powers?
Fun Mega City One life story. Interested to see where it goes. But very surprised she is allowed to be loose on the streets of MC-1.
- Devlin Waugh Red Tide (Part 1)- Script John Smith Art Colin Macneil
Devlin is travelling to the Bahamas with Doctor Helsing (original I know), with them is a vampire prisoner by the name of Lilith. Lilith is a scary ass vamp, with the ability to walk in daylight and command others to do her bidding. Just as Devlin is about to get cosy to the boats Lieutenant, a group of vampires attack the ship!
The story is heating up, with the boat under attack by a huge wave of vampire. I'm excited to see Devlin in action and can the young Lieutenant survive Devlin's advances.
- Family (Part 2)- Script Rob Williams Art Simon Fraser
In this part of the tale we get introduced to more members of the 'Family'. Including the head guy himself and his sons. We also get to find out that as long as they keep the Sicilian bloodline pure ie. two Sicilian parents then the 'Made Men' are born with superpowers. The more pure the bloodline the stronger their abilities are. With this new info, we can now assume the exploding man from part 1 had some of these powers, suggesting he was a powerful Made Man.
Really like where this tale is going. With a likeable hero and a selection of quirky mobsters this tale has a real good chance of keeping me hooked, just hope it doesn't go to crazy.
- Black Siddha Bad Karma (Part 1)- Pat Mills Art Simon Davis
"It's the final age! Earth is under threat by the powers of Darkness and only the Cosmic Knights can save the Earth. One such knight is the Indian hero Mardaka. Master of the world's oldest martial art, and has supernatural powers called siddhis. He is known and feared as Black Siddha."
Great introduction story, we get to meet Rohan, the man I can only assume becomes the Black Siddha. We also learn about the demons that will attack Earth and the hero he will one day become.
- Sinister Dexter Bouncers- Script Dan Abnett Art Steve Roberts.
A quick short and quirky tale only two pages long. Really sums up the characters style of carrying out their hits. Nice way to finish the meg.
The next three stories are part of a feature called 2000AD Gold, showcasing older tales by some of the writers and artists of Dredd fame.
- Slaine Time Killer- Script Pat Mills Art Glenn Fabry (Originally published 1985)
A very old Slaine story ( I was two at the time of release) with strong ties to Lovecraftian lore. When I say strong, I mean really strong. Worst part of the story is when Slaine uses a Leyser gun! It's basically a laser gun that uses the ley lines of earth to power it.
I really did not like this tale. Just so much of it didn't sit well with me. Maybe it's my lack of experience with Slaine? But I didn't expect guns and the such like. I always thought Slaine was a British version of Conan, but possibly I'm wrong.
- Darkie's Mob- Script John Wagner Art Mike Westers (originally published 1976 in Battle Picture Weekly)
Set during WWII in the Pacific theatre of war. We follow the journal of a Private Richard Shortland, who was to become part of Darkie's Mob. A savage fighting force that scared the living hell out of the Japanese forces.
Really enjoyed this story. Reminded me of the comic books I use to buy for 12p at the newsagents. Full of WWII stories and adventures. Great read and it makes me relive my happy childhood memories.
- Tharg's Future Shocks: The Bounty Hunters- Script Alan Moore Art John Higgins
A group of bounty hunters have landed on an alien planet. The plan is to hunt down and capture a renown shape shifter. As the team moves out, they become increasingly more and more jumpy of their surroundings, even killing one of their own number out of paranoia. It's soon decided that this bounty isn't worth the trouble or deaths, so they double back to the ship, But all is not what it seems!
This tale made me laugh out loud and is a perfect example of british humour. Need more of this.
This last tale ends the Gold section of the meg. It's always good to see some of the older tales resurface and I would love to see the likes of Outlaw and Armoured Gideon get some of this action too, fingers crossed.
Overall a very enjoyable comic. The Family tale is progressing well, along with Devlin Waugh which seemingly is jumping straight into the action. The Dredd tale and Juliet November were pretty average sadly. A highlight of this meg for me was the introduction to Black Siddha, almost feels like it will be an Indian Modern day version of Slaine. As to a score I have to give this a 3 out of 5.