Tooth Review: 1573 & 1574 (obligatory spoiler warning)

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Prog 1573Prog 1574Quote of the Week: “First you say hello to Vulf’s little friend!” Wulf Sternhammer gets up close and personal in Strontium Dog (1574).

Covers: Dylan Teague draws Johnny Alpha versus Groule from Strontium Dog (1573); Richard Elsom draws a chained Gene Hackman from The Kingdom (1574).

Contents: Judge Dredd, The Kingdom, Stickleback and Strontium Dog in both progs. Shakara ends in 1573 to be replaced by a Future Shock in 1574.

Review in less than 10 words: There will be blood (1573), Hell is other mutants (1574).

Spoilers…

I’m changing the format of these reviews – too much repetition. From now on I will list brief summaries, highlights and lowlights.

Shakara: The Defiant part 8. We revisit Brother Zengo, the “Buddhist” monk who Eva Procopio was learning the story of the Shakara race in part one. Cinnibar Brenneka, the leader of the Shakarans who was apparently killed, returns and kills Zengo.

A puzzling final part. It is not clear if Eva was saved at the end of part 7 or what Cinnibar’s relationship with Shakara (the spirit of vengeance one) is. Is this Shakara transformed? A new ally? A new enemy? It isn’t even clear if Zengo is a goodie or a baddie.

All in all, I suspect this isn’t the last we’ll see of this strip.

Future Shocks: Adventures in the War Trade. Alec Worley and Staz Johnson bring us a tale in which wars are directed like films, good wars win academy awards and on set “creative differences” can lead to the end of the world.

A nice idea by the Megazine’s resident film reviewer not particularly well executed. I sort of got all the jokes about writers being treated like crap (v. topical) and the ego that is Jim Cameron but I’m not sure I cared enough.

Judge Dredd: Emphatically Evil – the life and crimes of P. J. Maybe parts 5 and 6. While Beeny continues her investigation, P. J. tracks down J. P., but not before the latter initiates another massacre. Meanwhile, Dredd gets his way and the Council of Five votes to relax the anti-mutant laws.

The Kingdom: The Promised Land parts 8 & 9. Chained up, Gene is shocked to discover tick things symbiotically attached to both Leezee and himself. Destroying the one attached to him he falls unconscious and wakes up to find himself in the midst of a Them invasion. Freeing himself, he decides to help defend the town.

Stickleback: England’s Glory parts 8 & 9. Stickleback’s gang fight with the circus only to be rudely interrupted by government soldiers. Stickleback escape inside “Silent Robert” – the human bullseye who turned out to be a kind of mobile home (do keep up). Inside and out, things take a tentacular bent.

Strontium Dog: The Glum Affair parts 8 & 9. Johnny picks a fight with Groule and, despite the odds, wins. The bounty hunters now potentially have the cash they need as long as they can collect the bounty.

HIGHLIGHTS: I’m probably most enjoying The Kingdom at the moment, with an honorable mention going to Stickleback. Shakara’s ambiguous ending was terrific.

LOWLIGHTS: Overall, 2000AD has been particularly strong recently. But Strontium Dog is a little hard to care about too much – it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. The Future Shock was relatively weak.

TRIVIA: Sadly, Matt Brooker hasn’t updated his blog recently with trivia on Stickleback, so the best I can do is to point out that the Dolman that Dredd refers to in part 6 of Emphatically Evil is former Judge Dolman, one of his clones.

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