Tooth Review: 1564 (Obligatory Spoiler Warning)

A really scrotnig issue as the storylines begin to slot into place.

Prog 1564Cover: A Peter Doherty-drawn montage of the main characters in the current Mandroid storyline. Well drawn and timely if a little underwhelming.

Doherty is currently doing colourist duties on Dredd and in that respect is woefully underutilised. When will he resume artistic duties? He doesn’t seem to have drawn anything of substance in over a decade.

Quote of the Week: “Amassed! The man was a bloody menace! You couldn’t put anything down for a minute without him whipping it! Half the lost treasures of the ancient world ended up stuffed down his trousers!” (Erebus, The Red Seas)

Spoilers below…

Judge Dredd: Mandroid – Instrument of War part 10. The robodoc Stanner leads Slaughterhouse back to the General who it turns out is waiting for him with a gaggle of army vets and Kitty. As Slaughterhouse gets drawn into Vincent’s conspiracy, Dredd sets about uncovering it.

A talky episode, but no worse for it. It’s all coming together now. What exactly the General’s plan is however is still to be revealed. My gut instinct, and I am often wrong, is that this strip is set to have long term repecussions alongside the ongoing Origins fallout which it has been implied will be a central part of the Prog 2008 strip.

Nikolai Dante: The Chaperone part 5. Elena and Dante defeat Skar but in a twist, Arkady kills Sonja.

And what a twist it is, building on events that have not been hinted at since the end of Tsar Wars in 2001. This is the sort of thing that makes a weekly anthology like 2000AD so exciting – it has the ability to pace stories over a long period of time.

I have to admit to having totally misjudged this story when it started, and credit to Robbie Morrison for playing with people’s expectations in the way that he did. It can hardly have been accidental to play up the Confessions of a Gentleman Thief aspects of the strip before taking it off in a completely different direction and it is a credit to him that he managed to pull it off.

Sinister Dexter: Life is an Open Casket part 5. Dexter tries a bit of normal life and discovers that he quite likes it before being rudely awoken by Finnegan who is on the run with Kal Cutter and his girlfriend. Meanwhile, Moses Tannenbaum contemplates what to do on discovering that Appellido is his counterpart’s clone over the course of several lunches.

Always readable, and like Nikolai Dante before it, enjoys a richness based on years of backstory, but Dan Abnett’s script is moving at a rather slow pace. The characters may be learning stuff here, but we readers knew all of this a year ago. The only really interesting stuff here are the scenes between Dexter and his ex-girlfriend Tracy which has a certain bittersweet quality. Dexter seems to be a marked man. Whether Dan Abnett has the guts to actually kill him off this time (he’s been mortally wounded on at least two occasions in the strip’s past, but got better) is another matter.

The Red Seas: War Stories part 3. With John’s help, Jim and Erebus track down the secret storeroom of Kenge and Carboys, the solicitors that have Jack Dancer’s secret journals which they seek. But the Nazi agent Toten tracks them down.

I’ve said it before, but why couldn’t Edginton make Stone Island as brisk as this? It zips along at a fair old pace and I’m sure I’m missing lots of detail that someone with a better memory than me must have spotted – all I got was the reference to the cult of Cadmus which was the subject of the interlude story earlier this year.

The fact that they intend to return the journals to their “rightful owner” implies that Jack Dancer himself is still knocking about somewhere. Overall, this is exciting stuff.

The Button Man: Book IV – the Hitman’s Daughter part 14. Not much to say here. It emerges that Harry wasn’t involved in Adele’s father’s execution (bit of a cop out if you ask me) and that his refusal to execute her brings down the wrath of the voices.

Not much to add. It remains consistent and is building up to its conclusion.

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