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Preview // Prog 1897

They’re Baa-ack

 Apparently ignoring Judge Dredd's warning, the planet-conquering thuggish aliens, that laughingly call themselves the 'Lawlords, have come to bring their own brand of ‘justice’ to planet Earth.

They also seem to have conveniently forgotten how he saved their @$$es at Lawcon, when the first Galactic Law Enforcement Convention was overrun by multi-organism body-snatchers,capable of perfectly mimicking their host, the c-nidari - see Lawcon (Megs3.76-79,1Apr-1Jul’01), but they are definitely here, perhaps aware of Mega-City One's recent catastrophe, Chaos Day.

One thing’s for sure - they’ll have to go through Dredd first!


JUDGE DREDD // CASCADE

Mega-City One, 2136 AD. Home to 50 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America, where crime is rampant, and only the Judges – empowered to dispense instant justice – can stop total anarchy. Toughest of them all is JUDGE DREDDhe is the Law! Now, the city is being addressed by the Lawlords, ruthless, ultra-strict, alien dictators…Michael Carroll (w). Paul Marshall (a)
Judge Dredd created by John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra


AQUILA // CARNIFEX
Following Spartacus’s failed revolt against his Roman masters, his army of rebels was crucified. Amongst these was the slave-turned-gladiator AQUILA, who cried out to the gods for vengeance – and was answered by Ammit the Devourer, a deity that gifted him with immortality in return for keeping her fed with the souls of evil men. Now, Nero wants Aquila's head for himself…
Aquila created by Gordon Rennie & Leigh Gallagher

BRASS SUN // FLOATING WORLDS
The Orrery is a fully functional, life-size clockwork solar system: a clutch of planets orbiting a vast BRASS SUN via immense metal spars. But the once-unified collection of worlds has regressed into fiefdoms, and ice is encroaching on the outer planets as the sun is dying. Wren has been tasked with finding the key that will restart the sun, and she has just escaped from ‘The Deeps’…
Brass Sun created by Ian Edginton & INJ Culbard

BLACK SHUCK // PART SIX
Scandinavia, 813 AD. A Viking raid on the settlement of Dunwich in East Anglia led to the warrior known as BLACK SHUCK being captured. But he has washed up at the court of King Ivar the lone survivor – what terrible calamity befell the others during the sea crossing? Now Shuck has been dragged into the war between Ivar’s people and the monstrous Jötnar, thanks to a curse…
Black Shuck created by Leah Moore / John Reppion & Steve Yeowell


JAEGIR // CIRCE
The Greater Nordland Republic. While the Norts are currently engaged in a galaxy-wide war with the Souther forces, it falls to military officers such as Kapiten-Inspector Atalia JAEGIR of the Nordland State Security Police to root out and investigate war criminals amongst her own ranks. Now, Jaegir has been betrayed by  Kolonel Mabuse…and injected with the drug Circe„,
Jaegir created by Gordon Rennie & Simon Coleby

Ultra-realistic (and terrifying!) cover from the awesome Alex Ronald

Lawcon - Deep Space Dredd! (Judge Dredd Megazines 3.76-79)

Dredd attends the first Galactic Law Enforcement Convention, with his hand-picked team of Judges. But when delegates start disappearing, it’s up to Mega-City's finest to get to the bottom of the mystery..

The heat gets turned up further when a despotic planet-conquering  alien species, who refer to themselves as the Lawlords, arrive with their own brand of ‘justice' which equates to little more than thuggery and gangsterism.

As the huge, arrogant bullies, the Lawlords, start pushing everyone around at the convention, and advising the delegates to adopt their Law, before it is imposed on them, anyway, a much more sinister, uninvited guest is gradually imposing their own will on the unsuspecting visitors…

  • The delegates arrive at the very first Galactic Law Enforcement Convention.
  • Judge Dredd briefs his small, specialised squad of Judges: Senior Judge Castillo, Kuan, Heffer, Smith and Intelligence Officer PSU's Roffman, on their mission.
  • After Dredd is attacked by Sov Judge Bukov, Roffman launches himself at the East Meg thug. Berated by Dredd for retaliating, the tricky Roffman informs his superior that he just needed to get close to Bukov so that he could plant a listening device. Dredd praises Roffman's actions and apologises!
  • Meanwhile Judge Castillo is begged for aid to help a lowly delegate who claims someone is in trouble. But when Castillo gets there she realises she has been lured into a trap, and is swarmed by dozens of diminutive attackers!
  • The Lawlords make their presence felt at the convention, by basically threatening anyone with overwhelming force and planetary conquest unless they agree to their brutal idea of justice. ‘Castillo' returns, acting a little strangely, persuading Kuan to leave his post, so she can “show him something.”. Reluctantly he agrees and follows her to a frozen airlock, where he sees bodies of many of the delegates hanging, and realises too late that he is no longer with the real Castillo..
  • Elsewhere, the aliens that have taken over ‘Castillo”s body, have been detected by some sharp detective work by the Mega-City team. The species are known to be c-nidarius,not a single creature in fact, but a multitude: trillions of tiny polyps coalescing into a single entity capable of absorbing the intelligence of it’s host, even higher lifeforms, enabling it to mimic behaviour - to walk, to talk - like an exact copy of the original.
  • Mega-Cities’ Mash-Up! MC-1 Judge Heffer & Brit-Cit's Judge Jericho stand back-to-back to fight off a legion of alien life-forms created by the group mind of c-nidarius .
  • Thanks to Roffman's audio bug, Dredd and a consortium of world Judges discover a plot by the East-Meg party to join forces with the Lawlords allowing them a foothold on Earth, naively expecting them to play a mere ‘advisory’ role in the running of the planet. Dredd knows better, he recognises a bully when he sees one, and tells the Lawlords,in no uncertain terms, invitation from East-Meg 2 or not, if they set one foot on Earth he will cut it off, in fact were they to come within 10 light years of Earth - he’d stop them. Dead! The bristling Lawlord, initially outraged, sees the sincerity in Dredd's eyes, and the authority in his voice, wisely decides to back down: “You’re a very unpleasant little human!”. Dredd: “You don’t know the half of it, pal!”
  • Having discovered that the c-nidarius lifeforce shows up on infra-red, the combined Judicial forces aboard the Galactiplex Corporation craft soon mop up any resistance from the aliens’ duplicates, the Mega-City One contingent being ruthlessly efficient.
  • Before leaving, Dredd gives the Lawlords one final warning about coming anywhere near Earth, but having just witnessed the Mega-City Judges in action, they agree to recommend their Supreme Council that Earth be allowed to continue under it’s own governance, free of interference. “Good make sure they listen.”, retorts Dredd. As the various ships leave the huge spacecraft, aboard the earthbound vessel, Mega-City Judge Smith jokingly remarks; “What d’you think, be back for Lawcon 2?”. Dredd replies emphatically, “Believe me, Smith, there is not going to be a Lawcon 2.”

Lawcon (Megs 3.76-79,1Apr-1Jul’01). John Wagner (a). Richard Elson (a).

Droid IconsThe (Mostly Unseen) Art Of Clint Langley

Having impressed with his fully-painted art on strips like Nemesis the WarlockSlaine, and some superb cover work, the Langley droid’s star seemed set to soar..

But, apart from a one-off Sinister Dexter tale: F.A.Q (Prog1076,6Jan’98), the art droid did not appear again in the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic for four long years.

It was not until the new millenium that the Langley droid made his dramatic, triumphant return - and how!

Taking his art in a whole new dazzling digital direction, unlike anything we’d seen before, (Mark Harrison's Durham Red, had utilised some CG-art, but not to this extent) Langley's stunning style was a revelation.

Lending itself to dramatic cover art, initially this was where Langley's style created the most impact, but it wouldn't be long before the art droid would team up with his long-term script droid partner, Pat Mills to decide which of the Mills droid’s many creations would be best-suited to Langley's brand new dynamic, futuristic art style: Nemesis the Warlock perhaps - far-flung futures &tamp; far-out alien species; a multi-part Dredd epic maybe, or Flesh, with it’s mixture of dinosaurs and time-travelling space cowboys, could be cool; possibly even an original creation, designed especially to showcase this fresh, experimental style of Langley's..

What the creative team did next was probably what we least expected, they took the Langley droid’s visual trickery, and applied it to the one character in the comic whose entire world is firmly rooted in the past (or pasts, to be specific!) and instead of gleaming spires and sleek spacecraft, we were going to see his CG-style applied to the fantasy-driven, swords & sorcery epic of… Slaine?

To be honest I didn’t think this could work, and his art would’ve been totally better suited on another strip, but as usual the Mills (and Langley) droids were right, seeing Slaine with a recognisably human face,and the ferrety, rat-like Ukko, brought to life in such a realistic fashion, was a genuine eye-opener, and by Tharg the Mighty - it workedOf course it did, this is Pat Mills we’re talking about, and obviously the Langley droid did have previous experience on Slaine, as well as drawing awesome monsters!

But before we dive into Clint Langley's frankly spectacular work on Slaine…and later work…we thought it would be cool to look at some of his earliest digital cover work, and some of his lesser known pieces..

So sit back and marvel at the genius of an art droid at the top of his game..

    • .One of Langley’s first digital covers: (Prog 1332,19Mar’03) - Caballistics Inc.Hammer Horror movie-style poster
    • More marvellous Caballistics Inc, feat. Hannah Chapter (Prog1363,22Oct’03)
    • Leatherjack (Prog1456,14Sep’05)- scripted from the twisted imagination of the John Smith droid (Indigo Prime,Cradlegrave), this is a tale of,an assassin tasked with saving a book containing all human consciousness, in danger of being destroyed along with a library world in a galactic war, against a cult of Mary Whitehouse-types, determined to censor everything, known as the Spinster Empire
    • .An early Judge Death with a ‘guilty’ ssinnerr! - his 'crime' was life, and there could only be one sentence….
    • Langley gets to work with one of his heroes, and major influences, the late,uniquely great maverick art droid, John Hickleton (died with dignity ~ 2010). What a shame that Hicklenton and Langley never did more collaborations, their art was a perfect match, would’ve been brilliant for any of the Prog’s darker series. Anyway,they did manage a couple of fantastic Judge Dredd covers and such though. This is one of our favourites: pencil & colours from the Langley droid, beautifully inked by the master of mayhem, art droid, John Hicklenton (R.I.P, sir!).
    • Shakara Rises! Stunning Shakara cover art - Prog 1715.
    • Dredd looks grim-faced (nothing new there, then!), as the tragic events of Chaos Day begin to unfold, in what will be the worst ever catastrophe to hit Mega-City One, killing over 3/4 of the population - a massive 350 million citizens - grim news, indeed, believably portrayed by the Langley droid on this cover - Prog 1743 (20Jul’11)
    • Unused cover art - Prog 1858 - art for Gorehead, the terrifying T-Rex from Flesh: Texas & Badlanders (Progs1850-61)
    • Special US promotional art for the Mills & Langley droid’s most recent collaboration, the darkly divine, American Reaper, which brings a whole new meaning to identity theft! Published originally in the Judge Dredd Megazine (Meg337,18Jul’13)

Some truly jaw-dropping art from the Langley droid, but it was on Slaine and another much-loved strip where he would really blow our Thrill-circuits…!

Wonderful Judge Hershey fan art by tumblr user Alisa, aka Dainty Doodles.

Shots Fired
Judge Dredd taken from Luke Butland's Gunslinger series.

Shots Fired

Judge Dredd taken from Luke Butland's Gunslinger series.

8-Bit recreation of Chris Weston’s Akira style cover to Judge Dredd Megazine #325, lovingly digitized by the-other-user.

8-Bit recreation of Chris Weston’s Akira style cover to Judge Dredd Megazine #325, lovingly digitized by the-other-user.

Judge Anderson fan art by Craig Knowles // blog.

Judge Anderson fan art by Craig Knowles // blog.

Prog 1896 // Preview

Shuck Off!

Black Shuck fights off the undead in this stunning cover, (Prog1896,27Aug’14) from the glorious Glenn Fabry!

As we wave goodbye to another marvellous summer - of Thrills! - have no fear as the Thrill’o’meter is about to go right into the red, with the onset of the soon-to-be legendary, landmark Prog 1900!
Out on 22 September - be sure to get your copy from our online shop, or make sure your local Thrill-power™ merchant has your Prog kept safe for you - preferably in a radiation-proof container!
It’s gonna be epic, Earthlets!

JUDGE DREDD // CASCADE
Mega-City One, 2136 AD. Home to 50 million citizens, this urban hell is situated along the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America, where crime is rampant, and only the Judges – empowered to dispense instant justice – can stop total anarchy. Toughest of them all is JUDGE DREDDhe is the Law! Now, Major Indira Knight has returned from an 87-year deep-space mission…Michael Carroll (w). Paul Marshall (a)
Judge Dredd created by John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra


AQUILA // CARNIFEX
Following Spartacus’s failed revolt against his Roman masters, his army of rebels was crucified. Amongst these was the slave-turned-gladiator AQUILA, who cried out to the gods for vengeance – and was answered by Ammit the Devourer, a deity that gifted him with immortality in return for keeping her fed with the souls of evil men. Now, he’s working for the tyrannical Emperor Nero
Aquila created by Gordon Rennie & Leigh Gallagher

BRASS SUN // FLOATING WORLDS
The Orrery is a fully functional, life-size clockwork solar system: a clutch of planets orbiting a vast BRASS SUN via immense metal spars. But the once-unified collection of worlds has regressed into fiefdoms, and ice is encroaching on the outer planets as the sun is dying. Wren has been tasked with finding the key that will restart the sun, and her mission now takes her to ‘The Deeps’…
Brass Sun created by Ian Edginton & INJ Culbard

BLACK SHUCK // PART SIX
Scandinavia, 813 AD. A Viking raid on the settlement of Dunwich in East Anglia led to the warrior known as BLACK SHUCK being captured. But he has washed up at the court of King Ivar the lone survivor – what terrible calamity befell the others during the sea crossing? Now Shuck has been dragged into the war between Ivar’s people and the monstrous Jötnar, thanks to a curse…
Black Shuck created by Leah Moore / John Reppion & Steve Yeowell


JAEGIR // CIRCE
The Greater Nordland Republic. While the Norts are currently engaged in a galaxy-wide war with the Souther forces, it falls to military officers such as Kapiten-Inspector Atalia JAEGIR of the Nordland State Security Police to root out and investigate war criminals amongst her own ranks. Now, in a bid to track down a quarry, she must deal with the mysterious Kolonel Mabuse
Jaegir created by Gordon Rennie & Simon Coleby

Apologies for the lateness due to the long Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, "normal" service will be resumed by next Prog!

Classic fully painted Sláine splash page from Horned God: Book 3, Prog #688. Art by Simon Bisley.

Classic fully painted Sláine splash page from Horned God: Book 3, Prog #688. Art by Simon Bisley.

Droid Icons: The Art Of Carlos Ezquerra

Ok, so we talked recently about the truly great artist’s constantly evolving or changing style’s completely, but conversely to that argument is the old adage: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!

Now, this is true of very few artists - Brian Bolland & Glenn Fabry spring to mind in this category, but Carlos Ezquerra also belongs to this select band.

But I’m being slightly unfair to the co-creator of Judge Dredd and countless other classic British comic characters, ‘King' Carlos does of course continue to evolve his art style, it’s just that he’s so damn good people don’t always notice! (This is also true of the other two mentioned, but It’s a bit too depressing to think that droids of their calibre can get any better!)

So, to prove that the Ezquerra droid’s as relevant now as he was 30 years ago, here are a few of his best-loved characters in simple black & white and full-colour finishes, that show just what a terrific draughtsman he really is. Lesser droids could continue tweaking or evolving their art for another 30 years, but still not come close to improving on his clean lines and boundless creativity…

  • Who’s Gonna Mess With Them?”, to paraphrase the mighty Ennis droid’s classic one-liner at the end of Judgement Day, this gorgeous black & white rendering of the two toughest guys in the galaxy, Judge Dredd and Johnny Alpha was redrawn for last year’s LSCC (London Super Comic Convention) 2013.
  • Strontium Dogs b/w inks cover for ‘Blood Moon' - Prog 1626
  • Blood Moon' feat. Johnny Alpha, 'Middenface' McNulty & some of Johnny's veteran war comrades, inc. 'Evans the Fist' and the Torso from Newcastle! (Colonel Blood in background) - Original cover art: (Prog 1626,11Mar’09).
  • Superb montage feat. some of the characters he co-created and was intrinsically involved with..
  • ,Character montage, full-colour; inc. Judge Dredd, Johnny Alpha, ‘Middenface' McNulty, Wulf Sternhammer, Durham Red, and villains: co-creation from mega-epic The Apocalypse War, East-Meg One diktator, War-Marshal ‘Mad-Dog' Kazan, with of course, The Dark Judges: Death, Fear, Fire & Mortis from another big Ezquerra epic, Necropolis.

New documentary: Future Shock! The Story Of 2000AD

Not sure when this doc by Deviant Films, airs - or when, will supply details once we know more, but it looks drokkin’ awesome!

IGN exclusive!

Droid IconsClint Langley - Part 1The Early Years!

One of our favourite sayings at TumblrCentral is that good art droids get better over time, but the truly great ones never stop improving - constantly striving to perfect their art, sometimes even changing their style completely.

This art droid epitomises that latter category, from his early, adventurous, fully-painted work, to his latest ground-breaking digital art, unrivalled in the comics world at this time.

By gradually utilising computer technology, the Langley droid learned the capabilities of digital art as a tool for colouring and eventually enhancing his art as it developed.

His career at the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic™ began in earnest in the early 1990’s, on the strip Dinosty (Progs873-82,4Feb-8Apr’94) written with soon-to-be long-term collaborator, Pat Mills, on the premise that dinosaurs are the dominant species, and humans the persecuted underclass, hunted for food and sport! Although beautifully painted by Langley, this was not Mills' finest hour, and the strip only lasted for one series.

Langley's next assignment was his first and last Judge Dredd story, The Enemy Below (Progs886-87,6-13May’94) which again showed off his obvious skill, and his talent for drawing terrifying monsters, when Dredd, seen for the first time in full aquatic combat gear, must deal with a mutated marine creature, which has already killed two Judges who were attempting to pump out the Iso-Cubes beneath the Hall Of Justice, that had been flooded during the recent take-over by Grice and his renegade Judges from Titan, in Inferno (Progs842-53,3Jul-18Sep’93).

After this brief early flirtation with Dredd, the Langley droid enjoys a short affair with another 2000AD icon, Nemesis the Warlock, and a chance to work again with Pat Mills, giving him an opportunity to follow in one of his idol’s footsteps, the late, great John Hicklenton. Although Hammer Of The Warlocks (Progs901-03,19Aug-2Sep’94), is only a short story, it is a great vehicle for Langley's art, coming right in the middle of, what I like to call, the droid's 'Hole-y Phase’!

It is the next series though which was the real making of the droid, once again teaming up with collaborator, Pat Mills, and also with some dauntingly big shoes to fill, on yet another favourite character: Slaine!

But the Langley droid does not disappoint, coming right after the impressive debuts of Greg Staples and Dermot Power on Slaine, and Simon Bisley's seminal work on The Horned GodClint's series, the Lord Of Misrule,told in two parts: (Progs958-63,22Sep-27Oct’95) & (Progs995-98,7-28Jun’96), introduces some new elements to the story.. Sent on a quest by the Earth Goddess, Danu to destroy the Blood GodSláine has now been reborn in the time of the Normans as Robin GoodfellowKing of the Greenwood. First he has to seek out his beloved Niamh (herself reborn as a Christian nun called Marian) and together they must learn the secret name of the beast so that Sláine can destroy it as the Lord of Misrule!

After this, the Langley droid helps out on a couple of other creator’s strips, before the end of the millenium: the so-called ‘Deadliest Man Alive’, Outlaw (Progs1000-13,12Jul-15Oct’96), a cliched post-apocalyptic formulaic space western. Clint Langley & others! (a) Paul Neary(w)

Similarly Langley rescues another, slightly more promising, Dreddworld story, Holocaust 12, about a bunch of ex/reject Judges whose purpose is to go out to disaster zones and tackle them head-on, risking their lives on a daily basis, on virtual suicide missions (The Holocaust Squad were first introduced years before in the Father Earth storyline, Progs122-25,21Jul-11Aug’79, when they leapt into the City’s Power Tower to plug the active volcano at it’s base!). For this they are allowed certain freedoms that would be unthinkable for the average street Judge, or even most citizens - smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, even recreational drug use is tolerated (or overlooked, at least!). Skyfall (Megs3.20-23,1Aug-1Nov’96). Jim Murray(a). Storm Warning (Megs3.29-33,1May-1Sep’97). Clint Langley(a). }Chris Stanldley/John Smith(w).

Although the Langley droid would never draw another Judge Dredd strip, his work was getting noticed as a cover artist, and drew several Dredd covers before the end of the millenium, including a superb one-off StarScan, (Prog1014,22Oct’96) that although fully painted had a slightly computer-coloured look to it.

This would give Clint an idea that would completely alter his style, and revolutionise the way comics were seen, particularly in this country, giving the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic™a whole new look for the new millenium…