Possibly the first cover to actually get a credit, the mysterious Evi manages to sneak their signature past the bodger. It’s a similar art style to the Futurefocus Postergraphs and the artist probably doesn’t make it to the inside pages. Giant robot attacking buses and people in Trafalgar Square while pigeons carry on as normal – what did the copy-editor come up with this week? We’ll have to wait a few stories to find out!
Savage leads the the Jocks against the Barlinnie Brigade, who would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for the Volg-issued jackboots that the freed prisoners were wearing. Savage’s hatred for the Volgs means he can hear the difference between Scots wearing Volg boots and Scots wearing any other kind of footwear. Pretty far-fetched, but much of Invasion! is. The jocks finally make it from the Gorbels to the Highlands.
Dredd next and the Neon Knights arrive on the scene, just in time to bump into Walter on his way home with Dredd’s dinner. Great art from Ian Gibson, showing a thinly-veiled Ku Klux Klan hunting down robots and robo-lovers. My favourite design is Gibson’s depiction of the Lawmaster – it’s a little under-sized, but the stylings of the back are much less blocky than most other depictions you’ll see. The handlebars also have mirrors, which you don’t always see. Six pages sees Klans arising in the Mega-City, Walter grabbed from the street, Dredd paying his respects to fallen judges, discovering the Klan hide-out, rescuing Walt and uncovering the leader of the Neon Knights as a cyborg, consumed by self-loathing. No panels are wasted in this story, but despite all this the most historically notable thing is the tagline for the next prog’s story: “meet Rico – the brother of Dredd’.
Shako opens with the oft-repeated lie about lemmings hurling themselves to their deaths (in this case into Shako’s mouth, in the real world they were taken from their natural habitat to be shoved off of a cliff into a river by Disney production crew in pursuit of some ‘good’ shots). The rest of the episode is the usual polar fare, ending in a stand-off between US and Russian forces.
Speaking of Russians and bears, over the page is Dare’s first encounter in the Lost Worlds. Following in the style of Belardinelli’s credit, we get “Art: Gibbons”, only the second official creator credit to be given. While Dare is investigating a deserted spaceship (looking rather like the Discovery 1 ship from 2001: A Space Odyssey) floating near an asteroid covered in bright lights, his unruly crew head towards the asteroid. Turns out the lights are the twinkling compound eyes of flying insectoid aliens with strong pincers. Bear saves Dare and pilot, using his strength and Pilot Polanski saves everyone else by taking the Space Fortress through some manoeuvres to shake the swarming insect creatures. Dare then destroys the insect’s asteroid / hive / home. Dave Gibbon’s space scenes aren’t as good as Belardinelli’s were (but then who’s are?) but he brings some pretty competent alien insect designs to the show.
On to the Nerve Centre, and following last week’s tale of genetically engineered creatures waging war on humanity we have a robot designed to catch pigeons acquiring a taste for human flesh (with a plan to genetically engineer a giant pigeon at the end – what could go wrong?) I wonder if the editor told the artist to draw pigeons and a giant robot in Trafalgar Square, or the artist was simply told to draw a giant robot next to a London landmark, and included pigeons because that was the second or third most famous thing about the square at the time (the other contender after Nelson’s Column is the lions – and there aren’t m/any pigeons there these days). Also in the Nerve Centre is the third appearance of the Mark IV editorial robots (after a previous Nerve Centre appearance, and their cameo in The Robot Wars).
Jesus Redondo finishes off M.A.C.H.1’s first multi-part story since the introductory two-parter. Other than having more space to tell the story, it’s been pretty much the same as other stories for the past half-year. We’ve seen a little world development with other states becoming aware of the M.A.C.H. programme and there’s a little bit of John Probe / Computer banter towards the end. We’re promised another multi-parter next prog – as I remember it will bring in an element that will lead us to the end of Probe’s adventures.
Tharg’s Future-Shocks: Just Like Home. It’s basically Planet of the Apes, but without the violence. I guess the children reading this wouldn’t have encountered the story before, but there’s not much shock for any adult reader (though 2000AD very definitely wasn’t aimed at anybody older than a teenager at this point in its history).
As last week, the back page of the prog is dedicated to a Futurefocus postergraph, this time with the caption ‘Destination Mars’. The picture is better than last week’s, though a tad derivative (of Space 1999’s Eagle transporter and NASA’s space shuttle).