This week’s cover harks back to that of prisoners staked on stars and left to die in orbit around Starslay, though this time it’s the Starslayers who are floating dead through space. Dare drags the captured Dark Lord before the vid screens in an effort to free all the slave races of the Starslayers’ Empire. I’m not convinced that the Starslayer’s would obey Dare just because he caught their leader. In fact, I’d have expected that leadership of Starslayers wouldn’t be compatible with being caught. Though the Dark Lord does manage to escape by using a nifty flying star.
Frank Hart, the Visible Man, also manages to escape, though his escape route is through lying in bed for three days and hitting a doctor when they come in to see what the problem is.
We get surfboards on the moon (though they’re called moon skates for some reason) as we find out what happens to Apollo astronauts in Tharg’s Future-Shocks. Seemingly every time a rocket lands on the moon they get replaced with a shape-changing alien, starting with Neil Armstrong and continuing way into the future, in 1987…
Bonjo gets better than it was, in a full-page installment (and Mach Aardvark isn’t dead, merely swallowed). The panel with the aardvark travelling down Bonjo’s gullet foreshadows the later O’Neill style we’ll come to know and love.
Tharg reveals a few different types of robot in The Nerve Centre – apparently the Command Module is equipped with Story-Selection Robots, Art Robots, Sub-Editor Robots and Payment Robots. There’s a few pieces of reader’s art which look a little too polished – presumably they’ve been copied from another source (apologies if I’m completly wrong and making false allegations!) In a change from stamp adverts (there were three last week) we get a quiz from the Home Office. Guess they don’t want 2000AD to go the way of Action!
Judge Dredd sees more surfboards on the moon (they’re called dustboards in this story – makes much more sense than moonskates). The story starts with Judge Dredd running low on air in the Oxygen Desert, is mostly told in flash-back and ends with Judge Dredd running low on air in the Oxygen Desert. Also the story is called The Oxygen Desert.
Bill Savage sees J.Clough/Mike Dorey return to show us ‘Georgia’ luring Bill and the boys further into a trap, while Nessie heads back to the Cavern to find all those famous faces I couldn’t identify last prog dead. For the second time Nessie and Rosa face off, though Rosa fights dirty and wins in the second panel of the fight. This episode passes the Bechdel Test.
The Harlem Hellcats return to the scene of their fight before heading back to their Firebowl. Zack is taking on the onerous task of interviewing prospective cheerleaders. The only one to get a name is Pearly. One page later, we find out Pearly has eyes that hold a ‘strange, brittle light’. One more page and we find out she also has a neon torch which emits a stream of invisible energy. I’m sure if Louis was around he’d be able to see it with his cybernetic eyes. Speaking of which, where is he? This is the Hellcats first home game, he should be there!
More Super Nova game cards, some looking like a rehash of the Future Focus pictures and others looking like something that could appear on a Chris Foss book cover.
Grailpage time. I’m tempted by the page of Dredd’s day, after he escapes from procedural work (the first time we saw his dislike of paperwork?) but before he arrives at the Priority 1 call to try to save the roadmaker crew from Wild Bill Carmody’s gang. I’m also tempted by the opener for Invasion, with a very naturalistic Bill by the docks. I’m going to have to go for Belardinelli’s opener to this week’s Inferno though – outside the burnt-out shell of The Crystal Maze, featuring some very organic looking surrounding buildings (or possibly vehicles).