McMahon provides the cover, featuring Blackblood and (in the background) the Straw Dogs. Inset are heads of the ABC Warriors already recruited, taken from previous progs (except for ‘Deadlock’ who is shown as a Volg war robot – wish I could claim credit for having noticed this, but in a later prog Tharg will be publishing a letter from an eagle-eyed reader who noticed first).
Early works by fledgling art droids are coming thick and fast now, with Philip Bond hitting the Nerve Centre
Judge Dredd: Father Earth part 4. John Howard and Ron Smith show Botanic Gardens full of exotic (and alien) plants, which are almost universally dangerous (of course – this is Mega-City One). One sings a hypnotic song to lure prey to it – and being a mutated human plant organism doesn’t protect Father Earth or his followers from the siren song. Dredd doesn’t do much in this episode – he could not be in it and most of it would have gone exactly the same way, including the final climax (Earth gets eaten).
Starlord’s Spaceship Special is a page of reader art – two look influenced by Battlestar Galactica, another is a photo of a broken up Starship Enterprise toy and the last looks like a combination of elements from the early Futurefocus Postergraphs (the ones with space stations and meteors turned into mining platforms and space hotels).
Disaster 1990 has Savage be inspired by something Bamber says, thus setting a trap for the pursuing convicts, involving fire and water. By the end, the survivors have been dropped off and Bamber has set up a radio in the DUKW, which reveals that Radio Oxford is broadcasting and appealing for survivors. Finlay-Day and Pino did the honours.
Pat Mills writes and Mike McMahon paints a full-colour centrespread and inks the rest of The A.B.C. Warriors as Hammerstein (and Joe Pineapples, particularly Joe Pineapples, top sniper and assassin) are sent out to recruit General Blackblood. Though the episode starts with a bang, and the Bouganville Massacre. The Warriors come across one survivor, a schoolteacher called Miss Sweet who is so hysterical they just have to take her with them. What could possibly go wrong?
Gosnell and Redondo are on Project Overkill. Harris and Schaeffer opt to crash the plane through the top of the Overkill complex, destroying Overkill and themselves in the process. They don’t bargain for a tractor beam which seizes control of the aircxraft and eases them down, with an artificial mountain. Cliffhanger time – Kenny is to be taken to Number 1.
Dan Dare carries on, Tom Tully and Dave Gibbons show Sondar and Dare cornering the shape-changing alien. Though being a shape-changer, he simply turns into a dog and starts to escape. Until a pterodactyl (sorry, space pterodactyl) rips out his throat (while the changer is in the form of a canine). The flying beast is belongs to Morag, whose tale we shall hear… next prog!
Grailpage: I was tempted by McMahon’s first appearance of Blackblood and a portrait of Pineapples toting a sniper rifle, but I can’t forsake the colours on the opening pages of the same episode, as Blackblood’s Daddy Long Legs (robo-tripods) attack the pacific island of Bouganville.
Grailquote: John Howard, Judge Dredd: “Dredd to Control… I want music pumped into my helmet receivers. Anything – just make it loud!” Control: “Wilco, Judge Dredd! Hot sounds comin’ up!”