Carlos Ezquerra (or is that L. J. Silver) provides a cover with Mongrol swinging around a tyrannosaur – I’m thinking this is not Golgotha.
The Nerve Centre misses the ‘Tharg’ from the heading this week (the reason I keep banging on about exactly what the Nerve Centre is called is beccause it was always Tharg’s Nerve Centre when I started reading 2000AD – so it doesn’t feel right to me if it says anything else). One earthlet writes in about his grandmother who is 92 years old and used to read Comic Cuts when she was a girl. For those who don’t know, Comic Cuts is often regarded as the first comic to be published (though there was another earlier which didn’t run for so long). Comic Cuts ran from 1890 to 1953, while The Glasgow Looking Glass ran from 1825 to 1826, though the first comic strip History of a Coat, appeared in the fourth issue. The phrase “to be continued” comes from the Looking Glass, as does the concept of word balloons. History lesson over, on with the prog!
Judge Dredd: The Invisible Man part two opens with Edwin Parsey confessing to the ‘invisiblity crimes’. From his first introduction he’s another great John Howard character – I keep thinking he’s a recurring character, but this story may be his only appearance (though as he’s so memorable he gets used in various spin-off games). The judges don’t believe Edwin is responsible for the crimes, though when he mentions one that hasn’t been publicised yet they take him in for interrogation, but Edwin wants to be charged for the invisiblity crimes rather than witholding evidence so maintains his story. Dredd orders a watch on the confessor (some nice background features from Ron Smith here, such as an Umpty Candy lorry – a confection which hasn’t been featured yet). Edwin walks past a bank, a robbery takes place, and the prime suspect that Dredd thought Edwin was following is apparently not the culprit, until Dredd reviews the spy-in-the-sky footage later. The twist is that the perp doesn’t turn invisible, he instead uses a device to slow time down within it’s field (technically I think time is sped up – but it gets warped one way or the other) and carries out a raid taking a few hours in the space of a hundredth of a second. Dredd busts the perp, though as the ‘invisible’ man activates the time warp as the bullet hits, he bleeds to death over the course of hours in the time it takes Dredd to run over to him. Clear?
Ro-Jaws’ Robo-Review! Film Fun! Ro-Jaws gives an update (from the sci-fi special) on why Meteor hasn’t been released yet – quarter of a million pounds worth of special effects footage had been rejected and the producers hired a new designer to work on SFX. Amongst the scenes re-done are a tidal wave hitting Hong Kong and a meteor shower hitting the World Trade Centre. Teasers at the bottom of page (with a section making heavy use of nactons: bits ‘n’ pieces, nuts ‘n’ bolts, this ‘n’ that) mention 1980 releases The Empire Strikes Back, Buck Rogers in the 20th Century (the TV series) and The Black Hole. Ro-Jaws is assisted by Richard Burton on this feature.
The Black Hole to Black Hawk (and back to black hole at some point) from Alvin Gaunt and Belardinelli. Starting with a misleading open, whic turns out to be a visualisation on The Oracle Computer (rather than a dream of dying) Blackhawk faces the Groool (monster with melto-vision), with an initial plan to fight blind-folded, and for Ursa to shout instructions if the roar of the crowd grows to loud. Unfortunately Ursa isn’t too clear on the difference between left and right so Blackhawk doesn’t make a good strike until he’s actually caught in the tentacles of the monster. Chop-chopping through a tentacle, the melty-monster goes on the rampage, taking out a few of the audience. Attention distracted, Blackhawk removes his hood to stab the monster in the back. The Director is pleased – nothing like a creature running amok to bring in the crowds – though Blackhawk ponders that he must escape soon before he can grow to love the butchery.
Pat Mills and ‘L J Silver’ provide this prog’s installment of the Golgotha storyline in The A.B.C. Warriors – the first to run for more than two progs in some time. The tyrannosaurs approach Viking City while the ABC Warriors, atop the pack’s girlfriends, lure them away and attack. The rest of the episode is a robot versus dino extravaganza, with the Mess making a not-too-frequent appearance in one frame. But, Golgotha is not among them, for Delilah screeched out a secret call to him, warning him away. Due to an incident at the opening on the main thoroughfare to Viking City, the metropolis has no electricity as Golgotha approaches. Meanwhile, Blackblood transparently sabotages Hammerstein’s guns (though the other characters seem blind to this).
Tharg’s Future-Shocks is back for the first time in a long time with Time Trap from ‘P. Wildebeest’ and J. Cooper. Wildebeest is Roy Preston, though I don’t know why he picked a pseudonym. Jim Collins is a scientist (I think, maybe a historian) who regularly uses a time travel machine at home to study the past, completely neglecting his wife and son (and insulting them into the bargain). The child, trying to see more of his father, accidentally damages the time machine (or controls, or something), leading to Jim getting stuck in the time lines, where he can see his wife and child forever. I’ve no idea how the punchline is supposed to work, as surely he can’t see anything back home from the timeline? Maybe this clumsy ending is why Preston got credited as Wildebeest.
Disaster 1990! from Finlay-Day and Pino has Bill taking revenge on the Pennines drylanders by going up the back way and stampeding the herds through the manor house. He takes revenge on the wayward sons, though also makes an enemy of the Squire. The main drama in this episode is when Bamber and Savage return to Oxford to find it pillaged and everybody dead (I suspect they’ll find at least on survivor next prog though, to get the lowdown on what happened).
No Eagle Award for Captain Klep, it’s been seeded number one in the Budgie Awards instead… The Beak has been using a mind reading machine to find out the secret identities of superheros, though meets its match in Klep, who can’t find his mind after two hours of searching…
Grailpage: Carlos Pino’s closing page of Disaster 1990, featuring the Duck returning to the devastated Oxford.
Grailquote: John Howard, judge: “You’ve got a heart of gold, Dredd!” Judge Dredd: “I know. I know.”