In Review: Two Comics in One! Hawk the Slayer’s return debuted with latest Judge Dredd Megazine

The latest Judge Dredd Megazine, Issue 440, is on sale now (in WHSmith, at least, ahead of its official 19th January release date!) with a striking cover from Stewart Kenneth Moore. This issue comes with the first issue of Rebellion’s new comic, Hawk the Slayer, a continuation of the 1980s movie.

Judge Dredd Megazine 440 - cover by David Roach and Dylan Teague

Hawk the Slayer is a five issue mini series by Garth Ennis, with art by Henry Flint, lettered by Rob Steen, with each issue to be bagged with Judge Dredd Megazine every month.

“I saw Hawk the Slayer when I was eleven, in Letterkenny, Donegal,’ says Ennis in an introductory feature to the new comic in the Megazine, talking to Karl Stock. “It was just the right age. The slight whiff of cheese wasn’t apparent to me then; all I saw were characters I liked in a story I thoroughly enjoyed.

“The heroes are a pretty dangerous bunch,” he continues, “the villain is unforgettable, the comic relief – Sped the Slaver and the long-suffering innkeeper – is good fun and there’s plenty of action. I also enjoyed the sinister occult elements that cropped up from time to time… the Black Wizard in his cave, and the impressively creepy Forest of Weir. And when something like that gets its hooks into you at that age, it never really lets go!”

For those who naysayed the inclusion of Hawk the Slayer as part of the the Megazine – well, yes, it is a bit of a departure from tales of Mega City One. But the first issue is an absolute delight, not only recapping, with aplomb, the original film, but setting up, in style, an all-new story.

The cast of heroes, led by Hawk, is reintroduced in style, the villains of the piece are suitably scary, and the adventure tips along at a cracking pace. Henry Flint’s art is absolutely top notch.

While fans of the original cult classic fantasy film should enjoy this new adventure, this new Hawk the Slayer tale will most certainly create new fans, too. This is a real treat, and I’m looking forward to reading the next episode.

There’s plenty in the Megazine proper to enjoy, too, with a new Judge Dredd story, “Praise Zort”, making its debut (although this is a bit of a set up episode, with fireworks soon to come, I’m sure); another terrific episode of “Death Cap”, which has a great, if not entirely unexpected, twist in the tale, the brilliant “Lawless”, with Phil Winslade again batting it out of the park on that strip’s art; and worrying developments in “Surfer”, which rounds out the issue with some great action sequences from Colin MacNeil.

The issue also includes a great interview with artist and editor Steve White by Karl Stock, whose writing credits range from Action Force and The Real Ghostbusters to “Rogue Trooper” for 2000AD – but who’s best known today for his stunning dinosaur art. He’s been an editor of plenty of comics, too, including the groundbreaking first volume of Knights of Pendragon, as well as many titles for Tundra UK and Titan Comics.

All in all, Judge Dredd Megazine 440 is great value for the £5.99 cover price. Track it down now.

Judge Dredd Megazine 440 is on sale now from WHSmith and other good newsagents, and comic shops, price £5.99 | Check out 2000AD, Judge Dredd Megazine and more online at 2000ad.com

IN THIS ISSUE…

JUDGE DREDD – PRAISE ZORT!

By Rory McConville (Writer) Staz Johnson (Artist) Chris Blythe (Colourist) Annie Parkhouse (Letterer)

Judge Dredd Megazine 440 - Judge Dredd

Mega-City One, 2144 AD. This vast urban hell on the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America is home to over 180 million citizens. Unemployment is endemic, and crime is rampant. Stemming the tide of chaos are the Judges, future law-enforcers empowered to dispense instant justice. Toughest of them all is Judge Dredd – he is the Law!

This new story picks up the storyline in the aftermath of last year’s “Project Providence”, where Mega-City One was caught red-handed using time-travel tech to steal the march on other nations. Chief Judge Logan is going to need all the support he can muster to avoid sanctions, and unfortunately that means seeking the approval of the eccentric Profundians…

DEATH CAP PART TWO

By TC Eglington (Writer) Boo Cook (Artist) Simon Bowland (Letterer)

Judge Dredd Megazine 440 - Death Cap

The Cursed Earth, 2144 AD. This blasted, irradiated wilderness covers much of what’s left of post-apocalyptic twenty-second century North America. Here, mutants exiled from living in the Mega-Cities scratch out a meagre existence in ramshackle townships. Former Judge Anita Goya’s family have been massacred, and she’s gone on the hunt for the perpetrators…

DIAMOND DOGS BOOK THREE

By James Peaty (Writer) Warren Please (Artist) Simon Bowland (Letterer)

Judge Dredd Megazine 440 - Diamond Dogs

Brit-Cit, 2144 AD. The remnants of old Britain still exist alongside the twenty-second century Mega-City, and these ruins are fought over by the Brit-Cit street gangs, who see them as valuable territory. Nia Jones used to run with the Diamond Dogs, but she’s also a Justice Dept informer, trying to buy her way out. Now, she’s working with Detective-Judge Armitage…

LAWLESS – BALLOTS OVER BADROCK

By Dan Abnett (Writer), Phil Windslade (Artist) Jim Campbell (Letterer)

Judge Dredd Megazine 440 - Lawless

Colonial Marshal Metta Lawson was appointed to the frontier township of Badrock on the planet 43 Rega, intent on stamping her authority on the colony. But in doing so, Lawson made many enemies, including Munce, Inc., the mega-corporation that funded Badrock. Now, with the SJS also running things, Lawson’s decided to quit her post and run for mayor…

SURFER-2 PART TWO

By John Wagner (Writer) Colin MacNeil (Artist) Chris Blythe (Colourist) Annie Parkhouse (Letterer)

Judge Dredd Megazine 440 - Surfer

Mega-City One, 2144 AD. Skysurfing is one of the most popular pastimes in the twenty-second century metropolis, a sport that requires a great deal of skill and agility. Young Zane Perks is a particularly gifted surfer, and has just audtioned to be in a movie recreating the famous Supersurf 7. He’s won the part as the stunt stand-in for the lead actor…

Bagged graphic novel: Hawk the Slayer #1

Judge Dredd Megazine 440 is on sale now from WHSmith and other good newsagents, and comic shops, price £5.99 | Check out 2000AD, Judge Dredd Megazine and more online at 2000ad.com

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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