Comic Review 22 // Festive Thrillpower 2017

Welcome to a Christmas Eve edition of my comic reviews, what better comic to review than 2000 AD's festive thrillpower 2017. If you aren't already signed up to their mailing list then you are living life wrong, so head over to 2000ad.com and join in the madness. Now that is out of the way onto the issue. The comic is firstly digital just how I like them, it's 91 pages long and completely free. The cover is a repurposed cover from the Judge Dredd Megazine issue 355 and features a Santa Judge and a penguin with a sign that states I heart Dredd. Swiftly moving on you get the normal writers pages and Rebellion Publishing pages. Now to the good stuff:

Story: Judge Dredd: Choose your own Xmas- Poor Jackson Packard has been in accident at West 17
Test Labs and now his life will change forever. Just like the choose your adventure books of my youth you are meant to guide the hero on his quest. But in fact your not, if you read it panel by panel you come to realise the story is progressing as normal, worst let, you keep getting killed by Dredd who gets more and confused every time he meets you. Ultimately you will cause the death of over a 1000 citizens and die many times. Weird but funny tale.
Highlight: The hero's name is a combo of Steve Jackson and Edward Packard both choose your own adventure authors. He lives in Joe Denver block aka the author of the Lone Wolf Choose your own adventure books and his best friend is called Steve Livingstone of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone the creators of Choose your own adventure and Games Workshop! Great nod to this genre of books.

Story: Judge Dredd: The Santa Affair- The entire tale is written in the style of the christmas tale Twas the Night before Christmas, Dredd and a group of Judges are undercover dressed as Santa and they are attempting to stop a robbery. Unfortunately a guy with a sniper rifle is attempting to kill his target who is also dressed as Santa. Soon chaos reigns and it is up to Dredd to solve the problem.
Highlight: Great artwork by A. Ranson, but I don't like the poem format of the tale so a bit of a miss for me.

Story: Sinister Dexter: Ray and Finny's Daze of Christmas- Weirdly opening panel and then no story? Such a shame as I love Sinister Dexter tales.

Story: Zombo: Merry Christmas, Mr Zombo- Hands up not a fan of Zombo, this tale didn't work for me at all for the simple reason it is part of a bigger tale. It's not a one shot story, so you are kind of left wondering what exactly is going on? Who are the guys trying to jam the signal, who are the guys in the last panel? Why is that mutant hunting Zombo? Just to random for me.
Highlight: Henry Flint's artwork as always was a true highlight of this strip.

Story: Dandridge: A Christmas Ghost Story- Basically an episode of  Goosebumps or Eerie Indiana. I did enjoy it though and not having read a Dandridge tale before I look forward to reading more soon!
Highlight: The image of the Peddler at the end, so sinister and creepy looking. Loved it.

Story: Tharg's Futureshocks: One Christmas during Eternity- A sad tale of how man has created the immortality pill and can live forever. But with a never dying population a rule had to be brought in to control overcrowding...no more children! So every christmas families around the world rent robot children for the day in an attempt to have a merry christmas.

Story: Judge Dredd: A Very Creepy Christmas- Creep is lose in a MC-1 kook holding cell. As the little creature moves from Zone to Zone he unleashes mayhem. For once we see a Dredd out of league, not only does he fail to stop the creep but loses to Rookie judges in the process! Bad day for Dredd.

Story: Stickleback: 'Twas the Fight before Christmas- Another poem comic strip. Not a fan at all the main character Stickleback basically has a fight with Santa and leaves a mocking note for the defeated Santa Claus. Swiftly moving on.

Story: Cal-Hab Justice: Hogmanay- A slow burning tale mostly slow casing the main characters of tale Cal-Hab. Seems like a filler piece but fun to go back to such an old tale.

Story: Judge Dredd: Melt- Think classic Snowman cartoon meets Judge Dredd. A fun actioned packed tale that once you understand the Snowmen's needs you just end up feeling sorry for them. I hope the young boy of the story gets to come back as an adult in a later tale as he seems to now have a hatred for Judges.
Highlight: Once again Henry Flint delivers the goods as far as artwork goes. Great work on this one.

Story: Max Normal: No comic for old men- Max Normal comes across a down and out Ex-Don Vitto from the Jungle, sharing a drink they reminisce about old crimes they got up to together. Soon the drink gets the better off them and they are off raiding a Judges Storage facility in search of some busted comics. Comical capers soon follow and the strip ends with them reading some classic comics from their younger days.
Highlight: In my opinion best comic strip was saved till last. I enjoyed the artists interpretation of the the Max Normal classic scene of him hailing down Dredd and it was fun light hearted tale and ended with a Merry Christmas. Perfect!

Overall a good free comic. Just a shame the Sinister Dexter striped failed to be the download. So don't mess around go sign up to the thrill mail and a Merry Xmas!

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