Been a bit lapse on updating the blog of late. A mix of busy–ness, business, family and laziness. As a result I missed the start of the new Judge Dredd storyline that Henry Flint and I are doing for 2000AD. It’s a follow-up to last year’s ‘Titan’ story, which saw us crack Dredd’s skull, both physically and metaphorically – a bit. Enceladus is the continuation of that narrative, repercussions coming home to roost. At the close of ‘Titan’ Aimee Nixon and the revolting (sic) Titan prison inmates headed off to the Saturn moon of Enceladus to start their own colony. Dredd, and Justice Department lost, and Dredd was brutalised in a way that he has rarely been before. Broken old man, with his peerless authority shown to be something fragile.
So, what happened to the new colony up on the ice moon Enceladus (the new life of the title)? And how does Dredd deal with what happened to him on Titan when one of the Titan troop-carriers comes back to Mega City One… but there’s nobody onboard?
Now there’s a page, Henry.
Big surprises coming in this one as we progress. Big stakes too. And Henry Flint’s art, and colours, are pretty incredible throughout. Henry’s colouring himself here and it’s bringing out the best of his work. This is all something of a big Dredd opera – the Titan of the original title wasn’t just about the Saturn moon, it was mainly about Joe Dredd himself. Getting below the surface, something that’s a theme throughout Enceladus. Dredd’s not a robot even though he’s sometimes written as such. Big emotions boiling under that mask. And Henry’s colouring really fits the operatic crescendos.
Enceladus started in 2000AD #1924 and runs… well, I’m not saying how long it runs. It’s a mystery.
What else is going on? Work on MARTIAN MANHUNTER continues, with Eddy Barrow killing it on art. Looking foward to showing these pages off. Pleasingly, Eddy’s got a natural sense of drama in his storytelling. We’re playing on mystery there too, the sense of J’onn being truly alien rather than just a green superhero, and he’s selling that very well, along with putting down some of the best big J’onn J’onzz visuals you’ve ever seen.
Here’s the cover for #1 and our June solicit text. The story heading is ‘Weapon’. And I’m enjoying playing with the idea of exactly why, when J’onn can shapeshift to look human, he chooses to remain green and oddlly alien, even though it’s not his true form. Who is J’onn J’onzz, really?:
MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1
Written by ROB WILLIAMS
Art and cover by EDDY BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
1:25 Variant cover by GABRIEL HARDMAN
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Shape-shifting Martians are invading Earth – so where is J’onn J’onzz to stop them? Trust no one as the Martian Manhunter tries to stop these ruthless alien terrorists from destroying everything!
DOCTOR WHO: THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR is continuing from Titan Comics. #10 was my most recent issue, the second part of a two-parter with Simon Fraser on art. Al Ewing and Boo Cook did the first part of this story, and Al and I have had fun at various points in our Who run of handing off a cliffhanger to the other. It’s a really effective way to work. “There you go, solve that.” Lots of fun, being part of that series, collaborating with Al, Si, our editor Andrew James and the rest of the team. I’m currently trying to cram in as many Bowie lines into Jones’ dialogue as I can, which is amusing me if no one else.
#15 is the finale of the ‘First Season’ of our Who comic, and we’re ending with a two-parter – ‘The Comfort Of The Good’ – so obviously the cliff-hanger has to be big. Like we’ve said all along, you know the Doctor is going to make it through, but Alice, Jones, ARC… will they all survive? Hopefully we’ve made you care about them along the way.
I’ll be signing the Free Comic Book Day Doctor Who special at Forbidden Planet, London, on Saturday May 2nd, along with Al Ewing and Cav Scott of the 9th Doctor comic. I think we’re due to start at 12. The FCBD issue features three brand new shorts. One for the 10th, 11th and 12th Doctors, I think.
Preview of the FCBD Who issue here:
I also have a new DR SIN story in the 2000AD Free Comic Book Day issue, with art by Luca Pizzari – who’s now doing Marvel work and is plainly one to watch for the future. It’s fun. A mix of horror and rather silly comedy. I enjoyed writing it.
Here’s a preview:
Other things going on – very exciting things – that I can’t talk about yet. Soon, I hope.
Right, back to work.