Published by Rebellion
Writer: Steve Moore
Artist: Steve Yeowell
Colours: Chris Blythe
Letters: Ellie De Ville
Cover: Jason Brashill
Firstly apologies for the standard of the cover image. I don’t have a Pdf Preview of this magazine so resorted to taking a photo. I had difficulty with lighting due to the reflective nature of the glossy cover. My photo has drained the colours as you can see when you compare the picture above with the cover from Prog 1205, right, but I wanted to show the actual cover of this version. You can expand the 2000AD cover.
I don’t usually review the free comics given away with the Megazine, many readers refer to these as ‘Floppys’. So why am I reviewing this one? Simple – it was written by Steve Moore.
Steve Moore sadly died on 14th March 2014, aged 64. As a writer he inspired many others to push their artistry, writers and artists alike. He taught his skills to his protoge, Alan Moore (no relation) and of course inspired Alan’s daughter Leah Moore.
More than that Steve Moore wrote some of my favourite stories in Dr Who Weekly, creating Absalom Daak, Dalek Killer (which really should be a cartoon). Obviously as a 2000AD fan there was much he wrote in the Galaxy’s Greatest that I enjoyed but it was his Dr Who work that fired my imagination the most.
This story is about Red Fang, a member of a Triad clan on the frontier world of Haggard’s Planet some time in the future. Well actually unlike most Sci-Fi we know exactly when this story starts, 15th August 2349. We also know that it is late afternoon.
Little details like this help with the suspension of disbelief. What he also brought to this story though was his deep understanding of Chinese and Japanese culture. Here he pits the Triad against the Yakuza. Granted he gives them a th century spin but reading this story we get the same feel as we might from a Hong Kong movie about the Triad.
Red Fang is the ‘White Paper Fan‘ of the Triad, an Administrator role and in this story he is more or less the head of intelligence. His close associate is a young lady named Pheonix Hu, an assassin (possibly the Triad’d Enforcer or ‘Red Pole‘).
The struggle for power between the Triad and Yakuza have far reaching affects for Haggard’s Planet, the small Mafia organisation that is present there and the sole alien race that Humans have so far encountered, the squid-like Radovek. It is somewhat comforting to know that on such a crime infested planet the police, in the form of Captain Grimaldi is professional and unimpeachable.
A well crafted story with as much real world detail as this story has brings together a very satisfying read.
The art is superb, Steve Yeowell depicts the characters and action well, interestingly he recently illustrated Black Shuck by Leah Moore and John Reppion in 2000AD. Steve Yeowell is well known for his detail in faces, making him an ideal choice for this story. Chris Blythe’s colours are as usual flawless in my opinion.
What a joy to have this fall out of my subs copy of the Megazine yesterday.