After the last 2000ad audio, I was really hoping WAR PLANET could pull a seemingly flagging series out of the fire. When it had first come out, the DREDD and STRONTIUM DOG dramas had been a breath of fresh air, both very different from DOCTOR WHO in both style and execution. But 99 CODE RED really highlighted, for me at least, that the series needed to either evolve or die. WAR PLANET is bizarrely, a mix of the old and the new. Before I begin the review proper, looking at the BF site the new slate of DREDD tales seem to have more of an edge to them than the likes of CODE RED. However, several of the upcoming scripts are set outside of the Big Meg- we have seen this before, in GET KARTER and TRAPPED ON TITAN- is this a desparate attempt to change the course of the series?. Whatever, im more optimistic about the future of the series than I was a few months back- we still need more STRONTIUM DOG- it has a wider scope than DREDD’s comparatively small universe.

WAR PLANET then, is a bit of the old, established action with more than a little bit of kick- something the story benefits from, smoething CODE RED lacked. Stone’s sharp scripting keeps the cast on their toes. Longworth once again takes control as Dredd- he’s more interesting this month, the by play between him and the captive Efil Drago San (see THE KILLING ZONE- strangely my first review for SciFind) is good value. Dave Stone’s work here is only a loose sequel to that previous story- a few lines allude to the master criminals actions prior to this, but nothing that will spoil the whole thing for any newcomers. India Fisher obviously enjoys her role here as a evil Servalyn style villain- it’s a role so different from Charley in the 8DAD’s that she relishes every moment.

I still cant work out why I enjoyed WAR PLANET- it still suffers from niggles like jokes that fall flat and under baked plots, but this is an enjoyable romp. Its bright, breezy listening- these are audio movies, slices of action and nothing more than that. Six new DREDD adventures this year ay? I really think that could end up being quite good after all…..



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