Graphic Novel Reviews

Satan's Island

(2005) John Wagner, Kev Walker, Ben Willisher & Paul Marshall, Rebellion, 9.99, trdpbk, pp unnumbered, ISBN 1-904-26576-6


This was originally title Sin City but changed no doubt to avoid confusion with the graphic novel of the same name and forthcoming film. The 'city', or 'island' in question is a huge, small city-sized sea-going leisure complex that tours the World seeking customers at its ports of call. Now it wants to pay a visit to Mega City One. The Judges allow this provided that they can have a small force to assist Sin City's own enforcers. This is a surprising move as the Judges would not normally allow the excesses and perversions Sin City affords. However the Judges have an ulterior motive. They have discovered that a wanted terrorist is using Sin City as a refuge and may be planning a strike against the big meg.

This is another 2000AD graphic novel from Rebellion (2000AD's current publishers) and in the new smaller format to that that Titan has used for the best part of two decades. Consequently collectors are having to get used to the new size -- new shelf spacing folks -- and just hope that enough graphic novels will be produced to fill a reasonable length of a collector's shelf. The story is a collection from a Dredd adventure in 2000AD in 2002 and 2003. As such it is a great read, however...

...The story sees the return of a Dredd character that has appeared in2000AD periodically over the comic's entire history (well at least since it merged with Starlord at the end of the 1970s). It also is a landmark adventure in this particular arc. It is therefore more than a little disappointing that writer John Wagner didn't pull out all the stops - he has done far better in the past. Maybe he wanted to draw a line somewhere for this is not up to the standard of the other stories in this particular arc. The artwork is also not the best and 2000AD has, and does, see better. Nonetheless, because of this self-same arc this will be unmissable for Judge Dredd and 2000AD diehards.

Jonathan Cowie

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