Smith, John


2 out of 5

(1 book)

Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection - Devlin Waugh: Swimming In Blood

(Art by Sean Phillips, Colin MacNeil and John Burns)

A collection of four tales of Vatican special envoy Devlin Waugh, whose love for the finer things in life is matched only by his ferocity in facing supernatural threats. 

Here it is vampires who provide the main antagonists for Devlin, beginning with his first ever appearance in the titular 'Swimming in Blood' and continuing in the follow-up 'Red Tide'.  These two stories have some great settings, with the first one being a classic horror story in which a beleaguered group of survivors have to fight for life amid a vampire epidemic in an underwater maximum security prison.  The second story picks up some years later when the area has been turned into a vampire hunter's theme park called Fangland.  Predictably, the hunters soon become the prey in a struggle focused around the bloodsire Landis, the daywalker Lilith and Devlin himself.

The other two stories are short and not terribly inspiring, serving more as an excuse for the bon vivant Devlin to cross paths with the grim Judge Dredd than anything else.

For me what lets this book down is Devlin Waugh himself.  His endless quipping and painfully cliched Britishness soon become annoying and I can't help but feel that, despite being one of the first openly gay characters in British comics, he is in fact a horrible stereotype that doesn't do the gay community any favours.

2 out of 5


Collaborations & Anthologies:

Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection - The Heavy Mob (here)


2000AD (here)