The Chimera Code (pkgd. w/ JD Meg #422) – Wayne Santos

2 out of 5

The JD Meg floppies are, by design, odds and ends – story collections that maybe don’t fill out a whole trade, or aren’t considered profitable enough to do so – but this month’s ‘Chimera Code’ seems to fit that bill even more than usual.

The Chimera Code is a tie-in to a same-titled book being published by Rebellion.  The Megazine has previously been home to many one-off stories that are try-outs for potential longer tales, or promotional type jobs like this one, so it’s rather questionable that it was relegated to the floppy.  However, Sygnin’s loose, uncharacteristic artstyle – which looks, first and foremost, to have been done quickly – and writer Wayne Santos’ stereotypically quippy, badass lead and stereotypically quippy supporting characters and badguy – offer no real visual or narrative points of interest to get in to, so… yeah, to the floppy it goes.  The setup of a world in which magical powers are, in a way, “sold,” is acceptable, and could definitely be fleshed out in a book in an intriguing manner, but it doesn’t do anything in a comic format.

The rest of this issue collects 6 of Bob Byrne’s Twisted Tales.  Byrne has a comix-y, cramped art style that’s rather unique to 2000 AD / The Meg, and his Twilight Zone-twists by way of out-there sci-fi premises make for some interesting reads, but his dedication to silent panels and tight grids, and his concepts sometimes being so out there can result in the strips being hard to follow.  Having them back to back also tends to make the twist ending set up feel repetitive, but that’s understandably the shtick of the whole thing.