3 out of 5
Indeed, didst I start reading 2000 AD sometime after the Dredd movie, so my first exposure to Sinister Dexter was during the Matt Smith editorial years, which I think are agreed to generally be a high point for the book. And I dunno if it’s just coincidence, or editorial guidance, or changes in Abnett’s writing style over the years, but excepting some specials, the only titles in the mag which tend to get single-prog stories are thing like Time Twisters or Dredd, meaning that SinDex, when it appears, appears in multiple-part tales. Slay Per View, meanwhile, collecting several SinDexes from the 90s – generally considered a dark time for the magazine – is 200+ pages of almost entirely single-prog shots. As you can perhaps imagine, this makes it hard to build much story momentum.
There’s still some notable entries here, from the era when our gun monkeys were working for crime boss Demi Motavo, but wouldn’t ya’ know, those notables are mostly the few multi-part stories featured. The singles are amusing but formulaic, especially when read back to back. Thankfully there’s a slew of fantastic artists collected here, so every few pages gets a visual revamp.
The snarky killers-for-hire get plenty of amusing jobs on their Fact Totems during Slay Per View, and we get to witness the start of Ramone’s and Tuesday Weld’s relationship, plus brief flashes of the various oddballs dreamed up by Abnett which populate Downlode. But since most stories dont last beyond 8 pages, it’s near impossible to build up a lot of story momentum along the way.