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The new Judge Dredd Megazine comes out on 21 October and features a terrifying wraparound cover from Nick Percival, currently giving us all nightmares with the new Dark Judges: Deliverance strip, written by David Hine.

For more on Deliverance, check out the interview with Hine and Percival right here, where Nick had this to say about what to expect from The Dark Judges this time around…

“You can eventually expect some more killing of course but there’s a lot to establish first. Since when we last saw him, Death was floating through space trapped in his Boing ™ bubble, forced to a tortured eternity of reading the entire works of Wordsworth.”

“It’s a unique look at Judge Death, who is worshipped, almost as a God on this new planet inhabited primarily by a perverted Death Cult called the Mortarians. Dave and myself were thinking of ideas of how to continue the saga of the Dark Judges, so I initially pitched two very rough ideas to Tharg and the one of Judge Death crash landing on a planet where he’s seen as a God and worshipped before all Hell breaks loose was the one that was green lit– Dave being the excellent writer he is, completely improved this very basic premise by about a million which is what with now have with Deliverance.”

Nick’s artwork is the perfect fit for The Dark Judges, full of hideous, nightmare-inducing details guaranteed to give you the chills. You know, this sort of thing from the first episode in Megazine #424…

Death wants to give you a kisssss…

He was good enough to share the process behind putting together his latest attempt to give us all sleepless nights on the cover of Megazine Issue 425.

I wanted to do a wraparound cover to give it more impact and expand the theme of Judge Death in sleeping ‘Nosferatu’ mode, being surrounded by the Sisters of Death and various dead souls, etc.

Also, it gave me an opportunity to include a large image of Judge Whisper in the top left-hand corner, since Part 2 of ‘Deliverance’ features his return – he wasn’t fully destroyed at the end of the Torture Garden series – (can any Dark Judge really ever die?) He’s quickly becoming one of my favourite new characters in the Dark Judges saga. There’s a kind of camp, evil menace about his personality. 

Judge Whisper’s Tinder profile pic – He can’t work out why no one swipes right.

Things didn’t radically change from the initial rough sketch through to the final painted piece – I don’t tend to change things too much.

My pencils are always very loose, just to get the idea quickly down on paper and approved by Tharg –then it’s just a case of cracking on and getting the final image done. 

Nick’s pencil rough for his cover. Shhhh… you’re going to wake up Death.

One thing that influenced me a bit was the scene near the end of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, where Indy and Marion are tied up, the Ark is opened and all the souls are freed, swirling around everybody – that’s a great scene and I think I was channelling some of that when I was designing it. 

I stuck pretty much to a monochrome blueish colour palette – it gives it a ghostly, ethereal feel which is what the Sisters of Death are all about whenever they appear to stir things up. 

Final wraparound cover – cue the nightmares.

I also have the wraparound Megazine Christmas cover coming up soon, again featuring the Dark Judges, but an image that’s not linked to the ‘Deliverance’ series – Just the evil gang terrorising Santa and lots of festive shenanigans…

The Dark Judges facing off against Santa? Oh great, now Percival’s going to make Christmas terrifying as well! You’ll be able to see that later in the year but before then, make sure to head to the 2000 AD web shop to get your hands on Megazine #425 from 21 October.

Thanks to Nick for giving us all a look behind the latest fear-filled Dark Judges cover there. And now, because he wanted to make sure that none of you slept well tonight – a look close-up at Judge Death from Nick’s cover!

Sssssweet Dreamssss…