Judge Dredd Issue 1
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Illustrated by Nelson Daniel, Paul Gulacy
Published by IDW
With all the buzz currently around 2000AD’s game-changing treatment of the tales of Judge Joseph Dredd, it would be a shame if this new US take on the world of Mega City One passed fans by.
There have been unique US strips before, and this one undoubtedly comes as a reaction to the recent movie, but it creates an interesting counterpoint to the UK incarnation. With very little preamble, this first issue hurls the reader into a disaster in the Mega City, precipitated by a seeming accident involving a robot. But as events rapidly escalate with an oddly exploding tree, Dredd wonders if there is a malevolent hand behind affairs.
The script for Ripe is tight and the plot hurtles along, with a decidedly leering violence in the art (decapitated heads and all). The story brings to mind Call Me Kenneth and his own robot uprising many years ago, but this storyline is sure to take a different path as it develops over the next few months.
The back-up strip – Protection Racket – interestingly continues to probe the relationship between man and machine, perhaps helped by sharing the same writer. The issue is capped with the first part of a potted history of Dredd, and with six variant covers for this issue, there is much for avid collectors and simple fans of the Judge to savour. Do seek it out in all good comic stores.