Saturday, April 27, 2013

Judge Dredd, Volume 1 by Duane Swierczynski (Writer) and Nelson Daniel (Artist)

 I fell in love with Judge Dredd back in the early '80's, when Eagle Comics started reprinting the best of the 2000 AD strips. I thrilled to Mega-City One's war with The Sov Block, outbreaks of Block Mania, invasions by The Dark Judges, and broadened my artistic horizons thanks to Carlos Ezquerra, Brian Bolland, and a host of other 2000 AD luminaries. There have been a few attempts by American Publishers to get on the Dredd bandwagon, none of which have met with much success, which brings us to the latest, courtesy of IDW.....

 Judge Dredd would probably give IDW's JUDGE DREDD, VOLUME 1 five years in the Iso-Cubes.

 Writer Duane Swierczynski certainly seems to be trying, but his stories have a bland, instantly forgettable feel to them. His voice, to be fair, does seem to improve with each successive issue, but this is still real low-level Dredd, to be sure. The art is capable, if sometimes underwhelming, but my main beef was with the way that each issue featured a few short, interconnected stories that continued on into the next issue. It seemed as if IDW were trying to capture the feel of 2000 AD's shorter stories, but it just came off as annoying. (This may, for all I know, not be an issue in the collected edition: IDW provided a digital review copy, which consisted of the first four issues, without any of the print edition's bells and whistles.)

 This is not a terrible book.....Dredd newcomers may find it perfectly acceptable. Longtime Dredd fans will have seen much better.