It’s 1977 in Dunfirmline, Scotland. I have this pure and unspoiled memory of coming back from the local convenience shop with the first issue of 2000 AD, featuring who would become my most loved character in comic literature: Judge Dredd.
Thank you to IDW for continuing the adventures of this grim-visaged bad-ass law man.
Karl Urban and Sylvester Stallone movies aside (definitely put Stallone aside), the best way to continue the adventures of this British icon is clearly in comics. The problem, however, in dealing with a franchise that has been around for thirty-seven years, is where do you start? British comic publishing cycles are weekly, so there are literally hundreds of stories to select from to present Dredd to an American audience.
Duane Swierczynski and Nelson Daniel do an excellent job in presenting an adventure that is completely true to the initial concept of Judge Dredd I read when I was a kid.
Issue #14 is the beginning of a story arc known as “13 Badges”. Basically, someone has it in for the Judges and is picking them off, one by one. Given that the Judges in Mega City One are not only enforcers of justice but instant dispensers of it as well, it’s no wonder someone has it in for them.
To take on a project with such a prolific history is a daunting one, to say the least. Swierczynski delivers action-packed art that wonderfully recreates the original no-holds barred mentality that I grew up reading, and became increasingly desensitized to. Yeah, sad life, I know, but Swierczynski manages to draw the character in the same consistent vein as when he was first introduced in the late seventies. Daniels’ dialogue manages to capture the same gritty characterization that Dredd is known for as well as other memorable figures like the head of the dreaded SJS, Judge Cal.
It’s a great comic, and I’m looking forward to completing this arc. Dredd must be one of the most fun and exciting characters to write or draw. The fact that he has survived a transition across the ocean, and managed to stick around for 37 years is testament to the fact.
In recreating Dredd for North America, IDW has a winner. They certainly manage to keep the consistency from the character’s original conception.
Great read. And remember, in both the UK and in North America, he IS the law.
Just try not to imagine that said in Stallone’s voice.