One of the great things about Judge Dredd as a series is it’s versatility. One week it can be the grim and gritty social commentary, the next a surreal satire or a daft action romp. Unsurprisingly, Mars Attacks Judge Dredd is one of the latter.
A routine bust turns out to be anything but when Dredd discovers the presence of what he at first assumes to be mutants. Mutants with giant elongated brains encased and crazily overpowered ray guns.
The Martians are in the Meg as part of a nefarious scheme to “infiltrate the largest criminal organisations on the planet- from corrupt judicial regimes to continent-spanning syndicates” and it’s up to Dredd and Anderson to stop them.
Despite being a life-long 2000AD fan, this is the first IDW Dredd I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. Al Ewing’s script is a real joy, perfectly nailing the balance between gross-out action and sharp dialogue.
With the story taking place outside if regular continuity, he also takes the opportunity to throw in some familiar names and places from the history of Dredd. The story kicks off in the notorious Section 301 aka The Pit, Simian gangster Don Uggie Apelino has a sizeable role to play, while Judge Larter (from the Judge Child Quest) turns up piloting an experimental Manta Prowl Tank.
John McCrea’s art, while retaining its own unique and very recognisable style here, has definite echoes of Mike McMahon in it’s jagged edges and chunky detailing. This is never a bad thing.
Both creators get it spot on throughout this mini. Hopefully they’ll be reunited to give us some more of their own particular Dreddverse in the near future
INTERIOR ARTWORK PREVIEW
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The writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle