Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Brandon Easton
Artwork: Kei Zama
Colours: Eva De La Cruz
Release Date: 12th August 2020
Building upon this book’s shocking premise that Doctor Filth is trafficking children from the Cursed Earth so he can dissolve them in vast chemical tanks and “extract their mutant genes”, Brandon Easton’s writing for issue two of IDW’s Judge Dredd: False Witness certainly brings home the horror of the post-nuclear world to his audience. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a more grim fate for the hapless adolescent immigrants than the one the television personality has in store for them once they arrive at Mega-City One and fall prey to his laboratory’s nightmarish experiments.
However, such trauma is arguably as nothing when compared to the gaping holes within this twenty-page periodical’s plot and the Baltimore-born writer’s incredibly impotent version of the metropolis’ Justice Department. True, such glaring contrivances as the “professional provocateur” simply allowing Mathias Lincoln to freely walk out of his test centre despite knowing that Filth is chemically “turning humans into puddles of goo” and subsequently selling it to the rich as a life enhancement drug, certainly ensures that this comic contains plenty of pulse-pounding action once the good Doctor apparently realises his mistake. But why would someone as all-powerful as the industrial/entertainment megalomaniac possibly allow any person who had first-hand knowledge of his entire operation to simply leave his establishment alive in the first place?
Similarly as jarring is the response of Chief Judge Logan to the Shannon McShannon show, whose broadcast is clearly inciting the conurbation’s citizens to rise up against the Cursed Earth immigrants. In the past, whether via a covert smear campaign, blatant set-up, or highly visible arrest, the Judges would debatably never allow such ‘trash-talking’ to continue; especially when it appears the so-called legitimate protestors are also being armed with some “off-world heavy deployment technology”. Yet Dredd’s superior is all-set to allow the madness to continue simply because he’s afraid “this is beyond our ability to control.”
Fortunately, the titular character does seem to be aware of the poor message his leader is sending to the increasingly agitated demonstrators, and having discovered a corrupt cell of judges aiding Filth’s efforts, he decides to tackle the problem head-on by blasting his way through the security robots of McShannon’s broadcast headquarters. This destructive confrontation is probably the highlight of the book, with the senior lawman literally punching an argumentative rich kid right out of his sneakers for impudently standing in his way.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]