Written by: Duane Swierczynski
Art by: Nelson Daniel
There is something magnificent about the world of Judge Dredd; maybe it’s the uber-violent flamboyancy or the surrealistic partnership of the world and the people that live in it—either way, Mega City One and the stories that are told inside the pages of a Judge Dredd comic are no doubt up there with the best. I may be biased whilst writing this—being a lifelong fan of the Judge—but #29 is exciting and adrenaline-fuelled, complete with some of the more exciting of IDW’s series so far. Judge Dredd has faced some of his hardest challenges to date—the Dark Judges and a ruthless pursuit by Judge Cal to name a few, which have left him close to death on more than one occasion—but now, after the end of the ‘Mega City Manhunt,’ what was next for Joe and the residents of Mega City One?
It doesn’t take long for the newest threat to materialise. The Guardians of Drokk (or G.O.D. for short) intend on bringing down the city from within—exposing everyone’s dirty secrets and revealing that they are the ones behind the dreaded Dead Eye pandemic. It suddenly goes from bad to worse as the citizens revolt and bring about a huge threat—meaning it is up to Judge Dredd to stop things before they go from bad to worse. With the ‘newly-reformed Cal’ appearing to now side with Judge, things will surely be OK, won’t they? Come on guys, what would be the fun in that?
I really enjoyed this issue. Duane has a great way of blending snappy dialogue with great interaction between the Judges—especially after some truly vitriolic back-and-forth between Cal and Dredd in the last arc, there is still a great uneasiness between the two that is written in flawlessly and you feel that it could go south at any point. G.O.D. are written in well too—their chilling revelations and unnerving sentiments resound well (“There are no secrets from us”) and show us they are certainly a force to be reckoned with. As for Nelson’s artwork, the gritty and bleak melds beautifully with the subtle effervescence of a dystopian world and it feels as alive as ever with some really detailed and well-crafted panels being frequently featured throughout; his work will certainly be a highlight of the arc, just as it has been up until this point.
I’m sure that as the ‘Crowd Control’ story continues, Duane Swierczynski will make the G.O.D. a memorable and chilling threat to the Judges and maybe even the biggest yet. With SJS Verrity being suspicious of Joe and Cal’s newly-formed friendship, it won’t be the Guardians as the only hazard to the future of the city. Judge Anderson is still without a body and I believe this is only going to come to a head before the arc concludes as well. Until then though, there is plenty for us to enjoy and I for one will be waiting in line to get the next issue. Go out and buy it—you won’t be disappointed; and if you are, take it up with the Judge.