Dredd returns to Mega-City One—still recovering from the ravages of “The Long Fail” — only to find the Justice Department under siege. Can Dredd finally put away the antagonist he failed to put way three months ago? Is it good?
Judge Dredd #14 (IDW Publishing)
Check out our thoughts on issue #11 here.
After a brief hiatus from this series I’m back and there’s a sniper on the loose; one who has taken out 9 judges and there’s only one man that might be able to get this perp behind bars. Yep, it’s Judge Dredd, who’s woken from a slumber after his ordeal in the Cursed Earth. Of course, nothing is at it seems, and Dredd may be getting setup in order to be swept off the board.
That can’t be good.
Nelson Daniel continues to draw this issue and give it the panache it needs to separate it from the pack. The action sequences are always particularly strong because of the energy in his lines. This also translates to facial expressions which makes them more emotive and natural. He does a lot in a single panel that most artists, I’m sure, envy. He doesn’t have a lot to work with this issue as there’s a lot of dialogue, but his work is exceptional none the less.
Swagger on that lady.
The script by Duane Swierczynski is so-so at best mostly because the sniper taking out good guys story seems overly done. There isn’t much here to punch it up, partly due to not a lot of detail being revealed, so it’s a basic seek and destroy type story. It’s also incredibly obvious it’s a setup from the get go, which may in part be due to Daniel’s pencils conveying the sliminess of a few characters.
The backup however, is exceptional, with a great science fiction concept at work. A fat slovenly Judge catches a girl at a crime that’ll put her away for 30 years. Instead of sentencing her he convinces her to switch bodies for 2 weeks so she can get him into shape. Problem is he’s committed crimes himself. Now she’s off on Mars working in a hellish prison in a fat disgusting body no less. Swierczynski writes this one and it’s great from top to bottom, from concept to dialogue. The art by Staz Johnson is great too, with a sketchy style that reminds me of Frank Miller.
- Always exceptional art from Daniel
- Really great backup story
- By the numbers story in the main feature
Is It Good?
The backup saves this issue as it’s a very fun, pulpy science fiction story with a great high concept. The main feature is good, but not great, but should reap dividends when the mystery is revealed.