Any story that is set up with a line like, “In a world where Judge Dredd was turned into a werewolf…and stayed that way,” not only has my utmost attention, but it gets me excited as hell to begin reading. But regardless of my schoolboy-like level of excitement, you want to know whether or not Judge Dredd: Deviations is worth reading, right?
Judge Dredd: Deviations (IDW Publishing)
From the publisher:
In a world where Judge Dredd turned into a werewolf… and stayed that way! The legendary creator of Dogwelder, John McCrea, takes a sideways look at one of the more celebrated Dredd stories, ‘Cry of the Werewolf’ by John Wagner & Alan Grant and the late, great Steve Dillon. Brace yourself for… ‘Howl of the Wolf!’”
Judge Dredd: Deviations is a one-shot comic from writer/artist John McCrae, inspired by the classic Dredd story, “Cry of the Werewolf.” McCrae’s Judge Dredd: Deviations serves as a sort of ‘part two’ to the original tale, save for the fact that it deviates (thus, Deviations) and the ending is changed. In the original arc, Judge Dredd is turned into a werewolf, and then, thankfully, before the arc comes to an end, is cured. In Judge Dredd: Deviations, Dredd, as I am sure you’ve already figured out, is never cured of his lycanthropy and thus remains a werewolf throughout this story.
While I had initially assumed that Judge Dredd: Deviations was going to be a brutal retelling of its source story, I am pleasantly surprised to have received a continuation of the original tale. I feel as though Judge Dredd: Deviations wasn’t as intense as the original story—or as brutal for that matter—but it was more than entertaining enough for me to deem it as a worthwhile read and call it a ‘good’ comic book.
Aside from what I would say is a decreased level of intensity, I have nothing to say about Judge Dredd: Deviations that even hinges on sounding negative. John McCrae did a fantastic job here creating art that was expressive and a story that felt natural. I didn’t, for even a second, doubt that what I was reading was an original Judge Dredd comic, and it was clear that McCrea’s artwork was inspired by the late, great, Steve Dillon.
Judge Dredd fans—even those of you have only ever seen Sly portray the square-jawed lawman on the big screen—this one is for you.