Comic Review: Judge Dredd #1

Judge Dredd #1
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Nelson Daniel and Paul Gulacy
Covers by Zach Howard, Nick Runge, Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, Whilce Portacio, Carlos Ezquerra and Nelson Daniel
Also available a Retail Incentive cover with the comic store’s name over an additional Nick Runge cover
IDW Publishing
Release date: November 21, 2012
Cover price: $3.99

Judge Dredd was created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra back in 1977 for 2000 AD, the premiere British sci-fi and fantasy comic anthology magazine. Dredd has continued to be published by 2000 AD on a weekly basis since the character first appeared. It has been re-collected and distributed by such companies as Eagle Comics and Fleetway/Quality Comics. It was also a part of DC Comics’ lineup at one point in time. Now Judge Dredd is being published by an American company, IDW Publishing, as well as the continued stories in 2000 AD. IDW will go with the continuity already set by 2000 AD instead of trying to create their own. This is evident in the first issue of this newly launched series.

Judge Dredd #1, almost like 2000 AD, has two stories about Dredd. They’re both written by Duane Swierczynski. He does a great job of showing both sides of the conflicts in both stories. He shows the judges and how they deal with the situation and you get to see the criminals aspect of what’s going on as well. Some people may not like this about the comic because they may think that since his name is the title of the book that he is the only “star” of the story. Judge Dredd shares the spotlight with his fellow judges. This is something that 2000 AD did and continues to do a lot of, they share the spotlight of the stories with Dredd’s fellow judges and don’t make it a one-man show. I myself, really dig this concept because Dredd isn’t the only judge riding the streets of Mega-City-One. Dredd is just one of many judges patrolling the streets of Mega-City-One and sometimes, he needs backup.

Nelson Daniel and Paul Gulacy do great jobs on their respective stories. Though both artists are very different from one another in terms of artistic styles, they both convey the same emotions through facial expressions. The judges all wear helmets with masks covering their eyes, so to show emotion, they must depend on facial expressions and mouth gestures as being the means of showing all emotions not only for the judges, but for robots who aren’t “robotic.”

If this first issue of Judge Dredd is any indication of what the future issues are going to be like, we’re all in for a treat. I really hope they stick to the formula that’s worked for 2000 AD for so long and don’t decide to try and make things up as the story progresses. I also hope to see some fan-favorite storylines being adapted for American audiences as well as new stories from our favorite Dredd writers. I really hope though, that IDW doesn’t try and cross-over Judge Dredd and Mega-City-One into another one of their “universe-spanning” cross-overs like “Infestation.” I’m sorry I didn’t really care for it and I don’t wanna see Dredd fight the Ninja Turtles; yeah it would be cool and he has fought alongside Batman, but this is the first time an American publisher has the character and is going to follow what’s already been laid down by 2000 AD, unlike DC Comics who really dropped the ball back in the mid-nineties when they had the rights to publish the character.

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