Writer: Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas
Art: Dan McDaid
Colours: Ryan Hill
Letterer: Chris Mowry
Judge Dredd #1 is a re-introduction of Judge DreChris Mowrydd to America according to IDW and it does succeed in this. The character of Dredd is changeless.
Yes there have been some tweaks over the years but he is still mostly the great chinned law keeper seen on 2000 AD #2. What makes his stories so interesting is the supporting cast and the environment around him. Mega-City One, the Cursed Earth and dimension of the Dark Judges.
So when it begins it is strange to not see any of these things. Instead Dredd wakes up in the countryside by himself with no sign of Mega-City One let along a nuclear apocalypse. Dredd is quick to bring the law though to some strangers he encounters and this is where the reader meets Dredd’s companions for this issue. Lolo, Iggy and Quill who has a nasty habit of trying to steal eyeballs from people even when they are still trying to use them.
Now while some publishers would go with a stock story for re-introducing a character to a new audience, one where their motives and ways are carefully laid out for the reader, IDW has been more inventive. The short introduction of the companions gives the reader a brief but solid introduction to Dredd. He immediately rushes to someones aid only to shoot them when they try to break the law and that is pretty much Dredd in a nutshell. This way of communicating a character in such a manner leaves for a story to develop around this and that is what the reader gets. Through out the issue, dialogue between Dredd and the other characters also provides information on Mega-City One and the Judges which is handy for later on in the story.
So enough about Dredd what about the companions. Well aside from the eye collecting one they aren’t that interesting. They may develop more in future issues and I look forward to seeing this development but I found I was wanting to know more and left a bit unsatisfied.
The artwork is great managing to bring a real sense of calm and silence in the opening panels, revealing a vast countryside for Dredd to explore. The action scenes are are even better as Dredd takes on monstrous robots and the intensity of these confrontations are really felt by the reader.
I can thoroughly recommend IDW’s Judge Dredd #1 to not only fans of Dredd and 2000 AD but also newcomers to the character and the world.