Review: Judge Dredd #26

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Judge Dredd 26 Cover

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Story: Duane Swierczynski

Art: Steve Scott & Mark Torres

Inks: Karl G. Waller & Steve Scott

Colours: H Michael Russell

Letters: Shawn Lee

Editor: Chris Ryall (with Michael Benedetto)

Cover: Mark Sexton

Alt Cover: Mark Torres

Duane Swierczynski has helmed the made for America version of Dredd since IDW launched it’s run and with regular artist Nelson Daniel (taking a break this month in favour of Steve Scott with Mark Torres also drawing several pages this month) it has gone from strength to strength with the first year collected in last months 324 page epic Judge Dredd: City Limits.  Year three of their tenure began with last months first instalment of Mega-City Manhunt with Joe on the wrong side of both the law and the Mega-City walls and pursued by a team of Special Judicial Service Judges intent on bringing him down for the assassination of the Council of Five (a crime for which he was of course framed in order to allow Deputy Chief Cal to seize power at the same time as getting rid of the the one Judge who could stop him) the topmost tier of Judges charged with overseeing the Justice Department that Joe has dedicated his life to serving.

But along with Dredd’s woes (not to mention Judge Anderson’s who having become separated from her corporeal form has taken up residence in Joe’s head) we also met the unfortunate Dubbie Cruz.  A man with the unfortunate happen-stance of looking exactly like the most hated man in the city the aforementioned Chief Judge Cal.  A figure universally loathed thanks to his implementation of the most comprehensive surveillance system in Mega-City history.  A system so complete it can not only see what you are doing but what you are thinking.  A system so overbearing that whole swathes of the populace have entered a catatonic statuesque state unable to cope with the pressures and fears of being potentially betrayed by their every thought and deed.  The mystery behind this uncanny familiarity becomes clear this month and Joe may have either met a new ally or his end.

One of the things that sets IDW’s Dredd aside from the pack and above the rehashed greatest hits that many have offered the American market before is the bravery to have some real length to the story arcs and here we seem to be finally coming to the end of a tale that has been almost two years in the telling but remains accessible to new readers throughout.  They will for sure be twists ahead though and anyone choosing to follow along will not be disappointed.

Judge Dredd 26 hits the shelves on the 24th of December.

Be sure to check out a sneak peek of this and all the rest of this weeks releases over in our Preview Section.