In this dual review two writers (in this case James and Dustin) will take a look at the issue and give a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass. Before we begin here’s what the issue is about from IDW Publishing: In the hills of what was once California, Dredd has gone undercover as a Cursed Earth biker! His mission: to infiltrate the Children of a Lesser Grud, a bloodthirsty motorcycle cult of outlaw artists! But the rules—and the laws—are very different in Mega-City Two, where image is everything...
We get to go back to the past. Well, at least Judge Dredd's past. It seems that early in his career, old Joe did an exchange stint in Mega City 2, a much smaller, yet far more colorful locale situated in present day Los Angeles. Issue #1 had amazing art and if you live in that area, I was told by others that the attention to detail was exquisite and wonderful. Unfortunately, I didn't get it as much. I am from the hills of western NC and I saw more nostalgia from the Hunger Games movies' District 12 as that is what I am used to around here. So, I think Issue #1 of Judge Dredd Mega City 2 gave me a little bit of culture shock.
Still, I am an immense Judge Dredd fan and I try not to miss anything out there. So here I am at Issue #2 utilizing a look with more objective eyes trying to give it a fair assessment as a fan and as someone who knows very little about all things L.A. Doing that, I was able to appreciate Issue #2 more, but I am not completely sold on the concept yet. I am starting to like it better though.
Where Issue #1 dazzled with artwork and nostalgia, Issue #2 goes back more to a story focusing on Dredd's undercover work as a bad assed biker, clothes and all. Dredd has gone mole and I actually enjoyed watching the conflicted judge in trying to decide what to do as his instinct is to arrest everybody, but his orders are to simply observe until the proper time. I did think it was pretty cool to see how Dredd would be as a criminal. Turns out that he probably would be a good one, and he definitely would be a tough one.
The touch in this issue that won it for me was the film crew documenting the gang with Dredd. It really rings true in a land of reality TV that this could very well be the future we are headed toward. One of 24/7 video feeds and gangs of marauding biker/artists. The story is beginning to grow to me, not 100%, but moving up nicely. So right now, I am going to give it a BUY. I think Douglas Wolk's writing is coming around and I have already been pleased with Ulises Farinas' detail in his art, even I if I was a little unsure of all the references. They got me on this one. Let's see where we go from here.
It’s still a “Buy” for me, but this issue wasn’t as fun as the last issue. The different plot lines felt very disconnected and I never really believed that Dredd was undercover. I mean he acted like a cop, talked like a cop and yet in the L.A. version of Mega City no one called him out on it.
Other than that, the book still felt like an L.A. title which is entertaining for a current resident. I mostly like Douglas Wolk’s version of Dredd. I would like him to be less compromising and I would definitely like people to stop using his first name. Personally I think he should shoot anyone that calls him Joe.
The huge draw for me is again the artwork. Ulises Farinas is definitely one of my favorite artistic talents working in comics currently and I’m so happy to see monthly work from him. He’s literally the number one reason I read Dark Horse’s Catalyst Comix, and it’s just for his art. His artwork keeps the story interesting when the dialogue falls flat; but as long as Farinas is on the title, I’m on the title.
Score: BUY IT!
Writer: Douglas Wolk Artist: Ulises Farinas Colorist: Ryan Hill Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/5/14