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: The Law on the beach! The cameras are on Dredd as he patrols the coastline of Mega-City Two, but what happens when disaster strikes at an immigration checkpoint’s Citizenship Pageant? And what about the enormous man-eating shrimp that’s terrorizing what used to be the California waterfront?
Surf's up and Joe Dredd hits the beach of Mega City Two ready to instill his brand of justice in a Meg City that doesn't quite roll the same way as him. Along the way, we get hopeful immigrant actors, problems with bots, and one big nasty giant "Shrimpzilla". All in a day’s work.
I know that I haven't gotten as much of the references as my west coast brethren, but I gotta kind of say that this little mini is growing on me some. Behind all the ritz, glitz, and unibrows (?) there is something likeable about this comic. Douglas Wolk is having fun and he is writing about it. He relishes having old Joe being out of his element and it shows. It also makes it kind of entertaining too. But underneath the fun, there is an undercover ring of human smuggling that Dredd is on the lookout that is beginning to heat up and promises to be a much darker and disturbed outcome than what we have seen in all the fun and sun to date.
Ulises Farina flat kicks ass in all of the issues released so far. His detail and attention to it is unbelievable. You really have to read through this a few times to appreciate all the things that are going on around our characters.
All of this adds up to a good issue that has fun and weaves an understory that is beginning to surface. I like it. I really do.
At this point in the story it’s become pretty obvious what Dredd is there to do, but it’s still just vaguely hinted at. Some of the biggest and most obvious clues due come to us in this issue so if you haven’t been paying attention they offer a nice wake up call.
What stood out the most to me about this issue is that Dredd isn’t becoming accustomed to Mega City Two (Future L.A.), but rather he’s learning their ways so that he can use them his way. For instance when Dredd needs the sentient mother robot that creates road vehicles to sacrifice some for the greater good, he agrees to her terms about extra advertising. It’s a compromise, but one that didn’t require Dredd to bend his moral fibers any. If anything Dredd is infecting the city… and I love that.
I can’t drool over Ulises Farinas’ artwork enough. He’s become one of my favorite talents to follow and his work here is tremendous. In all seriousness, if there were any other artist on this book… it wouldn’t work. In fact most people probably wouldn’t have given it a chance. Farinas brings this world to life and makes it every bit as ridiculous as it needs to be.
If you’ve missed out on this series, but you like Judge Dredd, then do yourself a favor and buy the back issues and catch up. It’s my favorite Dredd book on the market, that’s for sure.
Writer: Douglas Wolk Artist: Ulises Farinas Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/2/14 Format: Mini-Series – Print/Digital