Review: Judge Dredd #18

Judge Dredd has been on a real roll lately. And this roll is a death roll. The Dark Judges have returned to reap their personal and morbid brand of justice on the living. Led by skinny and skeletal Judge Death, he and the other judges, Fear, Fire and Mortis are at work on the helpless denizens of Meg City One. But we also have some new ones too; quite a few new ones to be exact. All are delivering dark justice and it looks like Section 1 of the city is all but lost. Hell, at the rate that Section 1 was overtaken, the whole of Mega City One should fall quite quickly. As for Dredd, he is stuck on the Saturn moon of Titan getting ready to serve a life sentence for a crime that he didn't commit, but confessed to in order to try to save his partner and friend, Judge Anderson. He is knocking on death's door at the start of this one and he doesn't even need the Dark Judges' assistance to get there. There may yet be some help to come however from very unlikely sources as well as some previous "mini" story line characters of the past that makes complete sense now. Written to perfect perfection by Duane Swierczynski, he has found a true groove and old Joe Dredd has never looked better. Writing form Dredd that is. In this issue, he's a mess for most of it. Still, things are coming together in a knock’em dead story filled with action and suspense.

JudgeDredd-18-cvrI really need to say that Swierczynski's super script without the aid of Nelson Daniels' awesome artwork would be kind of like Dredd without his helmet. It just wouldn't be right. Daniels draws the Dark Judges as disturbing. It is exactly this type of disturbing that adapts well to Swierczynski's script. We see creepy art that depicts a creepy enemy, which fits in well to the action presented. It is just pure damn awesomeness.

I do have to give added props to Swierczynski for kicking out the best line of the title to date. When Dredd is preparing to try something against all odds to return to Meg City, it is brought to his attention that he was near death just a bit earlier and that he may not be able to take it. In response, Dredd utters..."Death's not here with us. He's back on Earth destroying my city." You can bet the farm that the inevitable battle between Dredd and Death will be one for the ages. Can't wait man.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Duane Swierczynski Artist: Nelson Daniel Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/9/14 Format: Ongoing – Print/Digital