Review: Judge Dredd #2

Hey Judge, lay down the law. Take those perps down, and make it better.

Judge Dredd #2 immerses Joe into Mega-City Zero, a new world where people have little to no understanding of the law. How is Judge Dredd supposed to enforce the law in a place where everyone thinks differently of it?

JudgeDredd_Ongo2015_02_cvrAFinally inside the Mega-Block, Judge Dredd looks for any signs of authority in a place full of people who go by usernames, kick puppies (seriously), and believe anyone with a uniform of any kind can enforce the law, which seems to be a concept with a definition that changes with every individual. they’re met by the Sys-Op (System Operator) of the place, who classifies Dredd as a Trog and ignores him. As the Judge makes an attempt to arrest… everyone, the kids are taken away by some perp in a SWAT uniform. Dredd needs to make sense of what’s happening and how to find these kids. The question turns from who is the law? To what is the law?

Farinas and Freitas are crafting quite the Judge out of water story in this new run. Not giving Judge Dredd any current hope to go back to his time, or reason as to why he’s traveled too far. And keeping him in character by assessing every current situation as it comes. There’s a lot more exploration of the new world in this issue, and one can’t help by compare to the 1982 classic Tron, particularly with all the computer references being so far away from actual computer, in this case purposefully juxtaposing the lack of order in Mega-City Zero and it’s anarchic society, as well as how primitive their current situation actually is. The continuous talk between characters about the definitions of law, who should be able to enforce it and who can properly be judge and executioner. Those are all great dialogue pieces and properly show the new world this new world Judge Dredd is now in, but in some panels it got in the way of what’s happening on the page. It wasn’t something that made or broke the issue, but it was an element that would throw someone off the page’s train of thought.

Dan McDaid and Ryan Hill continue to impress on art and color duties, the pages are rough, cartoony and very expressive. People smiling when speaking deep philosophical subjects about law, people dressed as authority figures showing clear disregard for the uniform, which altogether show a society the lives in true anarchy. Showing the Trog’s change into a Judge’s uniform and even looking different with the helmet than Dredd does. It’s a great style that’s a bold take for an ongoing title. 2015 (now 2016) Dredd is building its own world and putting Joe right in the middle of it, making the reader ache for the new installment and wonder how is he gonna get out of it.

Score: 4/5

Judge Dredd #2 Writers: Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas Artist: Dan McDaid Colorist: Ryan Hill Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/20/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital