I have thoroughly enjoyed the run that Judge Dredd has been on lately, but a big old blip in the road slowed down the grand conclusion of The American Way of Death story arc that just left me flat disappointed last month. It really kind of sucked to tell you the truth. But no fear, just a mere week later, a new issue was released that brought much redemption to the title and put it back on track to producing the continuing awesomeness that I have grown to expect from writer Duane Swierczynski. With this issue we have the beginning of a new arc entitled Black Light District. It is continuing the story of The Dark Judges and their work in securing Mega City One for their own sinister designs. Through some serious actions, The Dark Judges have been isolated just to Sector One with everything within it left to die that includes old Joe Dredd and Anderson who is working on a multidimensional level due to the fact that she is, well dead. Dredd is taking the battle straight on to Judge Death himself and the battle is pretty good. But things don’t look to be going in the right direction at all with the threat of pretty certain death hanging in the balance. Outside of the Sector, Judge Cal has started to unveil an agenda of his own as he is the remaining standing Judge of the Council of 5. The other members of the Council are on the Saturn Moon Titan at this time and they have a few issues of their own that must be dealt with.
Now if all of this seems a little bit confusing, well it is. But fortunately, Duane Swierczynski is still writing the title in a way that flows smoothly and addresses all of these issues with just the proper sense of timing to hit all these simultaneous actions with no real drag at all. He has written a sound issue here and has restored my faith in his ability, thanks to this issue and the last. Things have gotten back to normal.
I did find one thing missing in this issue however that isn’t a huge deal, but it ever so slightly worked its way into my consciousness that I kept my 5 in my pocket and am only giving it a 4 instead. That problem lies within the art. Stephen B. Scott has taken over the art for this issue with Nelson Daniel who has been doing the art moving over to the color. The art seems ok, but I found the color to be a little bit on the drab side. There are lots of dull yellows and grays that kind of throw off the strong color that has been a mainstay of this title since its return. It isn’t a huge deal, and I hate that I am even writing about it, but I simply found the color to be a little duller than previous issues.
With that said though, everything else with this issue is right on the money. It looks like Dredd’s enemies are not only from another dimension, but they are also right in front of him represented in the very legal authority that he is meant to serve with 100 percent loyalty. Things are getting tough and the future is uncertain…Or the future might be very certain, if you can rely on Anderson’s psychic abilities. We shall see as the title pushes forward. I am just glad to see things back within their stride again.
Writer: Duane Swierczynski Artist: Stephen B. Scott Publisher: IDW Publishign Price: $3.99 Release Date: 8/20/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital