The Mega City Manhunt continues with this issue. And this time, the citizens of Mega City One are involved with a large cash price, free healthcare for life, and a starring role in your own movie on the line to anyone who can bag the most dangerous fugitive from justice Joseph Dredd. It is getting rough for our hero and his places to turn are getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller. As for the orchestrator behind the Mega City Manhunt, Chief Justice Cal, he is nowhere to be found…And yet, he is everywhere to be found. Thanks in part to an elaborate cloning strategy designed by him to mold the city into his image and completely under his control. Things are looking pretty dark for our hero. Hell, he even has single mothers packing some serious heat looking to take him down…Along with Repurposer 5 gun wielding goof balls, weak minded fools, and other denizens of the big city. Free healthcare for life is free healthcare for life after all.
The enemies are many and the friends are very few and almost nonexistent here. Only Judge Anderson and a Judge named Verrity seem to be the only ones on old Joe’s side. Everyone else, man, women, and even children are on the hunt. Will he make it out alive is the burning question.
Writer Duane Swierczynski has been writing on a roll since the conclusion of his American Way of Death story arc which was horribly anticlimactic. With the new arc however, he has been pacing well. The action in this issue is white knuckle and nonstop with very few breaks slowing things down. Even the slow parts play to major plot points in reference to Judge Cal and Judge Varrity’s investigating of Cal based on her individualized interaction with Dredd. He does an ample job covering the action and providing the firepower to the story’s upcoming conclusion occurring next issue.
I have been thoroughly pleased with Nelson Daniel’s artwork who has returned after a brief layoff to provide some sweet inks (and some bloody gore) to the hunt. He does an ample job here and his colors are quite nice, albeit a little bit bloody at times.
That being said, there are still a lot of answers needing to be answered before the arc wraps up with the next issue. I don’t know if the intention is to settle all things up at that time or to perpetuate some of the loose ends in a later arc. But after reading #27, It feels like things may be rushing a little too much to get the end.
But all in all, I found this to be a satisfying issue that though it may not be the best of the series, it certainly provides strong entertainment and is a joy to read. Let’s bring on the finale guys. I know that I am ready. . .
Writer: Duane Swierczynski Artist: Nelson Daniel Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/28/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital