The Mega City Manhunt finally ends here. And it begins with Joseph Dredd, flat out clinging for his life, laying on the ground and bleeding out. Taken out by one serious pistol packing single mama out for the reward of free insurance for life. Things could not be any more bleak here. Unless, that is, you are Chief Justice Cal. This is his moment of triumph and victory. He has defeated the one person that stood in the way of his devious plans and past sins. The only man who could stop him. So goes Issue #28 written by Duane Swierczynski and drawn by Nelson Daniel. Judge Cal isn’t quite yet finished with Dredd just yet and he has some ideas of what he wishes to do. Regarding Judge Dredd himself, he is losing the battle to survive, fresh with his life flashing before him. Lucky for him, Judge Anderson has been in his mind for the last several issues, thanks to some serious mind melding during the Dark Judges’ rampage of the Meg. It is during this issue where we really see Anderson at her best and working to become Dredd’s will when it looks as if he has given up. Things are heating up, Judge Cal enters into Dredd’s mind. The big battle is here! Here it goes!!!!!!!!!
With such a wonderful build up that occurs through the first three fourths of this issue, I know that I was psyched and pumped up to see how things were going to finish. It was looking to be epic. But when that ending reached its conclusion, it felt extremely anticlimactic. It just feels like it made too much haste in finishing, like it wanted to kind of put a nice little bow on top.
It is not a bad issue at all. Swierczynski’s writing is top notch as he flows between Dredd’s dying mind and the action happening in the real world with great ease. It plays well and is entertaining. It just feels like it was a few pages short when you reach the climax. I think I would have liked to have seen a few more panels putting things in perspective. That is all.
As with Nelson Daniel’s art, it has been very good for several issues. He draws Dredd with some gusto and his Mega City One is gritty, raw, and real feeling. Even the recesses of Dredd’s mind are drawn as you would have expected it… Rough and gritty fresh with lots of bad guys everywhere. Quite nice.
Everything was in perfect sync for most of the way. I just don’t know what the hell happened there with the finish. But the good news is that like all of Swierczynski’s portrayals of Dredd, one issue and arc flows right into another with a nice continuum. So what questions were abruptly left to us at the end of #28 will most undoubtedly be answered as we enter into Issue #29. But until that time, we are left with what we have, three fourths of complete awesomeness, followed up with one fourth of meh.
This has happened before with the title, so I am not too terribly worried as typically we do have a nice comeback after a fall. I can say very little bad regarding Swierczynski and Daniel’s work here. They are always good for a solid return and are definitely worth a try both if you are a seasoned Judge Dredd reader or a newbie.