Review: Judge Dredd #3

Judge Dad wants to know what happened to Mega-City One that’s now in chaos and ruin; more so what happened to law itself, as the feral girls he’s got on his side are trying to live inside the city he barely knows anymore. Dredd and the girls have survived the weirdest juries who changed their minds and a Trog who might kill you if the debate you’re having with turns heated. Debate and philosophizing about law and freedoms seems to be the only form of conversation the people of Ang Avi have, which helps Dredd in no way as he tries to figure out where he’s been tossed, and further on what happened to the city he swore to protect. He’s thrown into an arena to fight the out of control Trog and a wild audience who are keen on participating, and he finally realizes there is no law and no authority left in this city. There are the terms of service, becoming a username and the only law is that you can’t impose one. That ain’t gonna sit well with the man who many times has claimed to be the law.

JudgeDredd_Ongo2015_03_cvrAJudge Dredd #3 continues to put overwhelming physical and psychological odds against Dredd and juxtaposes a more complicated goal than ever before. How is he supposed to be something that no longer exists? That is one of the hardest perils Dredd has had to deal with in the many years he’s been in publication. The addition of the feral girls, just like pairing him with Judge Anderson, allows for Dredd to be the unwavering badass he is while they fill the role of putting emotions and sensible reactions to the situations. Their characteristics are well defined and the have a good balance with each other with clear voices and like all children, wearing their hearts on their sleeves. The goals of Dredd, although established, the method he could take seems to blur away more and more, while it’s seen what he might set out to do as far as finding out what happened to Mega-City One, it’s only a glimpse and and this issue favors more to resolving the short term problems at hand.

The art continues to be strong and gritty. A stripped down Dredd, although still intimidating, it is less so just by seeing that his uniform doesn’t contrast the skin of the other people living in Ang Avi anymore, he’s all flesh and furthermore, wounded. The expressions on the children’s  faces match the dialogue portrayed, McDaid drives their emotions forward by balancing the innocence of being a child and the fear of being apart from each other. Colors keep everything claustrophobic when needed and revealed more of the world as I read along. The art uses the style Jason Latour has for Southern Bastards with wider shots and lets the colors clash and tell more story than a caption box could. Judge Dredd #3 keeps the pace and intrigue and definitely makes the reader want to know what will happen in the next.

Score: 4/5

Judge Dredd #3 (2016) Writers: Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas Artist: Dan McDaid Colorist: Ryan Hill Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/24/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital