It has been a mostly good run for writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Nelson Daniel these last thirty issues. But all things must come to an end and we have reached a conclusion both on the “Crowd Control” story arc and the overall saga of Chief Justice Cal and Judge Dredd’s battle for the ages. Cal had usurped the Chief Justice position and he had an elaborate plan of controlling the citizens as well as prolonging his own self through the use of clones. It has been a fun run. But it all ends here, rather decently I must say. When Issue #29 ended, Chief Justice Cal whose inner mind has been taken over by Judge Anderson who was thought to be dead. She has been working with Dredd in bringing about redemption and making things right where Cal made wrong. Through Anderson, normalcy was returned to the city, Dredd was forgiven, and a kind of love fest between Cal and Dredd began after months of brutal battle. All has been forgiven and restoration was resumed. Everything seems to fit in a nice and neat package. But SJS Verrity does not believe all of what is going on. Something is amiss and she has been trying to unravel the knot, much to her downfall as she finds herself under restraint.
While dealing with Verrity and reestablishing things on the Meg, a group of androids called G.O.D. began popping up everywhere, exposing the dirty laundry of the Justices to include Judge Cal’s horrible act of murder in his play for power. This just happens to occur as Cal/Anderson is addressing a large crowd. They are none too pleased.
Issue #30 follows Judge Dredd’s intervention on the crowd to save Cal/Anderson as well as Verrity’s escape from custody and action taking for justice. This issue is chock full of action and the body count is heavy. Thanks in part to Dredd’s Hi Ex setting on his Lawgiver. It all ends up to a satisfactory conclusion and a little bit of tongue and cheek fourth wall breaking to complete the run.
Duane Swierczynski has written out his heart and soul through the pages of the past 30 issues. He has had a good run and really did his homework in hitting classic characters of Dredd yore and putting them in a new contemporary light. Issue #30 is no different as he brings about a strong end to a series of issues that didn’t always hit their mark on the back half. No such problem here though as both Issues #29 and #30 made up for a lot of those average renderings.
Nelson Daniel has been also working wonderful magic on the series. I must admit that I liked his renderings of the Judge Cal/Anderson. Where regular Judge Cal had a sinister look about him, the Cal/Anderson is softer and more solemn. I especially liked the scene where Dredd comes to the rescue and Cal/Anderson is wrapped around Dredd’s waist like you would expect Anderson to be if she was riding on the back of his bike.
All in all, Judge Dredd #30 is a strong finish to a run that I have had a high opinion of. It felt fresh and fun again, where some of the latter renderings felt more drab in their presentation. It was a nice comeback to two very talented creative people. I look forward to see where they go from here.
Judge Dredd #30 Writer: Duane Swierczynski Artist: Nelson Daniel Colorist: Nelson Daniel Publisher: IDW Publishing/ 2000 AD Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/27/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital