I have to commend this issue for trying something that hasn’t been done in comics before; that said it didn’t really work out. The problems begin on the cover which is designed to be an old fashioned cartoon, but has no narrative sense. I hope you like it though because it continues throughout the issue. Dredd’s case has lead him to “Melody Time” a place that can only be described as a lawless city, but with annoying cartoon guides. Every visitor of Melody Time receives two flying discs containing the personalities of Barry Badger and Foley Fox to accompany them and they’re not the best companions. Dredd is there to visit a crime boss, but the entire thing turns out to be a work for the camera. I have to say that I’m not really enjoying the fact that Dredd is becoming more accustomed to the system of Mega City Two. After they’re done filming Dredd begins his real work. His camera bot’s head is ripped off so he’s able to send the crew packing while he looks for the man that’s supposedly breaking people out of the IsoCube and setting them up with new personas in Mega City Two.
Overall the story continues to be great. I enjoyed the advancement in the plot and the ending was brutal. The parts that aren’t enjoyable are the constant “cartoon” interruptions. This would be amazing to see animated or in a live action setting, but on a comic it breaks from the narrative flow and doesn’t stand out enough due to the coloring Ryan Hill already uses on Ulises Farinas’ artwork.
The thing is I absolute loved the art, but the cartoon part just wasn’t different enough and so it became an annoyance. If it had been saved for the scene towards the end in which Foley and Barry take over filming and switch the footage to a tamer PG version then that would have had an impact. The problem is it’s sprinkled in too much before then which steals its own thunder.
Will I be back for the final issue? You bet I will and I’ll even be a bit sad to see this series go, but that’s what makes it a good mini-series. While this wasn’t the strongest issue in the series, it was still an entertaining read for the most part and worth continuing with if you’ve been here since the beginning.
Writer: Douglas Wolk Artist: Ulises Farinas Colorist: Ryan Hill Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/30/14