Well we’ve reached the ending of a series that took a look at the west coast counter part of Mega City One. I’ve enjoyed this concept… mostly. It’s been entertaining and the commentary on California and essentially Hollywood has been great (add a dash of political commentary as well). But there’s a problem with this series and it’s been there since the third issue. The problem being that it’s just too long. If this had been two solid issues, maybe a third, then it would have worked. Don’t get me wrong the fourth issue was good. It redeemed the third issue, but who knew it was going to make the fifth issue fall flat on its face. Not much happens in this issue, but one key thing does. Dredd is compromised and I hated it. This story only works if Dredd remains untouched as he always has, but that doesn’t happen. By the end of the issue I could only look at the character and think “that’s not Judge Dredd.”
The ending fails. Sure it wraps the story up, but the bow is too neat. What’s worst is the exposition from the Police Chief of Mega City One as he runs the ribbon over the scissors. Not only did the story not need him, but then it talks down to the audience to explain everything in case you didn’t catch it. It doesn’t even try to be suave with it and instead just opts for jokes that didn’t amuse or that went to the well one too many times during the course of the story.
The best part of the series has always been Ulises Farinas’ artwork, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit burnt out on his art after this series. It’s a shame because he delivers a solid performance from beginning to end. It’s just that I became numb with so much on the page, but I don’t think that would have happened if the series was shorter.
If you can’t tell I was disappointed by this ending. It didn’t deliver and relied too heavily on what worked in the beginning of the series which only served to spoil that charm. I know this wasn’t supposed to be the Dredd, but it’s the first time since IDW has had the license that I became worried that they were losing focus on what is Dredd.
Writer: Douglas Wolk Artist: Ulises Farinas Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/4/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital