Review: Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #4

If anyone reads my reviews, it probably has become pretty obvious that I dig on Judge Dredd. He has been one of my favorite comic characters through the years and I am probably one of the biggest cheerleaders for all of the titles that have been released by IDW regarding our perpetrator of justice in Mega City One. The releases have all been just great and I applaud IDW as I think Dredd (and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) have been phenomenal comics this past year in their line. That being said, I just couldn't get into this freaky crossover between two very different stories. One is a dystopic hard story of crime and punishment with a campy cold war feel to it while the other is a dopey invasion story straight from the 1950s that has a campy feel to it also, but in a far more light hearted and less intense way. It would appear that camp is the common denominator here. These two simply shouldn't be together, but here they are. And to that, I say, Drokk!!!

MarsDredd_04-pr_Page_1The story is supposed to be humorous with the effect of seriousness intertwined with goofy action. We have an old character in the Dredd world known as Don Uggie Apelino who is portrayed here as a hipster monkey man in a Mini Cooper that works with Dredd and company for escape and a little comic relief. We have Anderson and we of course have our big eyed, big brained, helmeted aliens bent on destruction, and we even have some intrigue in how the aliens have used the telepathic world as their breeding ground for those prominent thinking pieces they have. Then there is the ass kicking. The squishy, gushy ass kicking that occurs throughout the pages. Old Joe does a good job of dispatching these aliens, but as I have said. I just don't know about this story even with the ass kicking.

The story is readable and has its moments, albeit kind of goofy moments. Al Ewing does about as good a job as you could do with this one and his use of "action cards" to express plot points is actually pretty ingenious. But with the material that he has here, there is just not much he can do with it. The same holds true for artist John McCrea and colonist Jay Fotos. They capture Dredd in his classic form and even make the aliens a little more imposing looking than the Tim Burton movie could ever do. But once again, everything feels just wasted in the concept.

At least it does look like things have wrapped up here, to where we can let this one go as an experiment gone wrong and return to the standard Judge Dredd monthly and Classics renderings to get a much better read than the craziness that we have here. I still give the creative team props for taking a lemon and trying to make lemonade out if it. They deserve respect and hopefully better material in the future.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Al Ewing Artist: John McCrea Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/18/13