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Judge Dredd Under Siege #1

Review by Paul Bowler.

All hell breaks loose in Judge Dredd Under Siege #1 when contact with the Patrick Swayze Block is suddenly lost. What initially seems like a routine mission quickly goes awry when Dredd and Judge Beeny’s investigation finds the rundown development has become the first stage in an attack on Mega City One itself!

This dark, satirical new four-part Judge Dredd series from IDW Publishing continues to build on IDW’s successful relationship with Rebellion – the UK publisher of 2000 AD. Judge Dredd Under Siege #1 brings all the familiar hallmarks of the iconic character to the fore as writer Mark Russell (The Flinstones, God is Disappointed in You) and artist Max Dunbar (Gears of War, Micronauts) weave a gritty action-packed storyline barbed with edgy humour.

From its powerful opening scenes there’s no doubting that the Law is indeed everywhere in Mega City One. Following a quick visit to the Grand Hall of Justice this issue quickly gathers pace and sets Dredd on his mission to the Patrick Swayze Block to find Judge Beeny. With the building on lockdown and overrun with mutants, the atmosphere and tension builds steadily as Dredd and Beeny find some unlikely allies. Its ingenious how writer Mark Russell also blends such a pointed social commentary into the script via the sci-fi prism of Mega City One to give us all food for thought, especially how neglect and the breakdown of society has turned the Patrick Swayze Block into a living nightmare for its residents to such a degree the shit has piled up so high – quite literally in fact – that its about to bite everyone in Mega City One on the ass.

Max Dunbar’s artwork, together with the vibrant tones and shades of colorist Jose Luis Rio, complements Ruseel’s tautly structured script perfectly. The seamless, free-flowing page layouts effortlessly conveys the drama and tension, Dunbar’s impressive realization of the exteriors and interiors of Mega City One and the Patrick Swayze Block look as ominous as they are futuristic, and his rendition of Dredd is also powerfully striking. Likewise, the depiction of the waste channel is equally shocking, as are the mutants and their leader Talleyrand, and the fire fights as Dredd and Beeny engage the insurmountable threat they face is also well staged and draws you right into the heart of the action.

The issue throws several curve balls your way as it builds to a thrilling cliff-hanger. Judge Dredd Under Siege #1, with its great story by Mark Russell and artwork by Max Dunbar, delivers on every level. I’ve been really looking forward to this new Judge Dredd series from IDW and I’m happy to saw it exceeded all my expectations, and then some!

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Writer: Mark Russell / Artist: Max Dunbar

Colorist: Jose Luis Rio / Letterer: Simon Bowland

Cover A: Max Dunbar / Cover B: Alan Quah

 

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