Review: Judge Dredd #18
“Cold Cold Ground, Pt. 2”—Judge Death and the 12 other Dark Judges have targeted Mega-City and found the entire population guilty of the most serious crime… living! While the Dark Judges prepare their “Affordable Death Care Act,” a desperate Justice Department, facing mass-murder of unreal proportions, draws up an apocalyptic plan that will change the city forever. And the only person standing between the city and certain death—Judge Dredd—is a billion miles away on the Titan penal colony. But he turns out to have allies in the strangest of places.
The American Way of Death continues this month in the pages of Judge Dredd #18. The story is written by Duane Swierczynski and features art by Nelson Daniel. Shawn Lee rounds things out with lettering. The Dark Judges have started their attack on Mega-City one and Judge Dredd is a billion miles away on Titan. Can Dredd get back in time to save his city?
Judge Dredd has been sentenced to the Titan penal colony after some bogus charges and a rather fast trial. When Dredd arrived on Titan, things started to go south quick. Now with moments to go before he suffocates on the planet’s harsh atmosphere, Dredd has to rely on the unlikeliest of allies. Things have already gone from bad to worse, but it’s going to get even worse than that when Titan gets another new arrival. Dredd is down, out, and about to die. That has happened before, but can Dredd pull himself back up and get into the fight? How do you get off Titan? Will there even be a city left to save if he gets back?
Swierczynski writes a tight and fast-paced story. We’ve seen the Dark Judges arrival, but this month is about trying to get Dredd back into the game. There’s plenty of action and drama on Titan, but it’s what is happening in Mega-City one while we’re focusing on Dredd that pulls you in the most. We get an update on the situation, but imaging how the Dark Judges are taking over the city frightens you more than Dredd’s situation, for the most part. Swierczynski writes a good determined Dredd. Daniel’s art is grim and gritty, fitting perfectly with the setting on Titan. When Dredd starts to get reports on Mega-City One, the artist really gets to cut loose in a beautifully bloody half page drawing of mass brutality. The panels of Dredd taking a trip are beautifully drawn and brilliantly colored as well.
Bottom Line: Swierczynski and company have started to lay out one of the most exciting Dredd stories yet with American Way of Death. Things are dark, gritty, serious, and violent. You don’t get much better than that when it comes to Dredd. 4/5
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