Review: Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two #1
Dredd heads Californee way! As part of a judicial exchange program, Dredd is sent packing to Mega-City Two, a sprawling city covering 5,000 square miles of the Californian West Coast and centered in what was once known as Los Angeles, where he soon discovers that they do things differently there.
Judge Dredd heads to Mega-City Two as part of a judicial exchange program in the new five issue mini-series from IDW aptly titled Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two #1. The series is written Douglas Wolk with art by Ulises Farinas. Ryan Hill handles colors with Tom B. Long tackling lettering. Judge Dredd may be a fish out of water, but are his adventures still entertaining?
When we find Judge Dredd, he’s in the middle of a big chase through the streets of Mega-City Two. He doesn’t have his bike and his weapon is a ‘friendlier’ model that doesn’t pack the punch he’s used to. The car Dredd has been assigned has an on-board A.I./navigation system that is just as bad as the ones we have today but twice as annoying. After hunting down the perps, Dredd finds out just how different Mega-City Two is when it comes to sentencing. The hard-edged Dredd is frustrated with the ‘system’ that the softies out in California use. He has to struggle through because there’s a lot more to this judicial exchange than we’re originally told. How can Judge Dredd cope with a system that’s soft on crime? He’s faced many threats, but will California be the thing that breaks him?
Wolk writes a fantastic first issue. It’s action-packed, fast-paced, and really funny. It has that Judge Dredd humor but this is more American than we’re used to seeing. There’s a great juxtaposition between the Dredd we all know and fear and the super soft land of Mega-City Two. It is a fish out of water story, but it doesn’t feel like the usual fish out of water story. Dredd isn’t a fish he’s a shark. Farinas’ art is a great fit for the series. At first glance you think thing are simplistic, but Farinas does ultra-detailed work. The characters look great but the backgrounds are spectacular. This takes a long time to read but only because you take a few minutes looking at all the art after a couple of panels. Hill’s colors are bright and eye-catching, fitting very much in line with the California setting.
Bottom Line: Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two is a great start to what looks to be a great Dredd story. It’s odd, it’s flashy, and it has a really meaty story. This is one you should definitely pay attention to. 4.5/5