Review: Judge Dredd: Year One #3
Anarchy is spreading in Mega-City One’s Sector 3 as the psychically powerful juves go on the rampage-and to stop the chaos and save his city Dredd must cut off a dimension’s malign influence, a reality that has already succumbed to the Four Mothers…
The penultimate issue of Judge Dredd: Year One drops this week. Issue three is written by Matt Smith with Pencils and inks by Simon Coleby. Leonard O’Grady provides colors and Shawn Lee handles lettering. Judge Dredd found himself in a different dimension as the newly psi-powered juves started to get restless. Can Dredd help keep the uprising from taking over the whole city? Is this issue just as intense as last month’s thriller?
Dredd stepped through a rift and found himself in another world last issue. We find out he’s still in Mega-City One, but it’s a mirror version of his Mega-City One. This one looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland with no real signs of life. Dredd, we’re told, has a brief moment of anxiety but he pulls it together and goes about looking for evidence. Dredd goes into a store that’s been ransacked. He does manage to find a newspaper dated 2079, a year before the Psi-outbreak started in his world. He starts to figure things out when another Judge finds him. She fills Dredd in on what went down and tells him they have to get to cover. Dredd isn’t used to running, but he follows along to get more information. Cut off from his Mega-City One, there’s nothing Dredd can do but figure out what happened here so he can try to get word back to Psi-Division Judge Riorden who is supposed to reconnect the psi-link to Dredd. Back in Dredd’s Mega-City One, things have gotten worse. Riorden is corned by the psi-powered juves who are starting to act up thanks to that rift Dredd went through. The uprising begins and the Judges are unprepared. Their world is going the way of the one Dredd is in, but the Judges haven’t used all their weapons yet. Can they repel the invasion long enough for Dredd to find his way back? If Dredd gets back, will his world be worse off than the one he’s found himself in?
Smith writes another great issue. The action and intensity is taken up another notch as we find out a little about who or what is behind the new psi powers popping up in Mega-City One. It’s hard to make Judge Dredd feel like a Year One story since Dredd is always Dredd. He was never a green around the gills rookie who made mistakes. We see a less experienced Dredd who still has a few lessons to learn, but he’s still very much the Dredd we know. It’s a good take and makes it feel like it earns the Year One title it plasters on the cover. Coleby’s art and O’Grady’s colors are as great as the previous issues. There’s a little more action this time around and the duo really feel the high stakes involved. They also get a lot to play around with in the destroyed Mega-City One alternate dimension.
Bottom Line: Judge Dredd: Year One proves yet again it’s a pure, unadulterated Judge Dredd story. You get your Year One elements, but overall it’s a great story featuring everyone’s scowling lawman. Smith and company have offered up a great new look at Dredd. They’ve laid out a lot of things and it will be interesting to see how they wrap it up next time. 4/5