Review: Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #1
The Martian mayhem overtakes Mega-City One! During the annual meeting of the Mega-City Mafia, a new boss makes a play for power thanks to a mysterious benefactor. Meanwhile, Judge Dredd conducts a routine bust that turns out all but routine when he makes a shocking (and disgusting) discovery!
The mischievous Martians face off against Mega-City One’s best Judge this month in the pages of Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #1 (of 4) from writer Al Ewing with art by John McCrea. Jay Fotos handles colors with Tom B. Long tackling lettering. So does Mars pick an entertaining target or should they have looked elsewhere?
The story opens with the Mega-Mafia meeting to determine who is going to be the top boss. All of the representatives of the various areas of Mega-City one are there: Don Schnozzell, Don Mumbletti, Don Travolta (yes it’s exactly what you think), Don Hooverbot 9000, and Don Uggie Apelino. Their meeting is broken up by the former big boss’ son, Crusty, who was written out of the picture thanks to his dying father’s wishes. Crusty has some extraterrestrial muscle to help him show the Dons who really is top dog. While all of this is going on Judge Dredd is checking in with the North sector chief about the dwindling crime rate. The chief explains that crime isn’t down because of the Judges, Don Mumbletti has been moving in and expanding his operations. Dredd wants to get to the bottom of Mumbletti’s plan and bust up the entire racket. He goes to the Va-Va-Voom Room to see what he can find out. What he finds is out of this world and might just be the end of him. Has Dredd finally found a perp he can’t get under control? Is the mafia the least of Dredd’s problems?
Ewing writes a hilarious and really fun issue. He does use some flash backs to great use, but there is one with Dredd that just shows us an hour previous that feels a little odd. Ewing does frame the story out brilliantly with the inclusion of Mars Attacks cards depicting scene changes and introductions. You get a scene on the front of the card with the back being shown with a description of what’s going on. It’s a cool addition to the story that makes for a cool little Mars Attacks gag. Having worked on Judge Dredd before, Ewing perfectly nails down that aspect. The Martians of Mars Attacks are underused in the introductory issue. They serve little purpose other than catching Dredd’s bullet in their big enclosed domes. McCrea’s art is about as good as you can’t get. He’s another Judge Dredd alumn, so he perfectly captures the Judge and Mega-City One. His Martians are tall and gangly. Their heads take up a lot more of their dome than some portrayals, but it looks fantastic. When Dredd comes face-to-face with them, you get the feeling that each is the other’s counterpart. The Martians have a little Dredd to them with their raised shoulder pads and big boots. Fotos’ colors are great. They are bright and vibrant, really nailing down the classic Judge Dredd vibe. All the gunfire and splattered alien brains really pop.
Bottom Line: Mars Attack Judge Dredd is a fun and enjoyable read that brings laughs and plenty of action. There isn’t a lot for our Martian invaders to do just yet, but they are here and Dredd has interacted with them. Hopefully the next three issues really play up the two iconic properties crossing over. Ewing and McCrea give us a great Judge Dredd story, but hopefully we get just as great of a Mars Attacks story coming up. 3.5/5