After a troublesome first couple of issue this comic finally hits its stride. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll gouge out your own eyes with a rusty screwdriver to make it stop.
I got the Blind Justice cover with lady liberty apparently blindfolded and Dredd stripped to the waist in a way that would have Mark Millar salivating and biting his lip.
To top it off we have some tentacles squirting green blood as Joe gets stuck in.
Astonishingly, this crazy, disordered world (where everyone does what they want and there are puppies being kicked as a matter of course) has emergency services. These show up and secure the scene while Dredd and co apparently free themselves from riot foam. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions there, since this isn’t explained.
Dredd, who has miraculously recovered from his shot up arm (which appears to have been bandaged up during the explosion) talks to a guy who has a chickenhead and then is called to the arena to do battle while semi naked. Luckily, the Statue of Liberty has been uprooted from the Central sectors and relocated here. This isn’t explained either.
Judge Trog has amazingly survived the explosion of the coolant tanks and is now mutating again. Once more this is not explained.
In a departure from normal events Dredd attempts to talk Trog to death and when that fails it is back to most legitimate means of settling arguments. To wit, fisticuffs.
With Trog now dead for the second time, Dredd is greeted by Mechanismo units which are called in to deal with the crowd.
I liked the idea of user names are taken and when it is revealed that the girls don’t have them, they are unceremoniously booted back to the grass. The girls are about to get killed but instead they turn on their attacker and go back to their eye stealing ways.
We’re getting no concept of time here since while this is going on, Dredd gets to wear a tracksuit and is told that he now has the ability to do what he wants just so long as he doesn’t tell anyone else what to do. Instead of walking out the main gate he decides to go after the girls via the Undercity, probably out of a sense of loyalty to the writers. Oh but first he makes his own armour.
Interestingly, the database he has access to contains no records of the Big Meg at all so we’re still no closer to solving that particular mystery.
I’d like to find something of note here but so far I’m coming up empty and this whole strip seems to be some sort of ctrl-alt-del for the brain. Stuff happens for no earthly reason and is never explained. They don’t have to of course, but if you are trying to tell a cogent story this really fucking helps.
The art seems a lot scrappier this time out and though the scenes in the arena were well done, it still doesn’t seem like anything we are used to either in the feel of the uniform or the setting. I did like that we got to see some different styles of Mechanismo, though.
The letters page at the back has all positive missives, making me wonder if we are actually reading the same comic. Thus far it is the implacable adversary of anything approaching quality.
My greatest regret about reading this is that I didn’t read the first three issues when I bought them, preferring to put them aside for a good run at them. If I had, I would have been able to warn people to avoid this comic like it was Scientology.