Orlok reviews the fifth published issue of the ongoing IDW Dredd series. Technically this makes it the Attack Of The Clones of the series. In more ways than one…
Dredd has turned into Uncle Remus and has a redbird on his shoulder with a collection of animals flocking to hear him sing about what a wonderful day it is. Plus he appears to have gone all hippy with a bullet covered in flowers.
On the plus side, that’s a nice reflection of the desolation in his visor and he has quite a square chin, almost surpassing the angular jawline of David Coulthard.
Meanwhile, over in the woods, some creepy eyed fuckers are watching him and his animal grooming ways.
I wouldn’t say it is terrible, but it’s not quite Dredd. Speaking of which…
In search of Iggy and Quill, Dredd collapses from exhaustion, gets hassled by Lolo and then has a series of flashbacks. That’s pretty much it, so what can possibly go wrong? Well, it’s good of you to ask. Sit down and I’ll tell you where this goes off the reservation.
Dredd tries to dictate a report to his MAC unit only realising that he lost it earlier. He then carries on dictating for some unknown fucking reason. I’ve tried to figure this out and failed miserably.
Dredd also takes his ten minutes in a “sleep pod” and not a sleep machine. Ok that’s probably just a terminology fuck up, but you don’t say that Batman drives around in a Batwagon do you? And this isn’t a one-off either.
Dredd’s also been awake for three days and keels over. Pussy.
During the flashback to the locker room, Judge Berger is outlining her strategy for how they can Judge the city more effectively. You see, the current system of punishing the criminals isn’t really working (Oh, do tell) and her radical ideas are being ignored as the rantings of a fucking idiot.
Her report is the Generational Revival And Social Systems (GRASS) and it is a programme to pacify the cits in a way not too dissimilar to the Green which they are currently fighting (more of this later).
Suddenly, and without explanation, they are magically transported to the the Control Room with Anderson looking at spiking suicide reports and Berger explaining how this factors into her findings.
We also get a mention that this is post Chaos Day and that is an important piece of info to keep in mind for the future.
Over in Sector 25 Judge Rambo flips out after the respirators (now called rebreathers) fail to keep out the Green and is medicated for his troubles. Dredd’s unaffected of course, but Anderson apparently gets a dose and flips out a bit later. Then she is cured and then flips out again because the story demands it.
Trying to nail down the source, Dredd tracks down some dealers and beats them up. Despite all this, NO ARRESTS are made. At all. In a city where even the smallest crime is punished, there is nothing to incarcerate them for, even though they admit to peddling an illegal narcotic. So, essentially Dredd’s just committed assault against innocent drug dealers.
In a stunning display of bad writing, Berger later addresses Hershey at Dredd’s insistence and immediately resorts to borderline insubordination. To be fair, she does helpfully report that the Green shit is being created on the Blacknet and distributed there but her other actions are those of an undisciplined cretin.
But rather than deal with this lack of respect, Hershey says nothing and Dredd decides to partner up with Berger for some unholy reason or again because it says so in the script. Luckily Anderson returns to spare us this so there was no story need for it to even occur. This is a common theme in that there is much fat in this story that desperately needed some editorial excision.
To make matters worse, Dredd is woken up by Lolo who is being an asshole. Pug finds it funny, becuase dogs understand the concept of humour. In order to shut her up, Dredd teaches her how to make an effective spear, although considering she can rip out the eyeballs of fully grown men, this is a superfluous skill to learn.
There is no reason for this entire section at all because Dredd is beaten up in his sleep anyway and fights back, killing one guy but the other escapes with Lolo. Meanwhile he attempts to use Judge Pug to track her.
We then get yet another flashback to mass disappearances, discover how contact was lost with the outer sectors and finally “Command” (Control).
Anderson then vomits grass which engulfs the place thanks to her psi powers.
This is understandable as I felt like vomiting too.
The art is odd in that things change size for no appreciable reason. There is no consistency in it, and maybe that’s indicative of the madness going on or maybe it is just lazy; I cannot ascertain which and that is a problem. There’s a prime example in one panel when the perp carrying Lolo even leaps over some hedges and is high in the air when Dredd tags him with a spear. The fuck?
This is just bad. And it doesn’t even have the decency to be hilariously awful like Age Of The Wolf, either.