It’s number six and Orlok has cracked open the pages to take one for the team. Remember those “Choose Your Own” adventure books from the 80’s? Well this is a bit like that, but every single option is fucking awful…
Er, does any of this stuff actually happen inside?
This is a deliciously old school looking Joe, leaping off his MkI Lawmaster saddle to take on a gigantic meathead of a man with a huge gun/penis extension. The dude has a big chin too.
Old school fondness aside this is overly detailed, especially the shooter which looks like it was rendered by someone with OCD.
That looks like the Big Meg in the background, which isn’t inside the comic at all.
Right. Brace yourselves.
Dredd awakes in what isn’t the Big Meg. Instead it is a world run by men for men. And not in a fabulous way either. Instead it is a “safe space for men”, which is a bit on the nose.
Some dude has four kids inside his engine and once you digest that, swallow down the knowledge that Dredd chins him committing common assault right off the bat. So, that’s normal Dredd behaviour taken out and shot.
Dredd’s gonna give him 30 years for SIX counts of kidnapping, so either Dredd can’t count or there are more (unseen) kids in the boot.
Since the guy says “I paid for these women”, that makes it all legal and Dredd gets distracted because in the background there is a guy slapping a girl around for the heinous double crime of being dressed inappropriately and friendzoning him. All the guy wanted to see was a bit of ankle and maybe get blown on his birthday, so she is clearly in the wrong. I have to think like that since I have testicles.
The insightful social commentary continues with the Daily Dox reporter showing up as he senses a scoop and then the men surrounding the incident saying that she was “fat anyway” to further denigrate her.
Dredd’s grandpa interrupts and explains what is going on while the woman is going to be gang raped. Dredd just listens intently and does fuck all about it. Probably becuase he too has testicles. Or it’s badly written tosh.
This place is a simulated reality and a shared neural nexus for men to be “real men” which is the writer’s way of saying “absolute cunts”. That’s the same “all women are bitches” thinking that generates the cycle of discord.
I dunno if it is just me but this whole sequence is trying to dredge up the worst aspects of the doxing/gamergate debacle and paint the picture that all men are rapey vermin. It’s also about a year or two too late to have any relevance.
Moving on, it is revealed that this is a breakaway from the Great Relaxing Entire Engagement Nexus that has ruined things and that Granpa runs this Mentrix with his own brain and basically has made himself the equivalent of Neo. Dredd has reluctantly agreed to join because Grandpa has the three girls hostage and only by Dredd playing ball are they safe. And why is this all happening you may ask?
Well it appears that the Meg has been run into the ground by females and that the US of A was at its very best when men were on top and women knew their place, hence this Mad Men version of the city with Dredd in the body of his rookie self to police the place- er, why? If men can do what they want, why do you need cops? And since when does Dredd give in to blackmail.
Judge Berger it seems was the one who did all of this with her feminine decision making and Dredd finally puts this together about two issues after the readers. He’s sharp, that one. She apparently flooded the city with the GRASS programme to turn everyone innocent.
Six months pass and a compliant Dredd (who is apparently married to Anderson and has the three girls as children) is making nice with the scum though a glitched panel shows how the system is being damaged in some way. There’s a man in black going around committing acts of murder and terrorism and Dredd is on the case. As this is a neural nexus I am sure Grandpa can pull out the truth but the script says we must push on and unravel the mystery the old fashioned way and so we shall.
The women are getting uppity too and so Grandpa shoots Anderson. Suddenly and for no logical reason the girls are then magically transported there.
There’s a really bad sequence here where Dredd about to kill himself to save the girls and to stop Grandpa slotting them. Even though, er, Grandpa says he is going to do it anyway, so what will that achieve? Grandpa then shoots Iggy so Dredd guns him down and crashes the system.
Dredd emerges from the tank in the “real world” and finds Iggy is dead. There’s no mention of Anderson since if she was in the Mentrix and able to be killed then she must have been here too nd is therefore dead. But that’s just a plot hole that is completely ignored.
In a scene not too dissimilar to Robocop 2, the Law is wiped from Dredd’s mind by a vengeful grandpa and so Dredd crushes the controlling brain to end it all. Hang on, wasn’t this Grandpa’s brain? How is he walking around without it?
The victims still inside the Mentrix are disconnected and will die in their sleep. Dredd leaves Grandpa plugged in for all eternity. So, he’s…plugged into the Mentrix he just, er, disconnected. Look, let’s not dwell on logic and “what was mentioned earlier” as a way of developing anything approaching a linear plot, let’s just enjoy the story for what it is; a nonsensical omnishambles.
The important thing is that Dredd and the two surviving girls are reunited with Judge Pug who has apparently been just outside for six months. I wonder what it ate.
The art in the “matrix” version is fucking amazing and is a real breath of fresh air thanks to the welcome addition of Redondo. The backgrounds are just brimming with life in a way that shows up the regular art to be drab and amateurish. My only quibble with this aspect is Dredd’s gun vanishing from his hip on page 12. Apart from that it was fucking aces.
I also liked how the Daily Dox building was made to look like the Daily Planet.
The dialogue is terrible in some places with Dredd telling Grandpa to “spit out what you know through broken teeth” and the plot holes and logical lapses turn this into a clusterfuck. Also, despite the fact that last time it was stated that the events were taking place after the events of Chaos Day (when the city was depopulated to 50 million) , Berger’s actions have apparently cost 800 million lives. The Big Meg hasn’t been that populated since June 2104. If you are going to write Dredd at least try and do your fucking homework.