Deviations : Judge Dredd
“Howl Of The Wolf”
By John McCrea and Mike Spicer, with Simon Bowland
Review by Luke Williams
Four years old now, but topical considering that Disney+ is now streaming their What If series, an animated version of their well established comic exploring alternative universes where significant events in the MCU took a different path . 2000AD have tried this a few times in the past, and “Diversions” is IDW’s take.
The initials IDW on the cover of most comics with2000AD characters should make you shudder. But the feeling diminishes when an experienced droid is at the helm, in this case it’s John McCrea, ‘ritin’ and drawin’ and coloured by Mike Spicer. It’s the alternative take on John Wagner, Alan Grant and Steve Dillon’s classic “Cry Of The Werewolf” Dredd strip from the eighties and McCrea’s tribute to his late friend and homage to one of his favourite Dredd strips.
For those not aware, in “COTW” MC1 is experiencing a series of werewolf attacks, the lycanthropes are traced back to the undercity. Dredd is sent to investigate (read “exterminate”) them but gets bitten in the process. McCrea poses the question what if ™ Dredd was never cured of his lycanthropy?
McCrea has some fun with this, mixing in some other memorable strips from the period and his affection for the source material and that classic era shines through. McCrea’s anarchic, kinetic work is a distinct contrast art to Dillon’s clean, bold lines, but it’s a good fit, complemented by Spicer’s atmospheric colouring.
Rounding off the package is a short written tribute from McCrea, an insight into book’s creation and some top notch pin ups from Brendan McCarthy, Garry Leach, Mike Spicer, Jock and Duncan Fegredo.
Completist me bought this following a mention in the Mega City Book Club podcast. To labour a point , with the exceptions of some of the Dredd mini series and the brilliant “Rogue Trooper” mini most of IDW’s 2000AD output has been poor. This is fits in with the minority, recommended.