Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review: Judge Dredd Origins

A strange package arrives at Mega City One's Hall of Justice. Despite Dredd's best efforts to stop the package's delivery it gets to its destination. That sets in motion a chain of events that will puts Dredd and 8 more Judges journeying the Cursed Earth looking for a valuable asset that's gone astray.

Judge Dredd Origins reprints the 2006/07 story that details the fall of the old judicial system and the rise of the new one. The legacy of the first Chief Judge Eustace Fargo and the creation of Rico and Joseph Dredd.

How does this mysterious package relate to the origin of the Mega Cities and the Judge Dredd Judicial system?

How is it?

This book collects two stories and a cover gallery. The stories are Origins and a prelude to Origins. The prelude story is a fun about the mysterious box that eventually gets delivered to the Hall of Justice. In it Dredd tries and tries to intercept the box but he's always a step behind.

The art on this prelude is done by Kev Walker. I think its the first time I've seen his art and I liked it. I has a Mignola feel to it. I personally found the transition form Kev Walker's art to Carlos Ezquerra a bit harsh. I really like the Mignolian style but the Ezquerra art style is a bit more raw. It didn't help that the coloring on the prelude story is that gray post-apocalyptic palette but on the Origin story its like if the rainbow came to life. Its too big a transition to make. After a while you get used to, but those first pages make your eyes hurt a bit.

Don't get me wrong I like Carlos Ezquerra art. He is the definitive Judge Dredd artist, and he does a great job in the Origin story. But when looking at the book as a whole the difference in the art styles is really offputting.

John Wagner does a great job telling this Origin story. Its actually 2 stories weaved in one. One takes place
in the present time and the other in the past. The first is unveiling as its told and the second is told in flashbacks. They're both connected of course. The story told in flashbacks is the reason the present one is taking place.

One of the thing I like about Judge Dredd is that it is a British comic. This means its written differently than American comics. It has that punk rock feel. That chaos vs order that permeates British culture. Take this into consideration when reading this book. Its anything but American propaganda. The America portrayed in this book is as far as its possible from the Hollywood America. The american dream is dead and it has to be replaced with something else.

Young Dredd

I have no particular feelings for or against the United States of America, but its refreshing to see it portrayed in another light that's not the all mighty and ever knowing God nation that Hollywood sells to the world.

My only gripe with John Wagner's writing is that he tries to add a little depth to the plot by including some political intrigue and power play. While he is in a fairly successful way it brings the pace of the book to a halt. The story never gets stagnant but it does slow down considerably half way in. But in the last third it picks up the pace again and delivers a great finish.

Getting read to roll out


This is a great book to read if you like Judge Dredd and want to know more about that Universe. How did that singular judicial system came to existence is one of the main aspects of the book. It also provides a good insight at Dredd's own origin.

Its a violent, action packed book, as much as any other Judge Dredd story. If this is your cup of tea then get it, you'll love it. If the Judge Dredd Universe doesn't do anything for you then this won't change your mind.

Publisher: 2000AD
Year: 2013
Pages: 192
Authors: John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Kev Walker

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  1. O teu veredicto está correcto, ou seja, (lol) concordo muito com ele! Grande livro!

    1. Essa é a melhor forma de correcto :)

      Gostava de ler a tua crítica. Quando é que te dedicas a isso?

    2. Esta é uma altura difícil para críticas... tenho uma série delas atrasadas por causa das divulgações do Anicomics, do Vamos Aprender, dos PPBD, e agora é a vez das divulgações do festival de Beja...
      Em Junho retomarei as críticas e também alguns artigos de opinião.