by Gavin Johnston on October 20, 2020

Writers: John Wagner; Kenneth Neimand; Mike Carroll; Maura McHugh;Si Spencer; David Hine
Artists: Colin MacNeil; Dan Cornwell; Dave Taylor; John Higgins;Steven Austin; Nicolo Assirelli; Nick Percival

Colours: Chris Blythe; Sally Hurst; Barbara Nosenzo; Eva De La Cruz
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Jim Campbell; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion



The Judges face off against well armed terrorists who have taken control of a city block in Judge Dredd The Victims of Bennett Beeny.

Mostly an action procedural with the judges systematically taking down a violent pro-democracy terror group, the political satire is much more layered than expected. The fascist cops are battling antifascists, only to have action-hungry armed militias turn up and cause just as much trouble.

John Wagner wonderfully demonstrates his skill at capturing characters and situations in a tiny speech bubbles. Militia members willingness to believe wide-ranging conspiracy theories, or Dredd’s shifting views towards Robot Judges, are captured in a few brief lines rather than hammered home.

Amid the violence and satire there’s some lovely, old-school mega city humour, referencing modern celebrity. With so much going on, this is almost the perfect Dredd story for today.



In art-deco, steampunk, neo-noir vision of the future Megatropolis, Mayor Booth attends a high class gala and is confronted by journalist Bernice Hershey.

Megatropolis is a wonderfully inventive alternative universe, taking key elements and characters from Dredd’s world and fitting them into a noir detective tale set in a corrupt and decaying city. If you’re a long term fan, there’s huge fun to be had in noting the details and re-imaged characters. Who recalls, for example, the Egypt obsessed Filmore Faro, or why the name “Philip Maybry” could be familiar?


Even if none of this is familiar though, it’s a great detective tale, with gorgeous visuals from Dave Taylor.




Judge Glover considers how law enforcement is viewed by those with and without power, and investigates a kidnapping in Dreadnoughts. Set in 2035 and the early days of the justice department, Dreadnoughts follows proto-judges working alongside modern day cops, using brutally efficient methods in a world still getting used to the idea that “rights” no longer exist.

Glover investigates a kidnapping and deals with the expectation of corruption. Slow paced before a sudden chase-scene, Dreadnoughts is downbeat and very grounded in it’s presentation, with a scarily prescient story about the slow collapse of legal rights. How long before Glover’s declaration that “innocence is a myth” becomes the accepted norm?



Four of the nine pages of this month’s Returners are full-splash pages, so don’t expect the story to move along too quickly. The gang go on the run from Brit-Cit Judges and crash a car in a short action sequence. It’s all fun, but very little by way of plot or character building.



On the planet Thanatopia, the Mortarian cult await the return of their messiah in Deliverance. Nick Percival’s weird, otherwordly art is better suited to aliens and broad dreamscapes than the humans and spaceships we’ve seen to far in Deliverance, so it’s quite a relief to see the story move away from a claustrophobic spaceship. Horrible violence is countered with the nice Dark Judges humour, as the alien cultists welcome Judge Death. I’ve always loved the silly ongoing joke of adding a trademark to the miracle plastic “Boing” used to entrap Death, and taking the humour of the character and balancing it against some horrific doings is a rare skill.





Our Score:


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