Judge Dredd Megazine, #395 Review

by Gavin Johnston on April 18, 2018

Writers: Arthur Wyatt; Si Spencer; Rory McConville; David Baillie; Alex De Campi; Michael Carroll
Artists: Jake Lynch; Nicolo Assirelli: Carlos Ezquerra; Brendan McCarthy; Henry Flint; John Higgins
Colours: John Charles; Eva De La Cruz; Chris Blythe; Sally Hurst
Letterers:  Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Ellie De Ville

Dredd’s investigation into murder on a banana plantation and an army of rebellious monkeys is wrapped up neatly in Judge Dredd: Krong Island. Pulling threads from a whole host of older stories, the adventure culminates with Dredd battling a giant robot ape with the help of a giant robot octopus in a hilarious but action packed episode. As an army of intelligent apes rise up and take over the banana plantation/theme park of Krong Island, Dredd takes on the mysterious Red Prince and his co-conspirator Serpico, with the help of superfan gorilla Harry Heston. The idea that Dredd speaks chimpanzee is fantastic in itself, and the story provides satisfying conclusions for its host of interesting characters, ending with a final twist that might send newer readers rushing to the internet to search of clues.


After the chaos of last month’s opening episode, The Returners: Irmazhina returns and settles down into strangely familiar set up. In the corruption riddled city of Cuidad Baranquilla, a bunch of strangers are thrown together and given the task of investigating a mysterious event. Having all died in the first episode, four disparate characters are inexplicable returned to life, gifted with strange ability that makes them the only people able to investigate the sudden disappearance of a whole building. I’m sure that this has been done before, but The Returners looks like it will be a fast moving supernatural adventure, pulling no punches in its depiction of violence.


A damaged Judge Boyle launches his violent vendetta against mutants in Cursed Earth Koburn: the Law of the Cursed Earth. Cursed Earth Koburn is a classic Western shifted to a sci-fi setting, and perfectly complimented by Carlos Ezquerra’s gritty art.


Skysurfer and graffiti artist Marlon “Chopper” Shakespeare has had a connection to Australia since escaping Mega City justice and fleeing across the Pacific in 1987’s Judge Dredd epic, Oz. Marlon returns in Chopper: Wandering Spirit. Having long since moved to the irradiated Australian outback, Chopper stories frequently make reference to aboriginal mythology. With some beautifully melodramatic art from Brendan McCarthy depicting the twisted landscape of a future Australia, David Baillie’s script verves dangerously close to stereotype, with wise elders, boomerangs and kangaroos, but this opening episode has great potential, with mysterious events underway.


Outbreaks of violence and madness herald the arrival of the Dark Judges, and a dark reflection of the city appears above Mega City One. Dredd: The Dead World presents a very different version of the Judge Death and his buddies, combining the supernatural with the more down to earth movie version of Dredd. With the arrival of the fab four, there’s an explosion of gory action and black-panelled violence, as Dredd tries to shoot his way through supernatural entities. This episode’s dialogue feels a little unfocussed and confusing, but the plot is rocketing along.


Rounding out this month’s Megazine is a short introductory story Razorjack, which acts a prologue to an upcoming Dredd story. Razorjack, a nightmarish killing machine, originally appeared in John Higgin’s self published comic twenty years ago, and now looks to have made its way to the Dredd-iverse. It’s a solid introduction to a new world, but how this will be combined with Dredd’s own world is still unclear.


Usually bagged with a “floppy” graphic novel reprint, this month’s Meg breaks with tradition and instead comes with a seventy page booklet on Pat Mills’ Nemesis, examining the origin and impact of the 2000AD classic. A nice collectable for seasoned fans, or a lovely enticement for new readers.

Our Score:


A Look Inside