Judge Dredd Megazine #428 Review

by Gavin Johnston on January 19, 2021

Writers: Kenneth Niemand; Mike Carroll; Mike Carroll; David Hine
Artists: Patrick Goddard; Patrick Goddard; John Higgins; Nicolo Assirelli; Nick Percival
Colours: Sally Hurst; Eva De La Cruz
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Jim Campbell; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion




Judge Dredd: The Nightflyer is an old-school, one and done, villain of the month story. A serial killer abducts citizens from their homes to fulfil a dark mission, It’s a smart and surprisingly funny story, not nearly as cruel as a title resembling a Netflix True-Crime documentary might suggest.

The dialogue is funny throughout, playing with an obsessive killer’s motivation and self-awareness. Dredd is demoted to a supporting role, where he often does his best work.

Kenneth Neimand hasn’t produced any stories that are less than Very Good. This is another that fits into that category, where the city and its weird inhabitants take centre stage.



Dreadnoughts: Breaking Ground is one of the best stories published in the Megazine in years. A police procedural in in America of 2035, where the Judges are an experience in extreme law enforcement, working alongside regular uniformed officers. It follows a single Judge, Glover, as she investigates a child’s disappearance.

Told with a grounded brutality, Dreadnoughts is set in a world where government and law enforcement have, rightly or wrongly, lost the support of the people; where law enforcement meets any dissent with cold, unflinching violence, and where calling the cops might get you arrested because everyone is a potential criminal.

This episode, a raid on an anti-government compound goes wrong when a cop overreacts, Judge Glover’s background is further teased, and views on the growing power of the Judges are addressed.

Dreadnought has been well received and will no doubt be collected and reprinted. If you’re not reading the Megazine, or even if you’re not a fan of the world of Judge Dredd, Dreadnought is well worth picking up. It’s a political story about people, speculative fiction that could be set a year from now.




Standing alongside Dreadnought at the top of the podium is Megatropolis, yet another marvellous story by Kenneth Neimand, with truly great art by Dave Taylor. Set in an alternative, steampunk/art deco shadow universe of Mega City One, top cops Rico and Jara investigate a vigilant the media have started to call “Judge Dread”.

Jara’s mysterious past is revealed, whilst Calhoun is put in charge of a special police department and immediately starts executing suspects. Plus, a few more well know characters appear in different guises.

Whilst Dreadnoughts might work as an introduction to Dredd’s world, Megatropolis is one for the fans, with frequent call backs and well know characters turning up in unexpected places. It looks beautiful.



I have a theory that all Judge Death stories exist within a Venn diagram with three overlapping genres: Horror (Death Lives, Necropolis), Comedy (Three Amigos), and Stomach Churningly Nightmarish Terror (Deadworld).

Deliverance, and its precursor Dominion, may be the first stories that falls awkwardly in the middle of these categories. It might not entirely work.

Judge Death has arrived on a distant planet ruled by a death cult, whilst a group of youngsters live outside society, desperate to survive. Five months in and this still feels like first act set up, with a strange Peter Pan in the Lost Boys vibe. One moment brutal, the next will have a throwaway joke. It’s a strange mix.




I’m not entirely sure I’m following The Returners: Heartswood. The basic premise is that a group of outsiders, each with strange powers and a mysterious past, find themselves in a haunted house. The story has a dream-logic which shunts the story around, but makes the narrative hard to follow. Regular full page images look nice, but slow things down too mush when stories are being told a handful of pages each month.



A bit of a mixed bag, but when it hits the high notes, it’s great.


Our Score:


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