2000AD #2241 Review

by Gavin Johnston on July 21, 2021

Writers: John Wagner; Gordon Rennie; Rory McConville; James Peaty; Dan Abnett
Artists: John Higgins; Patrick Goddard; Dan Cornwell; Paul Marshall; Steve Yeowell
Colours: Sally Hurst; Dylan Teague; Len O'Grady; John Charles
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Simon Bowland; Jim Campbell
Publisher: Rebellion

There’s so many layers to Judge Dredd: Now That’s What I Call Justice, in the hands of a lesser writer this would be an overwhelming clash of idea. John Wagner, however, remains an astonishing talent.

Let’s take the name first: a pun on the "That’s What I Call Music pop music" compilation albums (ask your parents), here it's the name of what might be a fictional television show listing the achievements of top-judges. That’s an idea good enough in itself to carry a story in itself, but here it’s a framing device.

The bigger story is that a media savvy vigilante group are killing judges in revenge for their crimes. Dredd gets the run-down on the vigilante’s murders, in a list that’s like the evil twin of That's What I Call Justice. Brutal and bloody murders are listed for three pages, encouraging the reader to sympathise with people finally holding the monsterous justice department to account, before being revulsed by the awfulness of it all. Amid all this backstory, there’s the lovely detail of Dredd’s innate detective abilities, and his actually being tactful when dealing with a subordinate

That story, however, is linked again to a revenge plan that was hinted at last week, in a stylistic turnaround that first made me think some sort of printing error had occurred. A final scene which is brutal and actually shocking in its rage. 



A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the main issue I have with Skip Tracer is that all character decisions are subordinate to plot – characters and worlds only exist in preparation for the next action sequence. Case in point – Nolan only has a beard in this story so that flashback scenes, where he does not have a beard, are visually different.

Having been tricked into travelling to another planet, and again tricked into confirming his identity for some reason, Nolan is facing up to the fact he has a child. Deadbeat dad Nolan, at first angry that a child exists despite his obvious role in the matter, now uses his one other emotion – wide eyed surprise- to deal with some kidnappers.



Here’s something unexpected: Hitman Finnigan Sinister was mind-controlled by an evil AI and killed by his old buddy, Dexter, bringing an end to the long running tale of Sinister & Dexter. Now, in Sinister: Bulletopia Chapter Five: Its Own Devices, Sinister is back…

...as a nude guy rebuilt by the evil AI. This episode is a nice introduction to a new arc, recapping whats happened and setting up what wil happen next. As an occassional but long runing script with massive arcs, Sinister & Dexter often found musch of its page count spent on recapping what happened last. Here however, it makes sense to have almost a whole episode on recap. It also has a really nice comedic twist that brought to mind Bioshock’s “would you kindly”; a detail hidden in plain sight of dialogue.



The judges of Department K come face to face with the multiverse murdering Valox in Cosmic Chaos. There;s a nice bit of comedy stand office, some violence and some really nice old-school-Marvel design work from Dan Cornwell & colourist Len O’Grady.


 finally, AAquila and his buddies are crossing the plains of Hades in Aquila: The Rivers of Hades, Book One. Unfortunately the multicultural armies of hell are in the way, and so a deal with made with a charming centaur.


Our Score:


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