Comic Book Review – Judge Dredd #3

Chris Cooper reviews the third issue of IDW’s Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd #3 IDW

In Mega-City One, kidnapping of the rich is a thing of the past, thanks to personal security droids. But a ruthless team of high-tech snatchers has come up with a cruel twist on the oldest racket on the books. They don’t nab you. JustÖ a certain part of you. But the kidnappers may regret holding one of the city’s most prominent citizens for ransom, because Judge Dredd’s just signed on to be the bagman!

With the release of this third issue, I think Dredd might just be hitting its stride. Eschewing the robot story of the first two issues, we are thrown straight into a very interesting story regarding human clones of wealthy people being held to ransom. Some hard questions are asked. Would you pay a ransom for someone who is your wife/husband/sibling, with even the same memories, when the original is stood next to you? Could you watch them be tortured and killed even though you won’t actually lose anything?

This issue is full of action, explosions and some clever ideas. Plus more of Dredd being a badass. Everything I need then really!

The art continues to be strong, though with all the Judges looking so similar with their helmets on I’m pleased they always make Dredd’s face so grouchy, or else I’d never know who I was looking at. The city wide views are detailed and give a good sense of scope whist the action is exciting and doesn’t muck about.

The back up story is the strongest yet, and ties directly into the main. Langdon Foss’ lines are sharp and Ronda Pattison’s colours strong. It all comes together to tell a solid little tale that gives us slightly more information to take into the next issue. I do wonder however, if the pages given over to these backups might be better spent on bulking out the main story.

For those interested in the history of the character and his creation, the final page of the comic contains a piece written by Douglas Wolk. He goes into detail regarding the early issues of 2000 AD and how there were many people involved. Not just creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. An interesting read and nice addition.

If I were a old school fan of Dredd, I might find this all quite underwhelming. But as I feel I’m very much part of the demographic that IDW are targeting with this new series (liked Karl Urban), I can say that this is continuing to be solid. It has grew in strength over the first three issues and I hope it builds further. Judge Dredd #3 is the best issue yet. I have my fingers are crossed that this is a sign of things to come and is a trend that continues.

Chris Cooper

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