Villordsutch reviews Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection – Mandroid…
Mandroid is a vigilante story about former soldier Nate Slaughterhouse, who is invalided with his family back to Mega-City One with half his body replaced with cybernetic parts. When his wife goes missing and his son is targeted by criminals, Nate goes on the rampage.
After the Mega-Collection’s fragmented last issue where we took a look at the evolution of Judge Anderson, this time we return to my preferred method of delivery – within this series – with virtually a full issue dedicated to one entire story, which in this case is Mandroid – a tale from the great John Wagner and the fantastic artistic talents of Kev Walker. We do get two other tales stapled on at the end in the form of Escape From Atlantis, and Bad Mother from the talents of Simon Coleby, Carl Critchlow, Paul Marshall and Cam Kennedy but I’ll be focusing on the main story of Mandroid and the closing chapter of Mandroid: Instrument of War.
When our protagonist Nate Slaughterhouse , who has been left barely alive – or human – due to war, is given numerous cybernetic implants he finds it difficult to cope with the trauma of no longer feeling human; due to this the Army discharges him and places him and his family in Mega-City One. Shortly after a visit from the local protection racketeers, whom he reports to the Judges, his wife vanishes and not so long after that his son is brutally murdered. It’s here things turn even worse – for Nate – as he decides that he needs to take the law into his own hands, and in doing so he becomes a pawn in somebody else’s revenge against the system.
Mandroid deals with PTSD, depression, kidnap, child murder, implied rape and of course we have the violence that goes with the Judge Dredd tales. This is clearly a book for the more mature readers of the world and it is a book that is more than aware of the shocks it’s delivering to the reader. There are of course the subtle smiles added from Wagner’s pen, for instance the Slaughterhouse family are relocated to the Dean Gaffney block, but these smiles are in this tale few and far between as it concentrates on delivering the horror and brutality of Mega-City One which is devouring Nate’s world. In amongst this we have the evolution of Dredd, it’s a wise Dredd that we are witnessing here not the “Jack-Booted Dredd”. He can see the inevitable outcome and is making all attempts to divert Nate from his chosen path; even at the end another Judge – that has just been chastised by Dredd – comments, “That the old man’s [Dredd] going soft.”, as he [Dredd] never executed the Mandroid instantly like he would have in the old days.
Mandroid is a brutal and powerful piece of work, it is also one that you need to own.
Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection – Mandroid is available to buy now priced £9.99 or online here.
Villordsutch likes his sci-fi and looks like a tubby Viking according to his children. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.