Villordsutch reviews Judge Dredd: Titan…
Mega-City One, 2136 AD. This vast urban hell on the east coast of post-apocalyptic North America is home to 50 million citizens. Crime rules the streets, and the Judges are empowered to dispense summary justice. These lawmen are judge, jury and executioner. Toughest of all is Judge Dredd – he is the Law!
The Justice Department has lost contact with the Titan penal colony – a big problem considering that it houses over one thousand law-breaking ex-judges, many of which have a grudge with their old colleagues. Now Dredd, must team up with SJS Judge Gerhart – a man who holds him responsible for ‘Chaos Day’, and battle a formidable army led by one of Wally Squad’s deadliest operatives…
Occasionally there are 2000AD storylines that come along and chisel themselves in stone as key moments in both Dredd’s and Mega-City One’s lore; these stories may not however be overly fantastic to read – or re-read – though they are important. Then we have the tales that albeit aren’t overly apocalyptic, don’t look into Bad Bob Booth, nor are world ending and may not have billions dying, but they will still resonate for years to come, mainly within the reader. Judge Dredd: Titan is one of them.
Judge Dredd: Titan was originally published back in 2000AD from Progs 1862 “Titan” through to Prog 1961 “Melt”, written by the excellent Rob Williams and with the art delivered by the fantastic Henry Flint. The story follows Dredd initially being sent to Saturn’s moon of Titan, now a penal colony for Judges that have broken the law, as it has now fallen under the control of the ex-Judges, led my former Wally Squad member Aimee Nixon. Even with a platoon of Space Marines plus a S.J.S. member called Gerhart, this plan doesn’t go according to plan, and it soon becomes apparent it was a trap – a trap for Dredd.
After repeated bouts of brutal attacks and mind wiping drugs applied to Dredd, eventually both he and Gerhart manage to rather brutally escape. However in the process the ex-Judges head for a new life upon the ice moon Enceladus. This is the first step towards their tragic fates and a ghost-like revenge sent towards Mega-City One.
Rob Williams explores numerous avenues within Titan, from creating people of absolute justice, dealing with those that are asked to work both within and around it, the desire for revenge from loss and those that have suffered violation. The main bell that rings throughout this tale is the feeling of PTSD that Dredd is clearly suffering from following the numerous battles he has waged recently, culminating with the torture at the hands of Aimee Nixon.
This damage internally becomes even more physical, as reflected in the truly excellent art from Henry Flint; as the words of Rob Williams are spoken by Dirty Frank, “Vengeance, and the end of all that is good”, as Dredd barrels down – upon a galloping horse – towards the revenge personified from Enceladus. Dredd is broken and it can clearly be seen.
Judge Dredd: Titan does have a climactic battle, however this isn’t where our war is truly raging – that is within the skull of our protagonist. This book is a 2000AD story that should both be owned and remembered as it is vitally important in the evolution of our lawman.
Judge Dredd: Titan is released on the 16th June 2016 and can be bought from the 2000AD Online store here priced £17.99.