Long time readers of my books and my blog probably won't be surprised to know that I loved the movie Dredd. It has everything I love about world-building, anti-heroes, gritty action, and crazy villains. So when one of my best friends gave me the Dredd: Urban Warfare graphic novel, and told me that one of the stories was written as a sequel, I might have squealed like a giddy school girl. Only a little, I swear!
Badass cover suitable for The Judge Dredd.
The complete comic-book sequel to the hit movie DREDD. Featuring three action-packed stories from the critically acclaimed cinematic world of DREDD. In Underbelly Ma-Ma’s death has led to a power vacuum and now other criminal gangs in Mega-City One are trying to fill the gap. When a number of corpses are discovered in a rad-pit, the bodies are all revealed to be mutants. Could the dead be connected with an outfit smuggling illegal refugees into the city from the Cursed Earth? Judge Dredd once again teams up with Psi-Judge Anderson as they scour the underworld for the perps responsible!
There are three stories in the book: A prequel origin story about resident psycho Ma-Ma, the sequel, and a third story from all the Dredd comics. Each story was spectacular and exciting, but they suffered from the same problem I had with the Dredd film: I wanted more! The world and the characters in it are just so vast and complex without trying to be, that when each story was completed, all I could think was: "No! I want a longer story! Why can't these be longer?!"
Ma-Ma's story cast her in a sympathetic light, and I actually found myself feeling sorry for her. I know! Who would have thought that such a short story could have made you feel bad for a villain who skins her enemies alive and throws them off a balcony?
The middle story was my favourite. It's what I would have wanted for second Dredd film, had it been made. It gave readers a deeper look at the mutants and how they are cast into the world. As you can likely guess, not well. I was happy with the return of Judge Anderson, though she didn't have a large role. The story was exciting and surprising and when it was over, I actually frowned and said, "I need more of this. So much more." Definitely the strongest and deepest of the trio.
The final story was good, but I didn't love it as much as I did the other two. I'm not sure why– it was exceptionally well written and had all the world-building elements and twists that I've come to love about Dredd, but perhaps it all goes back to my original issue: There is so much here, and the book just wasn't long enough. I'm all but begging for more, another collection of longer stories that help ease new fans like me into a grim, post-apocalyptic future where you literally cannot escape crime. It's a world that chews you up, spits you out, and stomps on your remains, and I love it. The world-building is subtle, smooth, and instantly engrossing. Definitely pick this up if you're a fan of post-apocalyptic crime dramas, gritty action, and the amazing Dredd film. I recommend it to everyone, and because this is my blog... I am the law!