Let me first start off by saying that I love the cover by Ulisses! There’s so much stuff to pick through on it. I’m a big fan of the ‘cluttered style’, wherein the artist stuffs as much detail and gags into a panel. I think my love for it started from my Manga reading days, and one artist in particular – Masamune Shirow.
I’m more of a trade person, by which I mean I prefer to read my comics in collected format. Not only does it look better on the shelf but it saves money, but when I first glimpsed Ulises’s opening splash page for this comic, there was no other choice – I simply HAD to buy it!
It’s a stunning piece showing Mega City Two in its eye popping splendour. It’s like Where’s Wally meets Frank Miller’s Hard Boiled. I spent a good 10 minutes just taking in the artwork, it’s a phenomenal piece and captures the world of Judge Dredd perfectly. And of course, this being a futuristic take on L.A/ the West Coast, everything is more amplified than its East Coast counterpart.
The story has Judge Dredd reassigned to Mega City Two as part of a Judicial exchange programme. But Dredd’s trip is an eye opener as he finds that they do things very diffrrently in the West Coast. It’s a more relaxed place with the Law more lenient on its citizens, and even its Chief Judge, Kennedy sees things differently, not to mention he seems to be infactuated with his own self image.
The story takes place in the middle of an assignment as Dredd goes after a Stookie Gland dealer (anti-ageing drug produced illegally from the peaceful Stookies). Dredd gate crashes a film production and we’re witness to several gags in the process.
Douglas Wolk’s script is much better than the earlier Judge Dredd stuff by IDW, which I wasn’t too keen on. It’s clear he has a good knowledge of Judge Dredd and the world he inhabits. And of course, Ulises Farinas’s artwork is a perfect fit for the story and especially the depiction of Mega City Two and its inhabitants.
This was an enjoyable opening issue, and I’m definitely excited to see how this mini-series developes.