2012's Dredd was easily one of the best comic book movies of all time, and it's a testament to just how good it was that it left fans wanting more --- not just from Judge Dredd in general, but from that particular version of the character, portrayed by actor Karl Urban. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like we're going to be getting another big-screen take soon, but the good news is that there are some pretty awesome stories set in the movie's universe.
This week sees the release of Dredd: Urban Warfare, the cleverly named collection of three movie-verse stories that originally ran in the pages of Judge Dredd Megazine. To mark the occasion, we spoke to writer Arthur Wyatt about his work with Henry Flint and Paul Davidson, how they nudged the movie's take a little closer to sci-fi, and the interesting timing of a story about crooked police provoking riots.
There are a lot of things that happen regularly in comics that I've never really understood, and chief among them has been the sheer number of superhero crossovers with Aliens and Predator. I mean, I understand wanting to see Aliens and Predators fight each other because they're both these mysterious, lethal alien enemies, where one's a cunning, vicious hunter and the other's an almost mindless biologically driven killing machine, a natural contrast that makes them cool opponents for each other and a deadly combination for anyone who gets trapped between them. The thing I don't get is why you'd want to throw Superman or Batman in there, if only because of the sheer amount of storytelling gymnastics you have to do to make it work. And yet, they happen all the time, and I have long since accepted that it's Just Not My Thing.
And then I read Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens, and now I get it. Mostly because the first story in this collection ends with Dredd taking off his shirt (while leaving his helmet on, of course), and fighting the Predator with a knife.
Even though it suffered from a critical lack of Batman and villains who had purchased nuclear submarines under false names, 2012's Dredd still ranks as one of my favorite comic book movies. The second attempt at translating 2000 AD's long-running character to the screen brought a great cast into a story of brutal action and thrilling adventures through one of Mega City One's massive blocks, and left me -- along with a lot of other fans -- hoping that we'd get to see more of that world soon.
Well, we're still waiting for a sequel, but this week, we got the next best thing. With Dredd: Underbelly, Arthur Wyatt and Henry Flint are telling a story set in the world of the film, where Dredd and Anderson face down a sinister operation behind a new drug on the streets of Mega City One. And if you liked the movie, you're probably going to want to pick up this comic.
Let me be the first to apologize to you, on behalf of the entire comics press. We screwed up. We were too focused on the wrong events in 2012. We spent tens of thousands of words on Avengers vs X-Men, Before Watchmen, Night of the Owls, and we missed the fact that there was a bigger, better, and extremely satisfying crossover sitting right under our noses...
The recent trend of creator-owned digital anthology projects is well documented, and now another name can officially be added to the rapidly growing list. David Lloyd, co-creator and artist of V for Vendetta, is launching his own digital imprint, Aces Weekly...
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