One of the things that I've really come to appreciate ever since I jumped into the world of Judge Dredd is just how easy 2000 AD has made it. The publisher's got massive reprints of Dredd from the very beginning; they've got downloadable digital comics that are easy to buy (and that you can actually keep like any other downloaded file); and they're putting out compilations built around themes that can give to the start of a pretty comprehensive overview of Dredd history. Basically, it has never been easier to read 200 pages of comics about people having sex with robots.
That is, more or less, the subject matter of Judge Dredd: The XXX Files, the new collection on sale this week which compiles two dozen stories that take the concept of Thrillpower into a decidedly adult direction. And while I'm not sure if it's a great place for people who are brand new to Dredd's world -- it's more than a little overwhelming at times -- it has a bunch of truly fantastic comics.
Q: You said something a few days ago about the genius of Judge Dredd's design--can you talk more about this? -- @lifeinsuper8
A: Can I! Regular readers of Ask Chris might recalll that it was only a couple of weeks ago that I, along with artist Erica Henderson, got into a discussion of what makes a great "iconic" superhero costume. You can flip back through that one if you'd like, but the short version is that the best costumes in comics tend to be simple and well-defined, getting across a lot of information with a very streamlined look. Generally speaking, the more unnecessary gimmicks you add to a suit, the more distracting it gets, and the less it says about the character, and I think that holds true across the board when it comes to superheroes.
But then you get to Judge Dredd, and all those rules go flying straight into the Iso-Cubes, where they're locked up and never, ever let out.
Kudos to Rebellion for the imminent publication of its 350th issue of Judge Dredd Megazine, the monthly Dredd comic that began all the way back in 1990 (and which might actually be the longest unbroken run of any comic book in these renumbered times in which we live, come to think about it). To celebrate the occasion, venerable Dredd artist Brian Bollandreturns to one of his signature characters with a special cover featuring the titular lawman and the fabulous cast of villains that have helped make the megazine a success for 24 years. It's within that spirit of historical observance that Bolland is cheekily riffing on his own great work from Rebellion's past by basing his Megazine cover on an illustration he created for 1985's 2000 AD Monthly #1.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Emma Beeby has written various different kinds of projects including speeches, film, games, horoscopes, and audioplays. She wrote Risen 2: Dark Waters, a game that was nominated for a Writers Guild Award, as well as a Doctor Who audioplay. Her comics work includes Judge Dredd, making her the first female writer in the character's history.
Judge Dredd: Mega City Two, in which Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas are chronicling the stone-faced lawman's trip out west to the City of Courts that used to be Los Angeles, has already been one of the most fun comics on the stands in just the first issue. Next week's installment, however, takes it to an entirely new, entirely ridiculous level, as Dredd hits the beach for "Beach Blanket Justice" and ends up encountering a giant mutated atomic shrimp that's going to seriously damage tourism. And that's just on page two -- and it's the least of Dredd's problems with post-nuclear California.
And if that wasn't enough to get you excited? There is a pretty amazing joke about LA-based plagiarist Shia LaBeouf some guy in here. Check out a preview and watch for it below!
Since its launch in 2012, IDW's Judge Dredd series has served as a great introduction to the character for new readers, while also expanding on the story of Mega-City One's most notable protector in a way longtime readers can enjoy. That can be a difficult balance to maintain, but creators Duane Swierczynski and Nelson Daniel have been up to the task so far, with new stories in the universe of what writer Swierczynski recently described to ComicsAlliance as "the ultimate police procedural."
And the creative team isn't done yet. Far from it, in fact. The upcoming story may be their most ambitious yet, as the two are set to reintroduce the Dark Judges into their series. Further, in addition to Judge Death, Mortis, Fire and Fear, the duo are introducing new Dark Judges in next month's Judge Dredd #17.
One such character is the as-yet-unrevealed Judge Burroughs. IDW has provided ComicsAlliance with a first look at the new Dredd antagonist, which you can check out below.
If catching Dredd cringe through traffic jams trapped in a civilian-grade car and dispatching perps with hilariously-nonlethal weaponry was your cup of tea in Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two#1 last month, you'll be pleased to know the ultimate comic book character culture-shock continues this week in issue#2 by writer Douglas Wolk, artist Ulises Farinas and colorist Ryan Hill. This time around Dredd's finally gotten his hands on a proper bike, but at the cost of going deep undercover to infiltrate some surprisingly talented biker gangs in the name of solid reality television. Oh, and justice?
If you're a new fan of the future's toughest cop, IDW's ongoing Judge Dredd series has provided a pretty great place to jump on. In their ongoing story, Duane Swierczynski and Nelson Daniel have given readers a crash course in Dredd's future-shocking world, taking readers on a dizzying tour through Mega City One as it's attacked by renegade robots, murderous clones and more.
Now, with Judge Death and his genocidal, otherwordly cronies waiting in the wings to pronounce a death sentence on the city, I talked to Sweirczynski about his history with the character, his approach to making such a strange and complicated world friendly to new readers (while keeping it decidedly unfriendly to the people who actually live there) and why Judge Dredd is a lot like ROM: Spaceknight.
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.
Next week, Judge Dredd is packing up his Lawgiver and scowling his way across the Cursed Earth for a visit to Mega City Two in the appropriately titled Judge Dredd: Mega City Two. The trip comes courtesy of writer (and former ComicsAlliance contributor) Douglas Wolk, artist (and current ComicsAlliance favorite) Ulises Farinas and colorist Ryan Hill, but it's hardly a vacation. Out of his element and as grumpy as ever, the story finds Dredd in the sprawling future version of Los Angeles, where every neighborhood has its own laws.
It's pretty exciting stuff from a long-time Dredd fan, but if you can't wait for Wednesday for the series' first issue, we have some good news: Check below for a preview!
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