Comic books as a medium have rarely need an excuse to feature a gorilla in a story, but in Judge Dredd Megazine #376, there's a little more going on under the surface than just the fun of seeing an ape wearing Judge Dredd's uniform.
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.
2012's Dredd, based on the long-running comic about the stone-faced lawman of the future from the pages of 2000 AD, was essentially Die Hard in one of Mega City One's towering city blocks, which is to say that it was completely awesome. Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby's performances as Judges Dredd and Anderson, respectively, were fantastic, and left both long-time Dredd readers and new fans wanting to see more from them, which is why Arthur Wyatt and Henry Flint provided a comic book sequel set in the world of the movie called Underbelly, where Dredd had to tackle a new drug that gave crooks the ability to see into the future.
Underbelly was a pretty huge success. The first and second printings both sold out at the distributor level, and this October, it's getting a third, featuring a new cover by artist Trevor Hairsine.
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.