On The Cheap: IDW’s Judge Dredd Sale
Assuming that you have any money left after the massive sales that went on during San Diego last weekend, I've got some good news: Comixology is bouncing back after the con with another round of digital dollar books, and this time, they've got a half-off sale featuring the future's greatest lawman, Judge Dredd. Just not the version you might expect.
Rather than 2000 AD's original recipe, the sale focuses on the current run of American Judge Dredd comics from IDW. You can grab the whole shebang, meaning every Dredd comic IDW has put out, for less than forty bucks, but if you're looking to narrow down those choices, don't worry. As always, we've got a few recommendations.
For me, the biggest draw is unquestionably Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas's Mega City Two: City of Courts, an adventure that takes Dredd out of his megahometown and across the country to the sprawling post-apocalyptic metropolis that used to be Los Angeles. In the interest of full disclosure, Wolk is a former ComicsAlliance contributor, but he's also a massive Dredd fan who takes his opportunity to cram his story full of as many weird ideas as he can, and Farinas isn't shy about adding even more in his amazing, hyper-detailed art.
The whole premise of the story is, after all, that unlike the uniform fascism of MC1, MC2 is built from a ton of different cultures crammed together, where each neighborhood is its own "Court" with its own laws, and there's a lot of fun to be had there. Personally, I'm particularly fond of Judge Santos, who rejects the Law and hits the streets to serve justice as a luchador-inspired vigilante.
The only problem is that seeing Dredd out of his element won't have the same impact if you're not familiar with Dredd in his element, so if you're a new reader, it might not be the story for you. If you're looking for a place to start, though, there are still a few things in the sale you might want to check out.
The obvious choice here would be Judge Dredd: Year One, an origin story by longtime 2000 AD editor Matt Smith --- not to be confused with the time-traveler of the same name --- and Simon Coleby that incorporates some elements of John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra's fantastic Origins. That said, I haven't actually read that comic, so I can't really recommend it --- although if Smith's work on Anderson: Psi Division is anything to go by, it's probably pretty solid.
What I can recommend is Duane Swierczynski and Nelson Daniel's Judge Dredd vol. 1.
You may already be familiar with Swierczynski from his work at Marvel or his recent role as the man who brought the F-bomb to Archie Comics, but his Dredd work has been telling some pretty great sci-fi action comics under the radar for a while now. While he's certainly a fan --- and while IDW's Dredd is certainly meant to appeal to the character's existing fanbase --- his first volume is a nice introduction, taking the form of a literal tour through Mega City One as Dredd deals with a massive, citywide riot. It's a good place to start, and it sets the tone for what the team does with the book going forward, from amnesiac murder mysteries all the way to their highly anticipated interpretation of the Dark Judges.
Whether you're already familiar with 2000 AD or newbie looking to get into Dredd, there's a ton of good stuff there for a really solid price. Check 'em out!
The Judge Dredd sale runs until 20 July.