REVIEW: Judge Dredd: Year One #1

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Everyone’s favorite Judge and embodiment of The Law is back. Currently in the middle of what looks to be a revival of Dredd comics, probably thanks in part to the cult-hit of a movie, here we have a telling of his first adventures, his Year One. Find out if it’s any good with your Major Spoilers review!

1363980211_cvrJUDGE DREDD: YEAR ONE #1
Story: Matt Smith
Art: Simon Coleby
Colors: Leonard O’Grady
Letters: Christ Mowry
Cover: Greg Staples
Publisher: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

SLOW START, GOOD FINISH

This book opens with three instances of people displaying psychic and telekinetic powers, all of it narrated via caption box. Needless to say, this comes off as a bit dry, and rather a tad boring, but afterwards we jump right into some Dredd action as he apprehends some criminals. The story then delves into Dredd having to deal with other mentally gifted persons as they quickly become part of his life as The Law. This sends Dredd into new, unfamiliar territory. He is used to dealing with absolutes, something is either against the law or it isn’t, but these people are full of uncertainties and ambiguities. This set up of taking Dredd out of his comfort zone is very interesting, and has potential to pay off in some big character moments down the line. The bits of action we do get are really well done, never feeling too cluttered or confusing as comic action scenes sometimes do. Dredd’s characterization is pretty good, for what little character Dredd has, but a bit spelled out, something I will forgive should it be used to good effect later on in the series. Overall, a very satisfying read.

CONSISTENT TONE

The art is very good. It sets the tone of Judge Dredd very well, capturing the grit and grime of Mega-City One perfectly. In fact it captures the overall feeling of depression the setting is known for. The coloring is really stand out, with backgrounds having an appropriate use of hues that keep the background from feeling both empty or cluttered. The artist also uses sharp stylistic shifts where appropriate, which just adds a whole additional layer to the story (or rather story-telling), improving it greatly.

BOTTOM LINE: WORTH A LOOK

If you are a Dredd fan than this is definitely worth adding to your pull list. If you are a bit hesitant to drop another four dollars on your monthly comic haul, then I highly suggest waiting for the arc to finish and if its all as solid as this, then pick up the trade. As it stands right now, I have a lot of hope for where the series is heading, but this issue alone is not enough to get me to commit, but it is enough to get me to read the next issue.  Judge Dredd: Year One #1 earns 3 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
Reader Rating

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