Douglas Wolk makes his comic writing debut as Dredd is sent to Megacity Two, a place where he does not fit the mould. Dredd is sure to make changes to his surrounding, but as for now he has to hand in the Law Bringer and welcome Friendly Bullets.
Yes, Mega City Two is a whole new world which causes quite a culture shock for our protagonist, Mega City Two looks and feels like an exaggerated version of Los Angeles. Everything is brightly coloured and cosmetic and people live in a fantasy world. Dredd cannot understand what he is witnessing as crimes get shrugged off and seen as misdemeanors whilst in his eyes criminals need to receive the appropriate punishment. For the people of Mega City Two, life is a reality show. In fact, television has become their reality but all that is about to change as there is a new judge in town.
Issue one sets the scene with some good writing. It also introduces new characters to the Dredd universe including Dredd’s new boss that seems to be quite the celebrity and showman in Mega City Two. Thanks to the Judge exchange programme, Dredd’s world has been rocked, his purpose for existence is being tested like no other. Will Dredd make it in Mega City Two or will he bring this system of justice to its knees?
The art is a one-eighty in terms of what you would expect of a Dredd title. It is colourful, bright and people look rounded. Gone are the dark and harsh lines that bring about the grit of this title. Wolk’s writing is well complemented by the art, as they present Dredd in a whole new light. The brighter colours give the pages a happy feel, whilst Dredd is still his usual self. This creates a powerful contrast and ensures a unique title run is to follow.
This comic will definitely appeal to the fans regardless of its flaws, but it is far from being a superb issue. Instead it makes you wish Dredd were back in the East kicking butt, taking names and encubing criminals. But it seems that there is an underlying threat that is bound to emerge itself more in the later issues. Let’s just hope our protagonist can adjust to this culture shock and take some of his old laws to this new city.