pingclang's Judge Dredd #1 - Ripe; Protection Racket review

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Fruit of the...Law?

Before I review this, let me just say that before this issue I have never read a Judge Dredd comic. It isn't that I haven't wanted to, I just never have got around to it, so I am going in completely unbiased to the original material with the fresh eyes of a Dredd newby.

Judge Dredd #1 contains a long story and a short story in the back. The first of which involves a plot that I honestly didn't quite follow other than some trees that grow fruit within minutes going wild and fruit exploding. This leads to the Judges coming in and trying to figure out what exactly is going on, while the reader tries to figure out which Judge is Dredd. Seriously, they all look alike except one of them has a mustache. The first story is pretty good, written by Duane Swiercynski who I am not a big fan of, but does a fair job in this book. It's a quick introduction to the character and to Mega City One and quickly jumps into action. Saying that, the plot is like I said, hard to follow if there even is one. Not a whole lot happens really other Dredd looking bad-a, which we all want to see. As for the artwork, well, I loved it. I'm not sure who drew which parts but the first story was well done, aside from the Judges looking so alike but when they all wear the same uniform what can you do? Draw him bigger than everyone else is usually the answer but, whatever. The art had a gritty, hard edge too it and fit Dredd`s sweet disposition well. That said, I had a problem with the colors of this book. Mega City One is an overpopulated, half polluted dump of a world yet the colors used in the book are so bright and make everything seem sort of pretty. I would have expected some browns and dark reds but it's more tans and yellows. A minor complaint, honestly, but worth mentioning. On to the second story.

The second story in the book, well, it's weak. It's only four pages so you can't do too much but it felt like it wasn't even half attempted at. The story revolves around some robot and the store owner she belongs to and their reactions to being robbed. In comes Dredd and an attempt at a funny ending landed like a bear jumping off a roof with an umbrella to slow his descent. The art was decent in this part, not as good as the first. I had the same issue with the colors here too, but it may have been the same person and it was more about the one shop so maybe it was nicer and brighter.

Again, I want to state that I haven't read Dredd before so I may be missing out on references to the old material. I can only go off what I see here and it isn't too awful much. Maybe once Mr. Swiercynski gets the character down it'll improve. It's a buy for new guys but I don't know how hardcore Dredd fans will feel.

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