Published: November 20th, 2013
Written by: Matt Smith
Art by: Simon Coleby, Greg Staples
Based on: Judge Dredd by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Pat Mills
IDW Publishing, 105 Pages
This has been in my Comixology queue for awhile, so I figured it was time to give it a read.
Being that this is a Year One story, it focuses on the Judge Dredd character very early in his career. He’s still green, lacks experience and has to rely on his training, his undeveloped skills and the knowledge he gets from his seasoned superiors.
In this story, he has to deal with a strange psychic phenomenon that starts popping up, which gives powers to regular people and in the first part of this story, a group of juvenile delinquents.
The setup is interesting but the story doesn’t do much to capitalize off of that and just sort of falls flat and honestly, isn’t all that exciting or engaging.
I guess the high point for me would be the art. It was pretty good and I liked the tone of the comic. But beyond that, we’re just given an interesting concept that just doesn’t pan out into anything worthwhile.
This isn’t a stinker but it’s certainly forgettable.
Pairs well with: other Judge Dredd stories by IDW.
Published: February 12th, 2014
Written by: Al Ewing
Art by: John McCrea, Greg Staples
Based on: Judge Dredd by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Pat Mills, Mrs Attacks! by Topps
IDW Publishing, 104 Pages
I feel like I’ve been suffering from crossover burnout but this one was at least amusing and I found it to be better than a lot of the other ones I’ve read lately.
The tone kind of took me off guard and I was annoyed by all the weird mafioso shit that started the story, as it featured characters that were poor knockoffs of Dick Tracy‘s gimmicky villains.
However, once Judge Dredd got on the scene, as well as the Martians, things picked up and this had a good, comedic vibe.
This certainly isn’t a must read for fans of either (or both) franchises but it’s not a total waste and it’s at least as entertaining as it can be.
Al Ewing wrote this and he’s become a top dog in the comics industry after his work on The Immortal Hulk but if I’m being honest, this pales in comparison to his more recent work. But in his defense, this wasn’t written in any way that should be taken too seriously.
This is short and it’s a quick and easy read. It’s violent, humorous and a decent way to kill a half hour.
Pairs well with: other comics or crossovers featuring Mars Attacks! or Judge Dredd.
Written by: various
Art by: various
Based on: Judge Dredd by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, The X-Files by Chris Carter, Ghostbusters by Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, G.I. Joe by Hasbro, Transformers by Hasbro, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, My Little Pony by Bonnie Zacherle, Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry
IDW Publishing, 356 Pages
So IDW decided to do their own version of Marvel’s What If?… series and DC’s Elseworlds tales. Except, IDW doesn’t have really any creations of their own, at least none that anyone really seems to care about. Instead, they are most known for printing comics of intellectual properties that they pay for publishing rights to have.
This series of one-shots gave us “what if” tales for Judge Dredd, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, X-Files, Ghostbusters and My Little Pony.
At their best, there were a few issues that were simply, okay. But most of these were terrible. And they weren’t terrible for one reason, they had just about everything going wrong for them.
In fact, the only two of these that I would give a passing grade to are Donny Cates’ take on Star Trek, which is still a poor effort considering Cates’ caliber, as well as the Transformers one, which gave us an alternate take on the events of the original animated motion picture.
The worse one of the lot was the one I was most excited for: G.I. Joe. It was a big, lame, unfunny joke that poked at some of the franchise’s tropes but did so without the writer having a single funny bone in their entire body. I’ve never not laughed so hard.
This was something that had potential, could have given us some really cool results and honestly, shouldn’t have been that hard to write at even a passable level. IDW has lost their fucking way, man. I guess it’s no surprise that the company is up shit’s creek, now getting bailouts from Marvel on their D-list comic books.
Frankly, I’m pissed I paid for these issues.
Pairs well with: the IDW 20/20, Infestation and Revolution events, as well as some of the IDW crossovers.
Also known as: Judge Dredd (Jamaica, Japan, working title), Dredd 3D (promotional title)
Release Date: July 11th, 2012 (San Diego Comic Con premiere)
Directed by: Pete Travis
Written by: Alex Garland
Based on: Judge Dredd by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra
Music by: Paul Leonard-Morgan
Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris, Lena Headey, Domhnall Gleeson
DNA Films, IM Global, Reliance Entertainment, Entertainment Film Distributors, Lionsgate, 95 Minutes
“In case you people have forgotten, this block operates under the same rules as the rest of the city. Ma-Ma is not the law… I am the law. Ma-Ma is a common criminal; guilty of murder, guilty of the manufacture and distribution of the narcotic known as Slo-Mo, and as of now under sentence of death. Any who obstruct me in carrying out my duty will be treated as an accessory to her crimes… you have been warned. And as for you Ma-Ma… judgement time.” – Judge Dredd
Not enough people saw this in the theater, myself included. But I did see it as soon as I was able to stream it. I wasn’t a big fan of what the original 1995 film was and even though I knew that this one was a much more serious picture, it didn’t get me into the theater.
That was my mistake though, as I really liked this movie the moment I saw it. It hit all the right notes and was just a badass bonanza of bullets, blood and brutality!
Dredd is the movie I’ve wanted ever since seeing the original RoboCop. It’s unapologetic, goes for the gusto and doesn’t relent in its intensity. Plus, Karl Urban’s version of Judge Dredd holds a special place in my heart right next to Peter Weller’s RoboCop.
Sadly, this didn’t do well enough to get a sequel but talks of continuing on with Urban as Dredd haven’t died down. But for now, we’ve still got this to enjoy, even if it just feels like a small sample size of what could be.
This is just a hair over 90 minutes, which is fine. It’s so intense that anything more might have been overkill.
The action is damn good and this film is just a masterpiece when it comes to pure destruction.
Beyond that, this is well acted between the three biggest components: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey. In fact, Headey was incredibly good as a psychotic female crime boss that literally wore here vileness on her face. When Headey and Urban finally come face to face in the movie, it’s a fantastic moment, greatly accented by both actors’ work.
This has good effects, especially in regards to the scenes where we see the world through the eyes of the drug users. The finale that sees Headey’s Ma-Ma get doped up and thrown through a window, 200 stories to her death, was stunning. It was shot very dynamically and was masterfully crafted from the camerawork to the special effects.
These type of films are often referred to as “high octane” but this one goes beyond that. It’s a real throwback to the over the top, intense action pictures of the ’80s.
Dredd is a great template for how to do a hard R action movie. Frankly, the world could always use more of those.
Pairs well with: the original Judge Dredd just to compare, as well as the first two Robocop movies.
Published: February 6th, 2018
Written by: John Layman
Art by: Chris Mooneyham
Based on: Predator by Jim Thomas and John Thomas, Alien by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, Judge Dredd by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra and Pat Mills
Dark Horse Books, 101 Pages
Well, this was underwhelming. But most Alien Vs. Predator crossovers that include other franchises don’t ever seem to deliver.
The thought of Judge Dredd fighting Predators and Aliens got me excited. It looks damn good on paper but the execution here was pretty shoddy.
The biggest problem with the story is that there was too much strange shit going on. The main villain was a mad scientist that made animal/human hybrids and called them Ani-Men, which I’m pretty sure is the name of a supervillain team that Marvel has used as far back as the 1960s.
My gripe about this part of the plot is that it takes up most of it. This story arc is made up of just four single issues, there isn’t room to dillydally. We didn’t need this and while it was used to introduce the alien xenomorphs to the story, the plot didn’t need to get fixated on this other, unimportant stuff.
All you need to do to kick off this story is have a Predator ship crash in Mega-City One. The crash releases alien xenomorphs and Predators that were fighting on board. Judge Dredd shows up to investigate the crash site and BOOM! you now have Predator Vs. Judge Dredd Vs. Aliens. It writes itself.
The comic dumps all this side story crap in your lap early on and it takes too long to get to the good stuff in a comic without a lot of room the breathe. Once the cool stuff starts, it feels incredibly rushed. There’s no real build of suspense or terror. Plus, Dredd and the Predators team up rather quickly and don’t have much of their own conflict.
This wasn’t a total dud but it just doesn’t live up to what one should expect from from these three badass franchises coming together.
I think that crossovers like this are typically rushed and looked at as a good way to make a quick buck but if the editors actually put a bit more care into these events, we could have better stories, slicker art and something that balances out multiple franchises in a way that makes more sense and respects their spirit.
Pairs well with: any Alien Vs. Predator comic series or Judge Dredd crossover.
Also known as: Dredd (Slovania)
Release Date: June 30th, 1995
Directed by: Danny Cannon
Written by: William Wisher Jr., Steven E. de Souza, Michael De Luca
Based on: Judge Dredd by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Joan Chen, Jürgen Prochnow, Max von Sydow, Balthazar Getty, Scott Wilson, Ewen Bremmer, James Remar (uncredited), James Earl Jones (narrator)
Hollywood Pictures, Cinergi Pictures, Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation, Buena Vista Pictures, 96 Minutes
“I am the law!” – Judge Dredd
I was itching to watch the 2012 Dredd movie, once again. However, I figured that I’d revisit this adaptation first, as I hadn’t seen it since 1995.
Back then I thought it was pretty terrible. 24 years later, it still isn’t great but I appreciate it a bit more.
This movie is stupid, mindless and a total mess. However, it’s a hell of a lot of fun and just wacky enough to have some value.
Stallone is certainly enjoyable in this, as he hams it up big time and really embraces the insanity of what this picture is. But he had to know that it wasn’t going to be good once he got on set.
It had a post-apocalyptic feel that is typical of ’90s action sci-fi but man, this thing looks cheap. There are some good sets and big areas but there’s also a lot of shoddy green screen work that looks terrible when compared to the modern standard or really, the standard just a few years after this movie came out. I get that the production was limited by its resources but they were employing some techniques that were already outdated by the time 1995 rolled around.
One problem with the film is that the story is kind of incoherent and it felt like they didn’t have much of a script and just a sort of outline of the scenes. It feels like they’re just winging it and trying to make it work. Yes, I know there was an actual script but it doesn’t seem like it was fine tuned, it’s more like an early draft with some ideas for scenes stapled together.
This surprisingly had a pretty interesting cast between Stallone, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Armand Assante, Joan Chen, Max von Sydow, Balthazar Getty, Ewen Bremmer, James Remar, Scott Wilson and narration by James Earl Jones. But seriously, did Lane read this script before singing on? She just feels out of place, not because she isn’t a capable actress, she’s damn good, but because she’s just an odd choice to play a female Judge and she felt like she was above the rest of the film. Granted, I still liked her in it, she just stuck out like a sore thumb because she’s Diane f’n Lane. It’d be like having ’90s Julia Roberts in Double Dragon.
The only thing going for this is that it is a ham festival and pretty fun. It’s really dated and a big ’90s cliche but that kind of makes it lovable all these years later.
Also, I really like the chemistry between Stallone and Schneider, which we also got to experience in Demolition Man.
Overall, not a good movie but it is still a rather entertaining one for fans of ’90s cheese and action sci-fi.
Pairs well with: Demolition Man, Robocop, Hardware and it’s much better reboot, Dredd.
Release Date: September 21st, 2014 (Fantastic Fest)
Directed by: Paul Goodwin
Cast: Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Dan Abnett, Brian Bolland, Carlos Ezquerra, Alex Garland, Dave Gibbons, Scott Ian, Karl Urban, Nacho Vigalondo, various
Deviant Films, 110 Minutes
I don’t know if I’m just burnt out on these type of documentaries but this one didn’t keep my attention.
Reason being, it didn’t tell a story, really. It did go through the history of 2000 A.D. but everything was done in a heavily edited interview format. There was no narration and this felt kind of disorganized.
Being an American and not as familiar with this comic as someone from the UK, I was hoping for a good, comprehensive history on this. It probably works well for UK fans but Stateside I felt like it missed the mark.
Granted, it was cool seeing a bunch of creators, whose work I love, talking about 2000 A.D. with a lot of passion. I liked seeing the bits on Judge Dread and the stufff involving Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison. Their two cents are always worth the price of admission when it comes to talking about comics of the past.
Still, even though this was full of people I wanted to hear from, it was quite long for what this needed to be and for how it was presented.
Maybe get some narration, organize the sections a bit better and tell a more cohesive story.
Pairs well with: other comic book documentaries of the last few years.