(W) Brian Rob Williams & Chris Weston (A) Chris Weston
I mean, Judge Dredd is never really for everyone — you’ve got to have a certain tolerance for violence and a penchant for black comedy. But Judge Dredd: Control (available digital-only until December) is a treat for both new and more weathered fans.
It offers tragedy and comedy in equal turn, neatly divided between the first and second sections of this collection of tales from Mega City One.
The first part is a multi-issue storyline, the titular “Control,” in which Dredd comes up against Judge Pin, a member of the dreaded Special Judicial Squad internal affairs unit.
Pin is a great foil to Dredd. As opposed to classic foe Rico, Dredd’s corrupt clone brother, Pin is the strict adherence to the code of the judges that Dredd so often exemplifies but taken to its furthest, fundamentalist (and ultimately murderous) conclusion.
And now she’s got Dredd in her sights.
The arc is dark and character-driven, foregoing some of the light-and-zany aspects of Mega City One for brooding monologues about what it means to wear the big golden badge.
Control is also a good go for first-timers. While it references previous storylines, like Day of Chaos or Dredd’s various adventures alongside an SJS ally, it never gets too bogged down in the details of the lore.
Then when the Control arc ends, the graphic novel swivels to include more fun and satirical one-shots also emblematic to the series. Sensitive Klegg, “Mars-A-Lago” and even a Christmas special all offer a nice dessert to the main meal of the Control arc.
So if you’re new to the series or just haven’t been keeping up with the latest progs from 2000AD, pick up Judge Dredd: Control — it’ll hit that nightmare dystopia sweet spot.