Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Dark Judges, by John Wagner

I gave this out last week as a World Book Night giver. It's the first time they've included a Graphic Novel in the WBN list and for that reason I thought I'd choose it, as someone new to the genre myself. Maybe I could introduce other people to something new and exciting.

I always love the art work in comics and Graphic Novels and this is no exception- everything from the lettering to the expressions on people's faces is laboured over and lovingly honed and you really get a sense of the craft that goes into these books, whether you enjoy the narrative or not.

I really wanted to like this. I've only recently broken into the GN genre and this is the first superhero type narrative I've read.  Is Dedd a superhero?  Maybe it was the format- I know it's been turned from several serials into one volume, but the constant recaps of what had happened previously got annoying quickly.

Basically in the Bladerunner type future in a city called Megacity One, four Dark Judges, thought to be trapped forever, are accidentally released to Earth, bringing their judgement for the crime of life.  The punishment is death.  They say that a lot.  You think they've been defeated but oh...what's that?!  They weren't defeated after all?  Rampaging happens and lots of shooting...
I'm not sure where in the Judge Dredd franchise this volume comes, but I don't feel that he was developed much as a character.  I wanted him to get all Marcus Fenix from Gears of War, but that never happened.  Dredd's colleague Anderson got more development, but I just couldn't warm to her.  You'd think being a lady psychic in a male-dominated post-apocalyptic future police force would make you interesting, but all Anderson is really is a giant-boobed air-head that ends up fixing the mistake that she made that almost killed everyone on Earth. 

Disappointing, good to look at, but ultimately wouldn't really recommend.  It hasn't put me off though...

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