Judge Dredd: MegaCity Masters 03 by Kevin O?Neill
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I picked this book up at Comic-Con. There were a whole bunch of Dredd books available on a table and I asked the vendor which one he recommended for somebody who wanted to get into Dredd. He told he to get this one. Maybe that was a bad idea.
I mostly knew Dredd from the vastly different two movies that came out about him, one with Stallone, and the other with Karl Urban. And while the Karl Urban one was far and away better then the Stallone version, I love both movies for different reasons. They both have their own, specific charms. Well, while most people claim that a majority of Dredd's stories are closer to the Karl Urban version than the Stallone one, after reading this collection of stories, I tend to disagree. In most of these tales, which span multiple decades, Dredd is mostly comical, with silly stories that don't really show the totalitarian judge I prefer in the Karl Urban movie. One such story even has Dredd acting like Bugs Bunny after it is wished upon him to be a nicer judge.
Does that make the stories in this volume bad? Well, yes, since I was anticipating a stone-cold badass like I one I got in the Karl Urban movie. I found him in one story that featured a music concert outside the cursed earth jurisdiction. In this story, Dredd is more stern and direct, leading me to believe that a lot of the later Dredd stories are probably more in line with Karl Urban's, tough-as-nails approach.
Even so, as a collection, it's lopsided with the more comical stories, which is why I wasn't too big a fan of this. I guess the same could be said if you leaf through some of the earlier Batman stories, or any comic book character for that matter prior to Frank Miller's stuff, so I guess I can't be too upset. It's more a matter of expectations not being met. So if you're looking for the Karl Urban Dredd in these stories, look elsewhere. He's barely here at all.
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