Sunday, 22 December 2013

Mars Attacks Judge Dredd Review (Al Ewing, John McCrea)

I swear I’m not doing this on purpose - but this is yet another Dredd comic that blows!

I read 2000AD, and it’s many incarnations, religiously as a teen but gave up on it sometime around 16/17 and only returned to the character in the last year or so (I’m 29). But after reading 2000AD for 4 months, I realised the publication is terrible - the format of four or five pages per story and then packing five or six stories into an issue is so stupid, and the stories themselves are uniformly awful! The Judge Dredd Megazine is boring, as is the Judge Dredd: Year One book, and the other new IDW Dredd comics - I don’t know what it is, maybe the character was never good and my young, inexperienced self just had nothing to compare it to, but I’ve now given up on 2000AD and any comic Dredd’s in because it’s too disappointing for me. Mars Attacks Judge Dredd was the final nail in the coffin.

This book is (and I use the term very loosely) notable for being the first Dredd crossover with a non-2000AD franchise in over a decade, and the idea of the whacky Mars Attacks aliens fighting Dredd appealed to me. I didn’t know much about the story beyond those two franchises colliding, but you don’t really need to, right? Having read it, I can say that you definitely need to, because the story is about Dredd and Mars Attacks but also heavily features an array of cartoon mafia figures too. In other words, characters you don’t want to read about.

There’s a chimp mob boss called Apelino, another one called Mumbletti who mumbles, and another one with his finger perpetually up his nose - I forget his name but it’s probably Nostriletti or something equally dumb. It sounds funny, and initially it is, but for four issues? Boy, it wears thin fast! This cast are just equal parts annoying and corny and they’re a huge part of the story.

Dredd meanwhile behaves like Dredd, taking on monsters with his arsenal alongside, of course, PSI Judge Anderson, a psychic judge, with predictable results. The Mars Attacks aliens vapourise people left and right until Dredd kills a few and they all run off back to Mars. The plot of this book is just soooooooo boring! It must’ve taken Ewing the length of his elevator pitch to come up with as it did to say.

That’s all there is to this book: terrible boring story, awful characters, bad joke after bad joke, and John McCrea’s art - sorry, I’ve never been a McCrea fan. Whatever my feelings about the character might’ve been, I’ve definitely outgrown Dredd at this point in my life. Mars Attacks Judge Dredd: it sounds fun, but it’s non-stop tedium, like buying sweets and expecting sugary sweetness and then chomping down onto mouldy cardboard instead.

Mars Attacks Judge Dredd

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