John Wagner & Colin MacNeil - Judge Dredd: America (4 stars)

Judge Dredd



Neither a part of the Hollywood-friendly American comic book market nor as established in the British psyche as he was during the 80s heyday, it’s an oft neglected fact that Judge Dredd has become the focus of one of the most complex, cohesive and allegorically relevant sci-fi universes ever. The vast share of credit for this can be placed at the door of John Wagner, the Scots-American writer who has steered Dredd’s world intelligently since the character’s 2000AD debut in 1977.

Devised for the then-new Judge Dredd Megazine in 1990, ‘America’ – the first third of this three-part collected volume - is possibly the quasi-fascistic future law enforcer’s archetypal tale. The title character is a democrat and later a terrorist, and through the eyes of her weak-willed childhood admirer we’re introduced to a brutal power play that would have been just as relevant were it written yesterday. Two efficient sequels dilute the initial impact a little, but chapter one is a British comics classic.

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