Review by James Bacon: The traditional summer special edition of 2000AD has always been a fun read, usually a selection of stories, showcasing the best characters of the British anthology weekly comic. This year, there has been a subtle change, and it’s quite inspired and brilliant. While we have had linked stories in specials before, this comic has six stories set in the Judge Dredd world, but across the planet, with a Dredd story top and tailing the special.
Writers Michael Carroll and Maura McHugh have plotted and overseen this ‘Dreddworld’ story, based on a concept from Matt Smith, the 2000AD editor, and they worked to craft an overall arc across six different stories, providing the reader with a cracking piece of entertainment bringing in quite the selection of classic and popular 2000AD characters. With 4 different stories taking place in different locations, the variety of artwork does not at all jar the reader, rather it sits very well as we change city.
The cover sets the tone, we see the planet earth, with Dredd, PSi Anderson, Judge Armatige from Brit-Cit, Chopper from Oz, Judge Inspector Inaba and Devlin Waugh, and so we follow them.
Dredd comes to the assistance of Cursed Earth Coburn, who is in the middle of a riotous situation after a nuclear waste incident, where innocents have been killed, and the involvement of the large corporate responsible for the site, whose senior management is immediately onhand way too quickly makes it murky, but there is a supernatural element and so we travel, around the globe and with other writers and artists, we follow the story, each distinct and individual, but forming part of the puzzle, enlightening the reader as we see Toxic waste being dumped in Oz, and paranormal activity in Hondo City, and while there feels like Big Corp conspiracy is at hand, there is considerable paranormal activity too.
The Judge Anderson story, written by McHugh with incredible art by Anna Morozova is fabulous, Pippa Bowlands colour work definitely enhances this story, but as one gets to this story, the situation becomes clearer.
The damage that humanity have done to the planet, in this science fiction post nuclear apocalypse future is staggering, and it continues apace, and it literally comes back to haunt and as we come to the final chapter, back where we started, Mike Carroll and Maura McHugh bring it all together.
A very enjoyable and fun read, bringing together some fabulous aspects of the Dredd universe.
Credits: Biohazard by Mike Carroll and Ben Willsher; Chopper: Dreamgazer by David Baillie and Tom Foster; Armitage: Natural Fern Killer by Liam Johnson and Robin Smith; Hondo City Justice: Daughters of Uranium by Karl Stock and Neil Googe’ Judge Anderson: All Will Be Judged by Maura McHugh and Anna Morozova; and Apotheosis, by Mike and Maura, James Newell.
Sample interior pages follow the jump.