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Review: Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #1

Ack ack ack ack ack ack ack ack… Drokk, my universal translator must be on the fritz. What I meant to say is that this week brings us a first in Dredd-dom with Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #1 from IDW Publishing. This starts a mini-series of cosmic proportions as the Martians infiltrate Mega-City One and take out the heads of the major mob families, only to set themselves up to take over first Mega-City One… then, the WORLD!

Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #1 is written by Al Ewing with art by John McCrea. This is a great story integrating two classic worlds in one awesome comic.  Mars Attacks is a classic idea that started as a sci-fi trading card series back in 1962 and has continued to develop as multiple comic book series, additional trading card sets, and even a major motion picture in 1996 from director Tim Burton. The ugly Martians in their glass brain-domes have been terrorizing the human race for over 50 years.

Judge Dredd is a member of the Judges of Mega-City One, massive city of the future in a post-apocalyptic wasteland of North America and one of several these cities spread across the continent. Each city’s Halls of Justice directs the actions of each Judge who in turn acts as judge, jury, and executioner to maintain order in the chaos. Judge Dredd has proven himself to be one of the best Judges as his strict adherence to the Law has been both struggle and salvation since the long-running British Comic, 2000 A.D., ran the first Dredd story in 1977. Since then, Dredd has been judging criminals through the ongoing series in 2000 A.D., crossing over in multiple comic book series with the likes of Batman, Aliens, and Predator, and being the subject of two major motion pictures.

Mars Attacks Judge Dredd #1 has the standard campy feel that runs through all the Mars Attacks stories that I have seen in the past and many of the best Dredd tales I have read. From the stereotypical gangster-speak of the mob bosses on page one, to the freakish grin on the Martian as he zaps everyone, this book delivers a cool story and believable integration between the two universes. Gangsters, guns, Judge Dredd, aliens, and giant human-devouring bugs make this a fun story and, as has been typical with Mars Attacks and Judge Dredd, a bit gory in places.

I would recommend this to any fan of either series as it is a solid story and great artwork. I love the interaction between the characters. Dredd’s reaction to first meeting the Martians, “Grud! SEVERE MUTATION!” is an indication that we are in for some main-blowing action… pun intended (Dredd shoots the Martian in the head). There is nothing I did not like in this book. Just a reminder, not for all ages as there is some blood and guts.

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