Judge Dredd #1
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Art by Nelson Daniel and Paul Gulacy
Courtesy of IDW, Judge Dredd brings the character’s lantern-jawed, unflinching sense of justice across the Atlantic Ocean with this first issue.
While the art might feel a bit light in tone for some fans, the absurdity that one would expect from Judge Dredd and his “Mega-City 1” remains. Writer Duane Swierczynski wisely chooses satire as a method to navigate this post-apocalyptic future, giving us two short stories in which the imbalance between the classes is forced to find common ground...under Dredd’s steel-toe boots.
The comic itself is your typical funny book-size for Americans, but the opening story is part of an expanding plot, while the second feels like an amusing anecdote. Same number of pages, but technically..more story. Works for me.
A welcome distraction with colorful, over-the-top art and sharp writing that doesn’t skimp on the excitement.
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Mike Allred
While the Fantastic Four embark on a team building exercise across the whatever-verse, endlessly frustrated Scott Lang (AKA “Ant-Man”) agrees to babysit the FF’s little group of adolescent strays back in New York. Needless to say, these kids represent every possible calamity you can experience within the Marvel Universe (android, mutant, super-villain, etc.). Expect a hugely entertaining mess.
I like how Matt Fraction is really comfortable with these second-tier characters. (READ: HAWKEYE!) Maybe the pressure is off, because his ACTUAL Fantastic Four book was a bit meh. Whatever it is, he’s got Mike Allred with him and as the artist he is transforming Fraction’s already quirky script into pure hypnotism.
This is a children’s book in disguise, underlining Marvel’s potential as media machine who can gain wider appeal. The “house of ideas” is becoming an interesting and diverse place again, guys.
Written by Eric Stephenson
Art by Nate Bellegarde
The 1960s counter-culture fulfills its inevitable destiny and goes corporate in Nowhere Men, a colorful, far-reaching sci-fi-drama about...a lot of things.
Where do I start? Okay, well...four of the world’s greatest scientist come together to form World Corp., an organization meant to improve the world through...bioengineering? Space travel...? Clean energy...? Let’s just say all manner of science-y things. Jump forward several decades and the Liverpool-inspired quartet are in-fighting, down one man, and opening uncurable nightmares that can’t be closed. Where did it all go wrong? Well...that might have to do with the fact that one of their members loves him some Ayn Rand.
As far as number ones go, Nowhere Men doesn’t give you much in the way of traditional issue 2 bait (although, a lot of the important bits are in the supplemental portions of the comic). However, it does pique your interest like crazy.
Is Eric Stephenson going to just fuck with us? Maybe. But you have to respect the man’s precision and ambitiousness. And you got to love the solid lines and maze-like panel work of Nate Bellegarde. For that reason, Nowhere Men might come off as all style, but I feel like the substance is brewing.
If you dig Manhattan Projects you might dig this.