Judge Dredd Megazine #429 Review

by Gavin Johnston on February 17, 2021

Writers: Kenneth Niemand; Mike Carroll; Si Spencer; David Hine
Artists: Simon Coleby; Dave Taylor; John Higgins; Nicolo Assirelli; Nick Percival
Colours: Len O'Grady; Sally Hurst; Eva De La Cruz
Letters: Annie Parkhouse; Jim Campbell; Simon Bowland
Publisher: Rebellion


Dredd might be the faceless frontman of future fascism, but there’s a guy behind that helmet, doing his best and struggling with emotions he was trained to bury. There are some touching moments in Dredd-lore where the lawman gives the tiniest hint of humanity.

In Judge Dredd: Destiny’s Child, writer Ken Neimand adds a story to this list. A troubled citizen thinks she has a bond with Dredd and repeatedly throws herself into his life, with increasingly tragic results.

The big reveal is a powerful one. This could have been played for laughs, with a silly citizen getting themselves into all sorts of hijinks. Instead, it’s topped off with a quiet, considered and compassionate ending



Dreadnoughts: Breaking Ground come to an end this month. It’s been hailed as one of the best comics of 2020.

Dreadnoughts is a police procedural set in 2035, where America society is collapsing and the newly established Judges have been granted to power to dispense instant justice. It serves as a prequel to Judge Dredd, but is grounded in reality, a little too close to the here and now, a glimpse of what might be.

Since the early days of 2000D the Judges have been referred to as “judge, jury and executioner”. It’s a throwaway tag line when stories are set in an OTT Mega City with talking vending machines. Dreadnoughts drags us back to reality, where “judge, jury and executioner” means cops shooting people in the street without repercussions and locking suspects away without trial.

This episode glimpses into a barbarous, privately run prison, and the reveals the conspiracy behind the disappearance of a child. In a short and brutal action sequence we get to see exactly what Judges are capable of, and learn a little more about Glover’s background

Given the plaudits it’s received, Dreadnought will no doubt be collected and republished fairly soon. I cannot recommend it enough.




Megopolis is another instant classic. It looks just gorgeous, with Dave Tayor’s weird, art-deco/steampunk version of Mega City One.

Detectives Rico and Jara meet with Fargo, father of the city, to obtain information vital to tracking down the assassin known as “Judge Dredd”. Meanwhile, Judge Cal sets his own trap for the mysterious vigilante.

The frequent knowing winks as yet another mirror-universe version of a character might feel a little bit overdone (Galen Demarco appeared briefly last month, but didn’t really seem to have a purpose). Still, theres something inherently compelling about what-if stories, and the possibilities they create.




In The Returners: Heartswood...well, I’m not really sure.

The gang have found themselves in yet another haunted house, and confront a ghost who lost a loved one in the Great War.

This story is being told slowly. None of these pages contain more than four panels. There are frequent full page panels, or even double page spreads, where very little actually happens. Coupled with a dream-logic that throws obstacles in the character’s path and randomly changes the rules, and that there’s been very little background explanation as to why they’re even here...I have to admit that this has lost me. Perhaps it’s one to read in one sitting, but it certainly doesn’t suit the Megazine’s monthly format




In Deliverance, Dark Judge Whisper has gone looking for some rebel kids, whilst Judge Death and his followers establish a new court.

I’m not a huge fan of this version of the Dark Judges. It’s all a little too poetic, a little too slow in setting things up. Still, it looks like we’re finally going places. Neville Percival’s art is disquieting throughout, all twisted musculature and goo.

If you like that sort of thing, The Megazine comes with with a reprint of more Percival art - Trauma Town, where Dredd suffers from increasingly morbid hallucinations, and in The Gyre deals with some mutant sailors.






Our Score:


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