Judge Dredd #23 Review

Judge Dredd #23

Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Art: Nelson Daniel
Published by: IDW Publishing

Judge Dredd in the Black Light District pt. 2. Dredd is back, back from the sentient wall of ooze that segregates the Dark Judges in sector 2 while the rest of Mega City One is toiling under the totalitarian evil of Acting Chief Judge Cal. Dredd’s status as a fugitive makes for a rather warm reception upon returning from a 30 day, gradual progress through the ooze. Issue 23 of the series is a satisfying read, carrying on the better elements of the prior issue with a fast paced and JD23energetic tale. The issue is by no means ‘perfect’ – while the story is engaging and has some strong elements, we also have a jarring effect with the switches between the various parts of the issue.

The central story, that of featuring Dredd and an almost existential Judge Anderson, is gripping and entertaining. As Dredd emerges from the wall of ooze he is faced with two of his colleagues who have the job of taking him down. Obviously, the main man, is too tough a piece of work to go easily and he embarks on an issue length attempt at evading the very law he represents. Nelson Daniel performs a competent stint on the art, though if you head over to the Judge Anderson mini series (also by IDW) you will find a stronger 2000AD feel with the pencils of Carl Critchlow. That being said, Nelson does a serviceable job in this issue. The action, the dark judges and the backgrounds are nicely achieved. 

This issue is the middle section in the Black Light District story arc and it has a fitting conclusion to the Dredd component. With an emergency dive back into the ooze and another 30 day journey back to the segregated Sector One, which abounds in flame and has a personal party waiting for our favourite lawman in the form of the Dark Judges. It is a little unfortunate that our interest in the supporting sections of this book don’t hold the attention in the same manner as Dredd/Anderson’s but, considering that this book belongs to the titular character that is somewhat forgivable.
The round up to the issue is emphatic and well delivered. With the cliff-hanger in place and the attention of all of the dark judges on a seemingly trapped Dredd, issue 24 should be an entertaining issue.

Overall Score: 7/10