Judge Dredd: Under Siege #3
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Max Dunbar
This latest installment of Judge Dredd: Under Siege picks off right where we left, with a group of mutants descending upon Judge Dredd and a band of residents from the Patrick Swayze Block who are fighting back under the leadership of the Mayor.
Max Dunbar’s dynamic action panels really drive the issue and make it easy to get excited right from the start. The opening battle kicks off with mutants rappelling from the ceiling above, forcing Dredd to get creative as he dispatches hordes of disturbing and savage mutants. The art captures the brutal nature of the conflict and makes mass slaughter painfully entertaining. This is complemented by Mark Russell’s brilliant use of Dredd’s dark sense of humor which helps readers to sit back and enjoy the carnage.
During the rare slower scenes, Dunbar continues to bring the world to life with his imaginative interpretation of the mutants and his vision of the decaying tower block.
Class warfare continues to be the driving force behind the story. The message isn’t subtle but then nothing about Dredd is meant to be subtle. Instead of preaching about social injustice, however, Russell gets his message across by putting three distinct groups of characters into a highly volatile situation. As chaos unfolds, the internal struggles and shortcomings of all three are revealed and explored. All of which makes for an engaging story.
This particular issue focuses more on Tallyrand, the leader of the mutants. He’s opportunistic, conniving and utterly detestable which perhaps makes him the highlighted character of the story. His constant poor attempts at humor show he takes nothing seriously. Even when he’s making a speech about the unfair treatment of the mutants, it is clear he doesn’t really care. The man will say and use anything as a way to claim more power for himself. It makes him a great opponent for Dredd as he’s willing to work with anyone if it will get him what he wants and constantly avoids doing any of the dirty work himself. The polar opposite of Dredd.
The title character is also well written. As mentioned earlier there are some good moments of humor but these are also accompanied by several small flickers of compassion which help humanize him. A predictable but well-written development puts his already strained relationship with the residents to the test in a tense struggle that neither side comes out of unscathed.
If you’re a Dredd fan, there’s plenty here for you to enjoy. The action is unrelenting, and some well-written characters make the stakes feel real. The story continues to ramp up and there’s never a dull moment.
Judge Dredd: Under Siege #3
A well written short story that is suitable for new and old readers alike, filled with great action, engaging characters and a decent plot.