The Dark Judges Return to 2000ad on CBR
There’s been a lot of press in the comics world concerning the return of three of the Dark Judges to the current Judge Dredd epic, ‘Day of Chaos’, in 2000ad recently. Besides them being great characters, who haven’t featured in the comic for a few years now, I’m especially into this because Henry Flint is sharing art duties on this story and he’s never drawn them before save for a few promotional images.
What’s also a big deal is that no one saw this coming and their introduction into the story at this point is one of the biggest WTF? moments, and strokes of genius from writer John Wagner, that I can remember in a long time. What’s so good about the story currently running is that, unlike past ‘epics’ in Dredd’s world, this one hasn’t been trailed in quite the same way. There was no big announcement that the-story-to-end-all-stories was about to begin, more that several slow boiling story lines have come together and built upon each other and snowballed.
The basic set up for this epic in the making is that the Sovs (Soviet Judges) have been planning an attack on Mega City 1 in reprisal for Dredd annihilating East Meg 1 in the Apocalypse War decades ago. This has been a slow burn, deep cover operation where they’ve infiltrated the Judicial system to it’s core. Add to that the kidnap of a scientist who has created a doomsday virus with no cure that’s slowly infecting the population of the city, bogus propaganda (or is it?) that the Judges are simply taking the infected and dumping them into plague pits outside the city and full on city-wide civilian rebellion and we’re firing on all cylinders.
To then ramp things up a gear and drop the Dark Judges into the equation (inter dimensional beings who’s maxim is that life is a crime and the sentence is death) and it’s looking like there is no way out for Dredd, or the city for that matter, this time. All the praise that’s being heaped on this story is justified and it seems lapsed readers are returning to the comic after years away and being wowed.
If you want to see what the fuss is all about you can read two chapters over on CBR and an interview with Henry, John Wagner and second artist Colin MacNeil. There’s also a ‘Day of Chaos’ catch up on the 2000ad site too and with the rest of the comic bearing rich fruit and the impending Dredd film at the end of the year, it’s turning out to be a very good year for the title.