Judge Dredd Classics: The Dark Judges #5May 14, 2015
The crime is life. The judgement is death.
Those Dark Judges don’t go for half measures do they?
This week sees the publication of the concluding issue of the Dark Judges saga, as part of the Judge Dredd Classics series from IDW. What makes this series different is that the story has now been coloured, as opposed to the black and white that the stories were originally published in, within the pages of 2000AD.
As someone who first read, and fell in love with the Dark Judges tale in black and white, it’s been an odd experience reading these last couple of issues in glorious colour. In some respects, it has certainly added to the story. The front covers in particular are absolutely extraordinary – issue 5 comes with variant covers of Judge Fear and Judge Mortis which are just jaw-droppingly stunning.
And in some sections, the colour from Charlie Kirchoff has boosted the story, particularly whenever Judge Fire is exacting his flaming judgment on the poor souls of Mega City One.
But in others, it actually serves as something of a deterrent. There is a section with Judge Fear where, by colouring his costume, it now looks like he is wearing some sort of Roman toga. That is a little jarring.
On the whole though, what makes the comic sing is the story itself, and colour or no colour the Dark Judges tale from Brett Ewins and Cliff Robinson is an undoubted classic. Having found a way back to Mega City One, they are now wreaking outright carnage, slaying folk left and right.
However, Judge Anderson – who was responsible for bringing them back to our dimension in the first place – thinks she has worked out a way to send them packing for good.
Anderson is a fantastic protagonist, backing up her quick mouth with her actions. I thoroughly enjoyed her interactions with the chief judge.
The Dark Judges are brilliant villains as well, and as always with a 2000AD story, there is plenty of wry comedy in the way they are presented. There is just something undeniably funny about the havoc they wreak in the spa.
It’s a wonderful comic, whether you read it in black and white or with the addition of colour.