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Judge Dredd: America by John Wagner

Judge Dredd: America

by John Wagner, Colin MacNeil (Illustrator), John Wagner (Author)

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A collection of three related stories "America" from 1990, "Fading of the Light" from 1996 and "Cadet" from 2006. "America" explores opposition to the Judge's totalitarian regime. The title character takes up armed rebellion, leaving her childhood friend behind. There's some heavy-handed symbolism going on, but the story is an exceptional one. The sequel, "Fading of the Light" is a step down. Neither the art nor the script are on the same level as the original story. "Cadet" is a well-executed procedural, which develops the Beeny character further and sets her up for future stories. Despite the prominent branding on the cover, Dredd is a peripheral figure in the first two stories and is mainly used symbolically. He takes a more active role in "Cadet".

All three stories are illustrated by Colin MacNeil, though in drastically different styles. "America" has wonderful painted art, among MacNeil's best work. "Fading of the Light" is in conventional pencils and ink, with computer colouring, and is by far the poorest of the three. MacNeil's pencilling is very poor and the colours used are distractingly gaudy and inappropriate. It's hard to believe that the same artist who produced "America" did this. "Cadet" is again in conventional pencils and ink, but is far better executed.

It's worth noting that this edition has been resized from the original. This does cause issues with some panels and lettering, but nothing too bad. ( )
  Sr_Moreno | Jan 14, 2016 |
Before reading America I only knew comics as simplistic bang flash stories. After reading America in its original run in The Megazine I was inspired to go looking for the real stories that exist in the graphic format. Maus, Watchmen etc.
America is a relatively simple short story from Mega City One. But it is not about Judge Dredd. It is about his world. It is about politics. It is about relationships. It is very good.
John Wagner takes the character he created and turns his whole world upside down. But does so in a simple, gentle way that really has me feeling for Beeny and America.
A truly brilliant story.
The two follow ups are similar character pieces. Less impressive perhaps but that is mostly because they have to follow up something so good. And I do like the way the story progresses. Judge Dredd is a fascinating character but it is equally fascinating to look at his world from the opposite view. ( )
1 vote munchkinstein | Oct 4, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Wagnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
MacNeil, ColinIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Wagner, JohnAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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"In Mega-City One, the Judges are the law, acting as judge, jury, and executioner. But how do the citizens really feel about a system where they are powerless? America Jara and Bennett Beeny grow up as best friends, living a fairly trouble-free life in a dangerous city... bar the odd encounter with a Judge. Time draws them apart, and when they are brought back together, Beeny is a successful singer and America has become involved with a terrorist organisation with the Judges in its sights!"--Back cover.… (more)

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