A grown-up Dredd without any Dredd? How is this so good?
I’ve finally got to read this legendary story from the earliest days of the Megazine (blurgh!) in the early 90s.
And it is mind-blowingly good.
From the pen of Dredd creator John Wagner and the astonishing colour artwork of Colin MacNeil, this is unlike any of the Dredd stories I enjoyed as an avid reader in the Eighties. Bleak, filled with pathos and with a narrator as slippery as they come, America is told in the second person through the shaky voice of Bennett Beeny, a long term infatuated admirer of the eponymous anti-heroine.
The story is devoted to these two disparate characters, with the Judges merely providing a menacing backdrop, seen through the eyes of the protagonists as agents of power-crazed, fascist oppression. They are grimly portrayed like the NYPD of the 70s, incapable of relating to a civilian population they loathe and control with dispassionate brutality.
Although America and Bennett are destined to follow very different paths, they are suddenly thrown together in a final dramatic denouement which results in what was, for me, an utterly gobsmacking twist that knocked me sideways.
Unreservedly recommended to all fans of dystopian sci-fi and great comic art.