Friday, 24 March 2017

Judge Dredd: Cry Of The Werewolf #1 - IDW Publishing

JUDGE DREDD: CRY OF THE WEREWOLF No. 1, March 2017
Serving as tribute to Steve Dillion, who passed away in October 2016, this reprint of the entire “Cry of the Werewolf” serialisation from “2000 A.D.” progs 322-328 certainly contains “some incredible examples of Steve’s storytelling prowess” and it is easy to see why “more than ten earlier” than the artist’s work on “Preacher”, the seven-parter was thought by his brother, Glyn, to be “a definitive pinnacle” in the London-born penciller’s career. Sadly however, it also seems to be a demonstration of how difficult “IDW Publishing” struggle to reprint the British weekly’s ‘wider format’ artwork, as every breakdown is disappointingly squeezed into the top three-quarters of a page, leaving an ugly ‘blank’ margin along the bottom; something “Eagle Comics” strangely didn’t seem to require when they republished Joseph's stories thirty years earlier…

Quibbles as to this book’s layout aside though, this “Judge Dredd: Cry Of The Werewolf” one-shot is undoubtedly features one of the future lawman’s most popular tales, and is an excellent example of writers John Wagner and Alan Grant (Script robot T B Grover) at the very summit of their game. Indeed, whether it be the “full-blooded horror” of sharp-toothed monsters savagely ripping Mega-City citizens apart in a crimson frenzy, “fugitive robots” dominating the East Undercity with supposedly a rule of iron, or albino lycanthropes making things get “pretty hairy” for the grim-faced titular character, this forty-seven page periodical would seem to cater for any and all of the senior judge’s action-craving fans.

Admittedly, this collection’s narrative also contains plenty of emotional drama too, with the intimate embrace of young lovers Rene and Ramone being shocking interrupted by a pack of viciously hungry werewolves, and Floyd’s wife Darlene, appearing desperate to simply “get home and lock the door” one moment, and then remorselessly attacking her dutiful husband the next as he gets some antiseptic for her bite; “Stop that terrible racket! I’m sure they’ve got a dog in there!” But such intimate moments genuinely seem to be simply the ‘quiet before the storm’, as Dredd starts having to resort to head-butting his saliva-infecting antagonists and travels “the old city that lay beneath the streets” of his sprawling megalopolis in search of the contaminant.
The standard cover art of "JUDGE DREDD: CRY OF THE WEREWOLF" No. 1 by Steve Dillon

2 comments:

  1. "Cry of the Werewolf" holds a very special place in my heart as it is still one of my all-time favourite Judge Dredd stories. There is just so much to enjoy in this story. Artwork and script melded together to make a perfect whole. As you said the writers and artist were at the top of their game.

    "Aren't we supposed to use silver bullets or something?"
    "Stow the silver bullets - BIKE CANNON!"

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    1. I thought you'd enjoy this one Bryan, it's a great idea and release by "IDW Publishing", and perhaps more of Dillion's "Judge Dredd" work will be republished in future...

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