Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Judge Dredd: Under Siege #4 - IDW Publishing

Despite bringing the titular character’s pulse-pounding gun-fight deep inside Patrick Swayze Block to its high body-count of a conclusion, it’s probably likely that a fair few of this mini-series’ readers weren’t entirely satisfied with Mark Russell’s disconcertingly all-too sickly sweet ending for Issue Four of “Judge Dredd: Under Siege”. For whilst the twenty-page periodical’s script seemingly resolves every plot twist the comic has conjured up during its short-lived run, including a shockingly straightforward fate for the courageously defiant Mayor, the fact that Mega-City One’s toughest lawman is actually knocked unconscious moments before its finale is rather disappointingly disorientating.

Admittedly, Old Stoney Face’s perplexing absence does provide this book’s well-defined supporting cast with plenty of ‘screen time’ with which to shine, as Judge Beeny makes a remarkable recovery from having previously been shot from behind so as to take down Tallyrand’s remaining mutants, and Tiger Whitehead utilises her knowledge of a lawgiver in order to kill the two former Kidney Hut collection agents who were threatening to make good on their promise to harvest her internal organs without an anaesthetic; “Any last words before we collect?” However, it’s hard to accept that without these interventions, the man who both crossed the Cursed Earth and later helped bring down East Meg One during the Apocalypse War would’ve been lethally laid low by a pair of bearded bully boys equipped with nothing more than a humble hand-held taser gun…

Similarly as head-scratching is the Eisner Award-nominee’s belief that having spent the best part of this narrative hurling a seemingly endless army of heavily-armed mutants against the local residents in a murderous attempt to control the multi-storey building, this story’s main one-eyed protagonist would simply decide to suddenly amble down some stairs to its entranceway and just walk outside alone carrying his ‘dirty bomb’. Considering just how much time and manpower Tallyrand has already invested in his homicidal plan, it might make some sense for him to launch his flagging forces into a final head-long dash into the metropolis and detonate the explosive device that way. But not debatably to have Max Dunbar pencil him calmly walking through the savage ‘kill or be killed’ chaos surrounding him onto a quiet street and then be utterly torn apart by the formidable spray of a lawmaster’s automatic weaponry.
The regular cover art of "JUDGE DREDD: UNDER SIEGE" No. 4 by Max Dunbar

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