This issue of Judge Dredd Megazine shows private investigator Galen DeMarco in peril with the freaky Claude on the attack. “Claude Reigns” is a cute pun, but readers of DeMarco P.I. will discover how capable and charming DeMarco will be against “the mutant that will not die.”
On the first page, we’re reminded by the narrator how enduring Judge Joe Dredd is. He is still the Law despite scars, cancer, having cybernetic eyes. “Time wouldn’t beat him,” states the narrator. Yes, tips us off that Dredd will last forever and ever AND EVER.
The central conflict of “The Man Comes Around” is not Dredd versus an ill man discovering a way to manipulate people to jump off high buildings strapped with bombs. It’s actually about how Dredd’s will to dispense justice against his body sometimes denying him the opportunity.
Midway through “Around,” Dredd has an unusual encounter that may give him doubts about what’s real imagery or imaginary. Guera doesn’t shy away from displaying the cragginess of Old Stoneyface. I’m not familiar with Guera’s work other than seeing some pages from Scalped, so I’m not sure whether Ben-Day dots are a typical feature he uses. Seeing those dots doesn’t add to the visuals since colourist Giulia Brusco already does a solid job with a mostly vividly warm palette.
“The Man Comes Around” is written by Rob Williams.
Recently, I had an idea for a comic: what if there was a man fighting for survival in a world where everyone else has superpowers? Rob Williams and D’Israeli beat me to the punch with this tale of a New York City man . (My story differs, however.)
Thanks to D’Israeli, the look of Ordinary gets surreal but never gloomy. Williams’ plot has pathetic non-hero Michael Fisher attempting a heroic act, finding his son, Josh. Megazine #344 has yet to break from this point: seeing to it that Michael’s wife and son are safe turns him away from inaction. While Michael’s being “discovered” by his son and the media, he hasn’t received a hero’s welcome.
I do have one big nitpick regarding Michael’s media presence: when Michael appears on national TV, he’s speaking to the wrong person. It’s not a showstopping plot hole, but the scene shows a lack of proper research in American media companies.
Ordinary: Part Five provides a chilling cliffhanger involving our non-hero in his most immediate danger yet. Joining in on Ordinary in Megazine #344 means missing some of the atmosphere.
I had forgotten ex-Judge Galen DeMarco was in The Simping Detective: Jokers to the Right. We get a few scenes of awkwardness where the young ex-Cadet’s hormones somewhat interfere with his duties. Doesn’t that reinforce how sexy the freckled-faced ginger is as much establish her as a “real woman?” As a Southerner, I am amused by Claude’s speech patterns.
I’m guessing that someone is subtly manipulating Anderson and that’s why she’s almost acting upon her suicidal thoughts. I expect Anderson will have a chat with Dredd, Dredd tells her to woman up, and they go busting perps while the “Big Bad” observes Anderson’s actions.
I’m going to be waaaaay off on that prediction, aren’t I?