Judge Dredd 24 (October 1985)

Judge Dredd #24

The Apocalypse War saga ends. There’s some silliness–like Wagner and Grant referring to Dredd’s “Apocalypse Squad”–but most of the comic works out, at least as far as narrative.

Dredd’s got to take care of the enemy’s mega city, which proves easy thanks to Anderson (who the writers use to get out of plotting difficulties), and then he heads home to win the war.

There’s a little bit too much exposition and it doesn’t work because Wagner and Grant are overextending themselves. They’re giving more information than the story needs to succeed and it weighs down a lot of sequences. The subplots don’t really provide any additional texture, they just fill pages.

And those pages have really bad art. Ezquerra is worse than he was in the previous issue. His composition is worse, his detail is worse. It’s a hideous looking comic.

But the writing is effective. So… yeah.

B 

CREDITS

Writers, John Wagner and Alan Grant; artist, Carlos Ezquerra; colorist, John Burns; letterer, Tom Frame; editor, Nick Landau; publisher, Eagle Comics.

Wool 4 (July 2014)

Wool #4

The issue starts with the protagonist narrating. The fourth issue and Gray and Palmiotti have finally settled on having the protagonist. And on having her narrate. Only she doesn’t narrate for long and the focus soon shifts back to the subplots.

The sheriff–I can’t believe it, I remember her name is Jules–is in another silo and her world view is being broken. Luckily there’s some guy in the other silo who’s been there for thirty-four years alone and he’s rational enough to explain everything to her.

Meanwhile, the regular silo and the somewhat familiar supporting cast–lots of supporting cast members have died off in Wool and it’s hard to bother getting too involved with the new ones–are planning a revolt. Perhaps it will succeed. Perhaps it will fail. It’s hard to actually care.

It’s a good issue, but Wool’s too insubstantially constructed to succeed.

B 

CREDITS

Writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; artist, Jimmy Broxton; letterer, Bill Tortolini; editor, Matt Hoffman; publisher, Jet City Comics.

Judge Dredd 23 (September 1985)

Judge Dredd #23

From the start, Ezquerra’s art is off. His figures are weak, his composition is worse. Maybe he just burned out on all the war stuff–there are constant empty backgrounds, like he’s trying to do less work. It actually feels like someone doing an Ezquerra impression and and a rushed one.

As for the writing… Wagner and Grant have two things to do in the issue. First is to resolve the Soviet brainwashing of the Chief Judge. Dredd has to infiltrate and take him out, which doesn’t cause Dredd any consternation because the Chief Judge knows he’s been brainwashed and wants to die. What that plot lacks in dramatic impact, at least the infiltrating should be interesting (and the extraction).

Sadly, Ezquerra’s weak art hurts it a lot.

Ditto the second plot point, the judges waging war against the Soviets. Or getting ready to.

The art significantly impairs the issue.

C+ 

CREDITS

Writers, John Wagner and Alan Grant; artist, Carlos Ezquerra; colorist, John Burns; letterer, Tom Frame; editor, Nick Landau; publisher, Eagle Comics.

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