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Review – Judge Dredd Deviations

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Bark at the Moon

Judge Dredd Deviations “Howl of the Wolf” continues the story line from a past Dredd story Cry of the Werewolf  with one little twist. Instead of Judge Dredd being cured from becoming a werewolf like in the original the man that creates the cure has been killed and Dredd is forever a werewolf! IDW has been putting out these Deviation story lines for quite awhile, they serve much like Marvel comics title “What if…” that supplies a little one off story to see what would have happened if things turned out differently in characters histories. 

John McCrea does a wonderful job writing and scripting this story, IDW also gives you the synopsis of the original story Cry of the Werewolf along with fantastic late, great Steve Dillon art, to get everyone caught up on the storyline that this is off shooting from. Now I’m not the biggest Judge Dredd fan, the most I really know comes from the 2012 Dredd movie and just from cultural osmosis of being a comic book fan throughout the years, but this having werewolves in it brought me to read my first Judge Dredd comic and it does not disappoint. McCrea takes the story right from the end of the original and starts his twist with “Wolf Dredd” being locked up and his superiors not knowing what to do without a cure. Dredd still wants to uphold the law even in wolf form and McCrea brings the action and fury from then on. As long as you know a little Judge Dredd history you will be perfectly fine jumping right on board. McCrea brings a faced past story that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Judge Dredd DeviationsArt:

John McCrea also holds down the art duties for this issue and he keeps the action as faced past and brutal as you would expect from Judge Dredd being a werewolf. He does a fantastic job of making “Wolf Dredd” look really terrifying yet cool in his werewolf form while still wearing his uniform, there are many ways this could have looked goofy but McCrea does a great job of making “Wolf Dredd” look fierce and menacing while still upholding the law. Mike Spicer on colors does a great job of keeping the tone of the book dark to fit the story line but also bringing in some brighter colors to make certain scenes pop off the page. The purple coloring of “Wolf Dredd” seems off-putting at first, but it really grows on you and makes “Wolf Dredd” standout in panels, something else that in theory could look very silly but plays out well on the page.

Conclusion:

Howl of the Wolf is a fantastic one shot Deviation book that is a lot of fun and really is a high point for IDW’s Deviation line. McCrea does a great job of making the book feel “serious” while all along having that “wink” and “nudge” throughout the story that it is obviously not taking itself too seriously.  If you are a fan of Judge Dredd, werewolves or just all around fun comics you are not going to be disappointed. IDW is also releasing a reprint the original story line Cry of the Werewolf available the same day as this issue so readers and get a double dose of “Wolf Dredd” action, don’t miss out.


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Brent Jackson

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  1. Brent Jackson March 22, 2017
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