As we pick up Judge Dredd: Under Siege #3, we learn that Dredd is undefeated in tetherball. A useful fact to know should you ever need to challenge him to a game. Maybe try subbuteo instead.
The battle between the residents of Patrick Swayze block and the invading mutants is in full swing. The residents are giving as good as they get and during a lull in the battle we’re introduced to our main villain who, it turns out, has far more lofty ambitions than just occupying a single city block. But the Judges are in his way so, in a scene again quite reminiscent of both the Dredd movie and The Raid, he invites the residents to turn on the Judges in return for him leaving the rest of them alive. Oh, and just to add a little time pressure, for every hour that passes he will kill fifty of their families and friends.
We also have the bearded and rag-tag return of a pair of characters from the previous issue. Formerly serving as collection agents, it seems now they’ve got their own score to settle with the residents of the block that had turned on them. It’s hard to see why, though, it’s not like those residents forced them out at gunpoint into a radioactive wasteland… oh wait.
Will our plucky group of defenders stay together, will the residents turn on the judges, will the collectors get the kidneys owed to them and will Dredd ever take that helmet off (The answer is no)? Tune in…next issue! We end on the now traditional cliffhanger but it’s good to see the stakes being raised and the motives of the invaders being clearer. “We seek peaceful coexistence” a la Star Trek: TNG is definitely not on the cards here.
As per the previous two issues, the action is well presented, the characters nicely developed. The tension between the residents and the Judges is clear to see, especially as our unnamed villain highlights the distinction between “citizens” and “residents”. The Mayor is proving to be a fascinating character. Charismatic, driven and fiercely loyal. He’d make a good Judge.
“I know you don’t trust the Judges. I don’t either. But you know who I trust even less? Some guy who just crawled in through a waste pipe!”
For all the action, and the talk of law and justice, the reader alway has to remember that Mega-City 1 is a fascist dictatorship at the mercy of a armed group who answers to no-one who dole out the harshest sentences for the smallest crimes. But at the same time, this storyline highlights the lengths that the Judges will go to when protecting the City and the people who live there.
There’s not a great deal else to say about this issue, it develops the story nicely, it brings back what first appeared to be two throwaway characters from the previous issue and shows that all actions have consequences and sometimes those consequences involve mutant invasions, death and mayhem.
A thoroughly enjoyable continuation of the story, roll on number #4.
Judge Dredd: Under Siege #4 is now available from IDW Publishing.