Originally Published on Set The Tape
‘Judge Dredd awoke a thousand years in his future to find Mega-City One in ruins and its 800 million citizens gone without a trace. After a long, strange journey, Dredd manages to locate and free them. And now, ten years later, society continues to pick up the pieces.
‘A robot Armageddon arrives as Dredd closes in on a last desperate attempt at retrieving his missing bones.’
As the final issue of Judge Dress: The Blessed Earth draws near the series has started to finally bring all of its plot points to a close, having many of the elements seeded throughout the series come together. The last issue saw the revelation that the Biosim Isaac was still alive, and that Biosims have been spreading throughout the world.
Here, we see the conflict between the robots and humans finally coming to a head, with the Neon Knights stepping up their attacks on any artificial life that they come across, even going so far as to declare war on the Judges, believing them to be artificial.
Judge Quill finds herself trapped in the middle of this conflict, having already turned on her former comrades and killed Chief Judge Anderson. You can almost understand her motivations throughout this issue, that she wants justice and feels betrayed by her former comrades, but it’s hard to completely condone her actions and her methods.
This is one of the things that Judge Dredd books does well, it always have the hero be dirty. It presents a more real world outlook, though one through an extreme sci-fi filter, that even people with the best intentions and the right motivations don’t always get to be ‘good’ people.
There is a moment in the book where Judge Lolo ends up being killed, and you can see that Quill blames herself for this. And I can’t really disagree with her. Lolo probably wouldn’t have died if Quill hadn’t had made the choices she has, so I can’t feel any kind of sympathy for her.
At the end of the book we learn that Isaac is in fact the Grand Master of the Neon Knights, which I honestly didn’t see coming; though that’s mainly because the Neon Knights hate all machines. Whilst the Neon Knights are being portrayed as crazy fundamentalists, I’m not entirely sure why they’re following Isaac after finding out who and what he is, but perhaps this is something that will be resolved in the final issue.
Judge Dredd: The Blessed Earth continues to weave it’s bizarre tale as it races towards its conclusion. How it will end, whether Quill will survive, or if Dredd will manage to get his skeleton back are unclear, but I am hoping that the final issues will help to explain some of the stranger aspects of the story and deliver a satisfying conclusion.
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