Review: Judge Dredd Day of Chaos – The Fourth Faction / Author: John Wagner / Artist: Colin MacNeil / Publisher: 2000 AD Graphic Novels / Release Date: February 14th
Day of Chaos: The Fourth Faction is the first book in an ongoing series of Judge Dredd tales describing yet another disaster for that most beleaguered of metropolises, Mega-City One. This time round, rather than zombies or dimension-hopping fiends, the threat comes from old enemies of the state. Meanwhile, another Dredd regular, P.J. Maybe, is causing havoc again. This opener sets the dominoes up nicely and makes some interesting promises as to the horrors about to unfold. If you’re wondering just how many super-disasters can Mega-City One take, then that’s exactly the point: there's a strong feeling that the city is coming to an end.
2000AD has been telling us tales of Mega-City One and it’s number one cop, Judge Dredd, for over thirty years. Thirty years! Drokk, that's a helluva time! Can they truly remain as fresh and as interesting as they once were? The answer is yes and no. Interesting? Yes. Fresh? It's not a word that really applies any more. Dredd has always been the least interesting character in his own story; Mega-City One’s weird and outlandish citizens are the real heroes. However, over the years Dredd has been steadily portrayed as older and more tired, and the city has begun to reflect this inexorable decline. It seems that as Dredd gets older, the negative elements of the setting become more and more exaggerated and at the same time more believable.
What we have here, therefore, is a jadedly cynical tale of a world gone very badly wrong, and with potential to get far, far worse. Dredd fans will be glad to see some old faces amidst the new, and those looking to get into this classic British comic book hero could easily begin here, as it's not only an excellent prologue to a promising series, but also a good place to start when it comes to all things Judge Dredd.