COMIC BOOK REVIEW: INSURRECTION: LIBERTY / AUTHOR: DAN ABNETT / ARTIST: COLIN MACNEIL / PUBLISHER: REBELLION / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 25TH
If you want your comic book to be an epic space opera mixed with military sci-fi, then the writer you absolutely must have is Dan Guardians of Galaxy Abnett. If that story is set in the world of Judge Dredd, then there’s only one artist for the job; Colin America MacNeil. Luckily, that’s exactly what Rebellion did when it came to creating their tale of Mega-City One citizens colonising the stars, and the result has been a truly remarkable journey.
Insurrection: Liberty is the third and final part of the Insurrection series. A desperate Mega-City One is pushing its resources into the colonisation of space, building a future in the stars that appears to be brighter than anything that can be found on Earth. All that glistens is not gold, alas, and different sorts of trouble await mankind in the stars.
Whereas the previous two books were ones of rebellion and freedom, this book deals with the consequences of insurrection. Karel Luther’s actions to secure a future for his own people in the previous books has had a knock-on effect elsewhere, and the result is that the alien Zhind are positioned to threaten all of mankind with extermination. The fate of everything both the Mega-City Judges and Luther’s people have worked for hangs on a thread. The resulting tale is explosive, engaging and compulsive, and makes for a great read.
There are some flaws; this tale originally appeared in the pages of Judge Dredd: The Megazine, and you can see the join between each episode. You can also see some of the narrative shortcuts taken to make each segment as thrilling as possible. Abnett makes up for this through strong writing and engaging characters. Still, those who delight in pointing out convenient plot mechanics will have an excuse to be tiresome.
Abnett’s usual clever wordplay is present, of course (seriously, that man can’t walk past a pun to save his life), and MacNeil has innovated and adapted his eye-catching art style to suit the tone of the story and make this book stand out from the crowd. This has been a dream team in terms of all things Judge Dredd. Liberty is a fine end to the Insurrection series, and the entire run deserves a place in the list of classic Megazine stories.
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