WRITER: JOHN WAGNER | ARTISTS: JOHN MCCREA, COLIN MACNEIL | PUBLISHER: 2000 AD | FORMAT: PAPERBACK | RELEASE DATE: MARCH 5TH
Opening with a throwback that cements why the heart of Mega-City One, Judge Dredd, has reason not to trust Mark 8 Units, Machine Law (unluckily for Dredd) brings back the notion of machines joining the Judge ranks once more. Do these upgraded, more trustworthy Mark 8 Units have any impact on the way that Dredd feels about the idea now? Absolutely not.
Judge Harvey (a Mark 8 Unit) grows to become a respected crime fighter, and it's interesting to see how Dredd evaluates an intelligence (one that positively learns from its actions, with signs of empathy) that he just can't fault. With the future of law enforcement looking blurry, unrest takes hold, and horde-like Human League-enticed protests begin when the newly elected (and good friend of Dredd) Chief Judge Logan decides to put Judge Harvey on his council. Dredd has to battle against his inner opinion on the matter when treason puts Judge Logan in danger.
In one way the writing here is very true to real life - wouldn't you agree that we ourselves are getting closer to machines doing everything for us? It's a scary thought to many, and one that is well placed in Machine Law. With the expected wall-blasting violence, chunky motorcycles blurring their way through the streets – all impressively encased by John McCrea & Colin MacNeil within that futuristic rubble look Mega-City One is known for - there's also a superb story being told by John Wagner here. For those that sometimes find Dredd as a character a bit too closed off, you'll cherish Machine Law as it digs deep into his mindset.