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Judge Dredd: Under Siege #4 (IDW Publishing) Comic Review

    Ian Jane

  • Judge Dredd: Under Siege #4 (IDW Publishing) Comic Review

    Judge Dredd: Under Siege #4
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: August 29th, 2018.
    Written by: Mark Russell
    Illustrated by: Max Dunbar
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    The story so far…

    “Dredd, the Mayor, and Tiger have rallied the residents of Patrick Swayze Block, and together they are putting up a strong defense against the oncoming mutant army. But Tallyrand has an ace up his sleeve—and when he announces that he will begin killing the families of anyone who helps the Judges, not even the Mayor can inspire their loyalty…”

    The residents of the block are understandably concerned about their family members and as such, they turn on The Mayor, and Dredd. A firefight breaks out, more casualties mount, and Dredd sneaks an injured Judge Beeny out of the block and off to get medical attention (with some help from his Lawmaster, of course). The Mayor knows they don't stand a chance unless they go on the offensive. Dredd isn't sure what he has in mind, but he has developed a fragile trust in the man he was once intent on locking up.

    Elsewhere, Tallyrand watches the citizens kill each other on his monitor, seemingly enjoying the chaos he's brought down on them. With a bit of calm, he tells two of his henchmen why he's doing what he's doing - every good villain needs a motive, and he's no different. At first we feel a bit of sympathy for him, but this doesn't last long. Soon enough, Dredd, The Mayor and a few others make their way up to the fiftieth floor where Tallyrand is hiding out - it's going to get worse, before it gets better.

    Mark Russell's story comes to an end with this fourth and final issue of the Under Siege mini-series and it ends quite nicely. The loose ends are properly tied up, there's room left for further adventures with some of the characters that aren't Dredd and the last few pages just seem 'right' in how they draw this chapter of Dredd's story to a close. There's the right balance of humor, social satire, action and yeah, even a bit of heartfelt drama, the kind that makes characters interesting and worth reading about. We won't spoil Tallyrand's backstory but we will note how important it is that we get it in this last chapter - it not only makes his motivation clear, but if you think about it from his perspective, it even makes it almost understandable. It doesn't justify his actions, not buy a long shot, but it does at least allow us to figure out how and why he might be drawn to do what he does. The book is all the better for it.

    Max Dunbar's artwork, nicely colored by Jose Luis Rio, is once again quite strong. It's nicely detailed and has good depth. The backgrounds are fleshed out well, and there's some strong panel layouts in this issue. He conveys action really nicely but also does a good job of with body language and movements as well as facial expressions.

    October sees IDW unleashing a new series called Judge Dredd: Toxic, and while that's clearly a book worth checking out, based on the quality of Under Siege it'd be nice to see Russell and Dunbar get another run with in Mega-City One sooner rather than later.

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