Judge Dredd: Trifecta
Script Droids: Al Ewing, Simon Spurrier, Rob Williams
Art Droids: Henry Flint, Simon Coleby, D’Isreali, Carl Critchlow
Editor: Matt Smith
Publisher: Rebellion Developments/2000AD
One of the reasons comic books are so popular today, is because of the way writers and artists manage to manipulate the medium to work against its constraints. While many creators settle for basic A to B plot progression, many others, such a Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, and Greg Capullo make the pages work for them. Some have done this, by forcing the reader to twist the book around essentially reading upside down, or even adding tidbits of information within the margins of the pages. Yet when 2000AD released its weekly progs last year (or ‘issues’ to us North Amerikers), something very interesting started happening.
Judge Dredd: Trifecta was initially released as individual stories, all seemingly unrelated, following three of Mega City One’s most notorious characters: Judge Dredd, Jack Point aka The Simping Detective and Dirty Frank. As the weeks progressed, something very strange started to happen. The unrelated happenstance ended up being pieces of a greater whole as the three stories came to a head in a 28 page special entitled: Trifecta.
Following the catastrophic events of Day of Chaos, Chief Judge Hershey has begun to re-organize the Judges. First things first, she needs to amalgamate the undercover operatives. Unfortunately the operative list, known as ‘the Wally list’ has been stolen and is now in the open. Before you can say “ghost protocol” Judge Dredd is on the case.
Meanwhile Jack Point, a down on his luck undercover Judge, is having a hell of a time being, well, Jack Point. After a deal goes bad, and leaves another undercover Judge dead by Points hand, Point is now on the lam and trying to stay alive. Which brings us to Dirty Frank, who has recently lost his memory, his sanity and is now a board member of a giant conglomerate run by a man with the head of a shark. What follows is one of the most original and impressive stories ever put to paper.
Many who dismiss Dredd as a one note character are simply people who have never read a page of Judge Dredd in their lives. Not only is the series home to some of the most sprawling epics ever created, but the series constantly pushes the boundaries of the comic medium and Trifecta is no exception. When the writers originally came up with the idea for the story, they knew they were in for a doozy of hard work and intricate plot planning. Luckily for readers Ewing, Spurrier and Williams nail it.
The plot, best left unexplained for spoiler purposes is a refreshing tale that encompasses a myriad of genres. Everything from sci-fi, slapstick comedy, film noire and good ol’ action adventure are covered and done with expert aplomb.
The art is spectacular and compliments the story perfectly, with each individual tale fleshed out in a completely different style. From Judge Dredd’s full colour grandiose, to the dark and gritty noire of Point’s tale, each story is an individual treat for the eyes. While Dirty Franks section may be the weakest, it’s Points psychedelic break down that’s a true stand out, breaking free from its black and white overtones and ending up in a whole other, colourful, dimension.
Judge Dredd: Trifecta is a glorious and ambitious read that is a must have for any literary fan. For those newcomers who have yet to delve into the madness of Mega City One, look no further; Trifecta is perfection.