2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Batman Judge Dredd Vendetta in Gotham

There’s no reason why this, the second meeting between Batman and Judge Dredd, shouldn’t be an improvement on the first now that it’s late enough in the series to be free from the weight of expectation but early enough for it to still feel special. In it, Dredd appears unexpectedly in Gotham and starts brawling with Batman, apparently, to teach him a lesson after last time they met. Meanwhile, the Ventriloquist and Scarface attempt to kidnap a congressman’s son.

My recollection is that Die Laughing, the characters’ fourth encounter, had been announced by this time and my suspicion is that this, Vendetta in Gotham, was created after that was written as it took so long for Glen Fabry to paint. The result is a volume that feels thin and a story missing the content you would normally expect from an event such as this. Dredd encountering the Ventriloquist and Scarface, characters Wagner and Grant created for the Batman comic, feels like a missed opportunity rather than the big deal it should have been.

Having said that, there remains much to enjoy about it. It’s great to see John Wagner and Alan Grant, who write together so infrequently these days, doing it again. I had almost forgotten how great their timing can be, how every moment can count. Cam Kennedy’s art might lack the detail that his early Dredd work has, thanks perhaps to this being completed to a tight deadline, but it remains weighty and with the right amount of environmental ugliness just the same.

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  • I'm sure I read this, but I can't remember a thing about it. Nice Mignola cover though.

    By Blogger Joe, at 10:48 pm  

  • Sometimes, when I'm in the right kind of mood, this is actually my favourite of the Dredd/Batman crossovers. The fact that it's mainly just a big punch-up doesn't bother me when you've got Kennedy doing the art, the man is really one of the best action artists out there. His figures have weight and stand naturally, which helps set a good base for the action.

    By Blogger Bob Temuka, at 4:41 am  

  • Twas good, very good. At the time I remember thinking "why the hell did they get Mike Mignola to do the cover?"
    Oh boy, what a foolish young lad I was!
    Mignola drawing Dredd NOW? That's my idea of deep, deep joy! well, Kev Nowlan or Joshua middleton could take a turn too, actually, there's loads of talented chappies I'd love to see having a crack at old stoney face! I WANT MORE 2000AD CROSS-OVERS dammit!

    By Blogger Kevin Levell, at 10:14 am  

  • I don't suppose you'll get to it in your run, but I loved the Judge Dredd / Lobo team up, which was much more fun than any of the Batman teamups. I'm not usually a big fan of Lobo in dc comic books but he's a better fit with the 2000 AD attitude than earnest, dull heroes like Batman

    By Blogger Tam, at 4:18 pm  

  • Joe, there isn't really much to remember.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:08 pm  

  • Hi Bob. Yeah, the way Kennedy draws people makes their fights look dirty.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:09 pm  

  • Hi Kevin. I was thinking as I was reading it that I miss those cross overs too. It says a lot about Dredd's star being on the ascension if DC allows their number character to team up with him annually.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:10 pm  

  • Tam, I have a copy of the Dredd Lobo team-up somewhere so it's possible that I will get to it in The Slog. Normally, I find Lobo irritating but, like you say, I remember the team-up being fun.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:12 pm  

  • Lobo fits into the Dredd universe surprisingly well. It might just be the Alan Grant influence on both, but there is a level of absurdity which is a good fit for both characters.

    By Blogger Bob Temuka, at 3:20 am  

  • He wouldn't look out of place in a Heavy Metal Dredd. In fact, he might look a bit sissy.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:31 pm  

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