Writer Brandon Easton gives a refined take on Judge Dredd in False Witness, and is a must-read for fans of this character. It scares me how relevant, precise and urgent Easton’s plot feels here — from the inclusion of classism, racism, right down to the involvement of a virus, Easton is not holding any punches with this series. It’s a true piece of relevant art that holds more weight with each reading.
Kei Zama’s artwork in this issue is similarly stellar. It’s reminiscent of old-age comics found in 2000AD while offering this great flare that simply pops in, giving some great layers to Mega-City One. As someone who has been a longtime Dredd fan in America, I’ve found that there are always unique artists that have a chance to contribute to the long-winded tapestry of Dredd, and Zama makes an indelible mark. His ability to integrate the different artwork for multiple plots and settings are easily weaved through protagonist Mathias Lincoln. Every character feels distinct and unique, as well.
Colorist Eva De La Cruz simply textures and layers the issue with magnanimous joy. It offers a great perspective and nuance the way she approaches everything, and the result is both clean and degenerate within the world of Mega-City One. Giving further credence to this is letterer Shawn Lee, who grates at each page with wonderful depth.
The genius aspect of this narrative is making Judge Dredd the consistent satirical boogieman he has ingratiated himself as in the culture. Judge Dredd has always been at its best when the tale allows the reader to get out of it what they put into it. Some can take his conservatism as seriously as others, while others can take it for the rocking joke that it always is. Dredd has always been horror and a joke at the same time, which unfortunately fits the time we’re currently living in extremely well.