Judge Dredd: Blaze of Glory (pkgd. w/ JD Meg #416) – Al Ewing

4 out of 5

Collects the end of Damnation Station, some pretty fantastic Dredds, and 3 one-page strips.

Damnation Station, assessed wholly separately from what came before it – since Ewing, in my mind, completely redirected what he was doing with the strip – ends pretty strongly, not copping out on its arrangement of having Earth enslaved to an alien race while coming to a pretty emotive and logical conclusion… with a particularly wicked ending.  Mark Harrison also figures out how to ground his foreground elements of his busy backgrounds; the art goes out on a high note as well.

The Dredds show off Ewing’s humor effectively, with one of them also showing how affectingly brutal he can be when he’s not writing nonsense.  That latter descriptor – nonsense – can mostly be applied to his James Bond Christmas tale, the last of his three Dredds collected here, which is amusing for what it is, but also something of a chore to get through (it’s written in rough rhyme) for a joke that pretty much boils down to… y’know, here are the James Bond movies in the Dreddverse.  At the same time, ya gotta respect how ridiculously silly it is, and while the rhyming might be a stretch, I offer kudos for committing to it.

The one pagers – Future Shorts – are aptly compressed future shocks.  They’re impressive for doing what they do within minimal panels.