I have spoken before about book series based on table-top/RPG games, movies, etc., & I have given my opinion many times about this "sub-genre" of...moreI have spoken before about book series based on table-top/RPG games, movies, etc., & I have given my opinion many times about this "sub-genre" of publishing. I am usually against it--especially when it comes to D&D or video games (Gears of War, StarCraft)--but Dan Abbnet's Warhammer 40K novels turned that opinion around. But even with that said, I have a hard time with a novel series based on a comic. On one hand it should work because comics are written with the idea of the words & images appearing in print, thus tying them more closely with the prose book. But on the other hand, you are denied the art from the illustrators of the comic's characters. In other words: You don't get to "see" it. I'm sorry but I can't bring myself to read a Spider-man NOVEL or an X-Men NOVEL because I want to SEE the action while reading it. Superheroes need to be seen doing what they do best--action! But Judge Dredd is another case altogether.
Being a sci-fi based comic strip (yep, it's a strip--not a complete comic like here in the U.S.--that appears in the anthology comic mags, 2000AD & Judge Dredd Megazine) that has virtually a universe that rivals Marvel's, DC's & Image's even on a bad day, makes the possibility of a Dredd novel more plausible. Superheroes are non-existent in Dredd's universe & if they were, they would be judged by Dredd as soon as they were apprehended.
But, once again, I digress.
The prose novel favors Dredd's comics because of the sci-fi factor being in the forefront with it's social & political satire more ready for reading than seeing. With that said: I went into this novel with an open mind & because I'm a big fan of "Old Stony Face".
I could start off with a rundown of the plot but the description provided on its goodreads page is sufficient. Yes, there is a summit meeting among Senior Judges around the world to establish a network of extradition of perps to other Meg-Cits for crimes committed within their population. But this isn't the main plot. Yes, there is a devastating new weapon that will effect millions of civilians of Mega-City One, but the Judges as well. Again, it's not the main plot. The main plot is Judge Dredd vs. Jesus Bludd. Bludd wants to blackmail the planet's Judicial Systems for astronomical sums which would allow him to hold the world's economy in his hand to do with it as he will. He is a man without scruples--as most of Dredd's perps are--& is just another perp in a long list of Dredd's enemies.
Was it good? Let's just say I've read worse Dredd stories in his comics written by better writers (Garth Ennis & Grant Morrison come to the front please). Seriously, I have. & fans of Dredd know what I'm talking about. This is not a time-waster, but it comes close. It could have used more action but this is forgivable because Bishop's prose is not bad--but it's nothing earth-shaking as well. I would love to see Dan Abnett (Warhammer 40K novels) write a Dredd book because he would set the bar for other writers & he knows how to approach the subject matter because he also writes comics. As for Bishop? Bishop gives us a great Dredd story & I believe it could possibly earn a fourth star if it was in graphic novel form.
I liked it. It was good filler between the epic 1,000 page novels I'm reading when I wanted a break from being overwhelmed by them.
Will I read more Dredd novels? I am right now. (less)