A little different in style and tone to most recent Dredd stories, Judge Dredd: The Small House is a tense, taunt espionage drama. Who would of thought straight up classic conspiracy makes great Dredd!!
‘Everything is at stake and no-one is safe! Judge Dredd and his team of hand-picked allies finally takes on the nefarious Judge Smiley, Mega-City One’s behind-the-scenes manipulator! But who will be left standing at the end? And with tensions with Chief Judge Hershey at breaking point, has Dredd finally met his match?’
Rob Williams’ Judge Dredd stories have always had a hint of something big, nasty and possibly corrupt, just subtle notions that there is maybe a few more shades of grey in old Joe Dredd’s life than he’d be comfortable to admit. Williams is able to explore this through this books main villain Judge Smiley, a truly great addition to the ever expanding Judge Dredd universe.
As this mysterious cabal of corrupt judges strike seemingly from nowhere, will Dredd and his few hand picked allies be able to stop the nefarious master manipulator, Judge Smiley. Dredd may be the law, but what law he upholds has been tainted and he knows it, the very system the judges are built on, one that Judge Smiley will remind Dredd about, is that he, the judges and the whole Justice system are fascists.
But, they’re still the power in Mega-City One, and with this story having no sight nor sound of any satire in parts, it’s a sobering reminder, more pertinent in current times, given the state of the world, that Dredd is not an aspirational figure. Mega City One is a prison and the Judges are the jailers. Yes, Dredd has always had satire at it’s heart, but what makes this story work and so brilliant, is we are given a a paranoia-soaked story, a phenomenal thriller with visual clues and metaphors abound, rolling at a fantastic pace that you realise the satire is the only thing that could make any kind of sense, someone started the joke and left us all crying.
Henry Flint’s art is outstanding! His Dredd’s chin looks like the skin of an artichoke, his Dirty Frank is appropriately wild and dirty and his Judge Smiley is a clever combination of ordinary and sinister. His attention to detail with his backgrounds is outstanding, detail is exceptional and perspective is always spot on and unusual. Flint’s visual storytelling is fluid and exciting, his detail and skill with facial expressions contributes just as much information and story as Williams writing.
The Small House demands a big payoff and it has it with spades. A terrific revelatory ending that will change much about what the Judges are in Mega City One and some interesting potential character development for everyone’s favourite fascist. But then, Dredd’s life is one littered with bodies and tragedy.
This critically acclaimed and fan lauded latest Judge Dredd tale, from Rob Williams and Henry Flint, sent shockwaves through the universe and is collected into this softcover edition straight from the pages of 2000AD!
“One of the best runs ever. This is special.” – Mark Millar
“The character, and the strip, at its very best” – Hollywood Reporter
“One of the pivotal moments of Judge Dredd history” – Multiversity Comics