Dredd Mondays, 1852

2000AD comes out every Wednesday, featuring four-five different stories in each issue, which are serialised to each run over the course of a month or two. There are usually a whole range of different stories in each issue – but one thing that’s guaranteed is that each issue kicks off with some Judge Dredd.

That in mind, every Monday I’ll be looking back on the previous week’s issue of 2000AD, to see what’s currently going on in the Dredd story; which creators are currently in control; and if it’s any cop.

Part three of New Tricks moves on in a similar vein to the other two parts – the ending is the same idea as the ending to the last part, in fact – but manages to get by through characterisation. The story has Dredd walking around in deserted sewers beneath the city with two of his cadets, and it’s impossible to know just how safe the cadets are.
There’s every chance that they’re being groomed for murder or sacrifice – but there’s also every chance that they’re going to make it out and last as supporting characters in the book. There’s always been an endless supply of side-characters for Dredd to deal with, but one of the never-ending fears is which ones will get killed off and which ones will stick around for the long run.
Outside of Dredd himself and Judge Anderson, any character appearing in the series has a target painted on them. The key to suspense, and the key to this story as a particular example, is whether the writers will pull the trigger or not. New Tricks is a decent, entertaining piece of comics, and it plays heavily on this idea of expendability.
The two cadets are likeable, but it’s exceedingly hard to know whether they’ll be here next week, or not. Dredd himself may remain constant – it’s the constant changing of the World around him which makes the Judge Dredd strips compelling. And this week’s story is another example of that.

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