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WAGNER, JOHN & MACNEIL, COLIN - JUDGE DREDD AMERICA in THE COMPLETE AMERICA 2003 Titan Books. 2000 AD 

 

Powerful highly political Judge Dredd graphic about the fate of democracy in a world where legal precedent and totalitarian protective measures against crime erode the rights and crush the dreams of ordinary citizens. The book carries some of the most outstanding images in the history of the comic, notably the Statue Of Liberty overshadowed by the giant statue of Justice, (I giant gun toting judge behind it) and a corpse wrapped in the American Stars And Stripes Banner soaked in blood at the foot of the Statues. The story concerns the story of a woman called America, named after he country to which her parents have migrated. She embodies all their hopes and ambitions. When a peaceful democratic march is crushed by violence, America degenerates into crime and terrorism. She becomes a Judge killer. Her lover, Bennie Beanie is shocked and begs her to stop. He himself becomes a rare success story, gaining a popular singing career. He finds that ended when he tries to talk America out of killing more Judges, when one of her accomplices shoots his vocal chord out. Bennie survives, but it is touch and go whether he will ever sing again. The Judges, including Judge Dredd, who makes relatively few appearances in the story, approaches Bennie and when Bennie learns that America plans to blow up the now meaningless statue of Liberty, Bennie informs on her, and ends up witnessing as the judges of Mega City One gun her down. Beanie now has a full body sex change to become the new America, replacing his vocal chords with her voice, and the dream lives on. A powerful and highly relevant use of a popular comic book rough justice cop to speak out on real issues a follow up, Fading Of The Light followed, and I have also reviewed that here. http://www.2000adonline.com/

 

Arthur Chappell

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