Script: Dab Abnett
Art: Colin MacNeil
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover: Neil Roberts
Genre – Western. Horror
Originally published in the Judge Dredd Megazine 334-342
This is the third and final story in the Insurrection series.
Dan Abnett has a large back catalogue of novels both Graphic and prose, you can read my reviews of Kingdom: Promised Land and Fiefdom elsewhere on this blog. Colin MacNeil is a longstanding atyist with 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine and among his work is the much proclaimed classic America that was chosen to be the first edition of the new part work Judge Dredd Mega Collection, and indeed Mechanismo which was the second issue of the collection.
There is am introduction from Dan Abnett in which he puts this tale in place within Dredd continuity. That is a subject much asked throughout the trilogy by fans so I am sure his explanation will be welcome.
Insurrection looks at how life beyond the Solar System pans out for those that chose to leave the Mega-Cities behind. It is set around the colonies of Mega-City One. The main theme is freedom, freedom to self govern and to determine the future of a community.
The cast includes Humans from the Mega-Cities, they left Earth for a better life. Uplifts, Apes that have been genetically altered to have Human level intelligence. Under Mega-City law Uplifts have Citizen rights, though often how they are treated in the Mega-Cities you might not think so. Meks, robots with advanced, self aware AI.
In the first volume a colony, led by a Marshall named Luther, declared independence and in the second this was expanded. The Mega-City answered this by sending a warship, led by the SJS, the Special Judicial Squad, who are the Judges that Judge the Judges. This action certainly suggests a power shift has occurred back on Earth. We don’t see Earth to know more.
Action in this volume begins on a different Colony, Gateway. Where the alien race the Zhind pose a threat. The SJS however order the protective fleet to abandon Gateway to defeat the Insurrectionists led by Luther. Some from Gateway choose to disobey that order to try to save their colony, they are declared outlaws by SJS for this.
The script is thoughtful and thought provoking.
The core of this as I said is freedom. Luther and his colleagues, his followers, are full of hope and desire. They are individuals with conviction and the SJS are laying down the law. They have always been the harshest proponents of the Law as defined by the Justice Department. Unswerving. Again, if this is the case then the situation on Earth is likely quite severe. The two sides could be no more different.
Colin MacNeil’s art is magnificent and shows how he has developed since America. Interesting of course that America was about freedom too. Black and white art is often overlooked by many readers. It is something that 2000AD has kept alive. It suits the harshness of this setting.