Published on February 4th, 2015 | by Chavez


Insurrection: Liberty – Review

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Originally appearing in the Judge Dredd Magazine, Insurrection: Liberty is the third book in the Insurrection series. Confusingly, the first two were pulled together into one graphic novel which can be found here – an absolute must read if you intend to read Liberty!

Insurrection is set in the future of Judge Dredd’s world where Mega City One has established a series of far flung colonies across the stars. A fleet of warships commanded by the SJS (Special Judicial Squad) keep the peace and enforce the law. Unfortunately they’re a tad dictatorial and, as if always with these things, this has led to a rebellion.

Insurrection 2

Insurrection: Liberty is a departure from the first two books in that we’re introduced the new character of Willard Gallows, a colonial marshal on the planet of Gateway. Without giving too much away, the SJS tee Gallows off in a big way and he finds himself joining the rebellion started by Luther of the first Insurrection books. There’s an alien invasion thrown into the mix to keep things interesting and help with the twist. Dan Abnett’s script screams along at a fair pace with plenty of pathos and firefights to keep everyone happy. It’s an enjoyable ride though some may think it shallow, an issue that may be levelled at many of Abnett’s other books and comic scripts. A couple of beers and a bag of crisps will go well with this book.

Insurrection 1

Those weaned on eye popping colour and skin tight superhero suits may be wondering if there’s something wrong with their monitor screens as the artwork seems to be in black and white. That’s because it is in black and white, a rarity in today’s mainstream comics. Don’t let it put you off. Colin MacNeil’s characteristically chunky and scratchy artwork suits the grittiness of the universe it is used to illustrate. I have no doubt that adding colour would reduce the impact. And no one draws armour like our Colin.

Let’s get this out of the way – I’m recommending this book. It’s good fun. Go buy it. Now here comes the niggling nitpicking criticism – it’s too Warhammer 40,000. Rebel colonies, chunky space troopers, back stabbing bastard “good guys” – standard Warhammer 40k fare. If I were the suspicious sort, I’d say Abnett took a 40k script, changed a few names and descriptions and bunged it Megazine-wards. I think I’m being overly cynical though. However, it doesn’t help that Colin MacNeil has Warhammer 40k in his portfolio as well! Dredd purists may also wonder what the blinking flip the SJS are doing running around in spaceships enforcing the law when Mega City One has its own Space Corp… Dredd is spinning in his grave (if he’s dead that is!) There’s also one last thing which I can’t mention as it would be a major, major spoiler but it was wrong! It shouldn’t have happened like that! You’ll understand once you see it for yourself.

Released 12th March in the UK only, in paperback, on Kindle, Nook and via the 2000AD iPad app.

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