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Reading this book made me want a pug even more than I did before.  Long live Judge Pug, he is the law!.  Okay I’m jumping the lawgiver (gun) here.  Let’s roll back and start at the beginning.  Took a few minute comic break about 3am last night and had the pleasure of reading this special from IDW, Judge Dredd: Funko Universe.  And, what a pleasure it was.  It’s exactly what it sounds like, Judge Dredd with a cute and fun “Pop” twist.  This book did a great thing by keeping the feeling of the character, but still making it cute and fun for all ages.  Part of the “Funko Universe Takeover” that happened at IDW last May (2017), Judge Dredd was one of the comics that got the special one-shot treatment (others being Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The X-Files).  Enough preamble, let’s see what’s going on in Funko’s version of Mega City One!

Judge Dredd #1:  Funko Universe
Published by IDW
Writer:  John Layman
Artists:  Francesco Gaston, Troy Little
Release Date:  May 2017

For more information or to order online Click Here

If you live near me in the Chico Ca area get your copy at Collector’s Ink

In the Redding Ca area?  Go talk to the team at Caption Comics

How about Manteca CA?  Fantastic Collectibles can help you out.

And in the Sacramento CA area, say hello to Gene at Comics & Collectibles

So many great fun moments in this, and lines to quote, such as “Judges don’t run from hugs”.  Like most Dredd stories presented in 2000 A.D., this comic is a collection of short stories “anthology” style, so I’ll discuss each one.

“Crim Story” introduces the Funko version of Mega City One, and our titular hero Judge Dredd.  There’s a mutant “pop” version Minotaur running amok and after a good bit of cartoon violence (this is a family friendly book, no, seriously), Dredd pulls up on the scene on his Lawmaster.  THis is when the short takes off.  The interaction between the Minotaur “Buffalo Burt Blaylock” and Dredd is classic.  This isn’t a story that’s going to advance any character, it’s a story there to have fun with the preconceived notions of our favorite Judge.  Classic lines are thrown about, the writer and artist are having a good time, and we are along for the ride.  The twist on the classic is that the Narrator is in on the gag, a character in the story themselves.  Is Dredd able to stop Blaylock, while a narrator is giving him ideas on escape and how to defeat Dredd?  Yes, they can hear the narrator, like I said, he’s part of the story.  Classic Dredd meets Loony Tunes here, and it’s hilarious.

The second story is “All Pupped Up”.  The humor of this book continues greatly here.  Dredd is on patrol near the park when he hears a call for help.  A little old lady (mutant “pop” old lady with three eyes) has lost her dog, and only Dredd can get it back.  Their fear?  That “sweet little Norton” has gone into a special exhibit still going up, “The Deadly Plants Of The Cursed Earth”.  And sure enough, when Dredd gets close enough, he sees a cute little pug up in a tree.  Because of course in this world, dogs love to climb trees, seriously, it came up in a conversation in the story.  Now Dredd must fight his way through the exhibit of man (or Pop) eating plants.  But is this pug Norton?  You’ll only find out through reading.  My favorite part of this book is in this story though, as Dredd is walking with the pug, and it imagines a life as his sidekick, “Pug Dredd”.

The one you’ve all been waiting for, the question i can hear you all asking out there, it’s answered in the third and final story in the book “Matters Of Life & Death”.  Do they do Judge Death?  Oh my friends, yes, yes they do, and it’s amazing.  Dredd and Anderson just happen to be going for a stroll when a crowd of people run screaming by.  Dredd, grabbing a random citizen finds out why everyone is running, Zombies!!!   A scene is described for them where a portal opened and the Dark Judges emerged (and they are so cute as “Pops”), firing rays that turn people into zombies.  Dredd and Anderson must get involved, but what about the innocent people, can they turn them back from zombies?  A frontal assault won’t work, they will have to sneak in to get some of the gear Judge Death and his group of Dark Judges (Judge Mortis, Judge Fear, & Judge Fire) brought with them.  Time to go undercover.  This story made me laugh out loud.  I learned some things about Judges from Dredd in this one.  Not only are they “The Law”, but the law does not run from Zombies, and it does not run from hugs.

I highly recommend this comic book.  It’s fun for everyone.  As a Dredd fan you’ll appreciate the humor in the throwbacks to the stories from not only 2000 A.D., but IDW’s own ongoing series.  If you’re a cartoon fan (like Loony Tunes), you’ll get a kick out of the style and comedy reminiscent of Bugs Bunny.  Also, it’s an all ages book.  That means it’s a comic book you can get for your kids and enjoy with them.

Now I’m going to the pet store to get my own Pug Dredd.  Till next time everyone, keep reading comics!

Shane Will