Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Batman / Judge Dredd: Die Laughing (1998)

Authors: John Wagner / Alan Grant | Artists: Glenn Fabry / Jim Murray / Jason Brashill | Page Count: 95

"Let the dead fluidsss flow!"

The fourth and (to date) final entry in the Batman/Dredd crossover reminds the reader why the pairing was a good idea in the first place. It’s almost twice as long as previous books. It uses that extra space to craft a great Dredd story worthy of his own monthly Megazine. It's atypical of a Batman story but there's reasons that I can't go into why that's less of a problem this time. Events spiral far out of control and it all gets a bit insane, but when you consider who the villains of the piece are then that’s all the more fitting.

The fully painted art is absolutely stunning and the attention to detail is lovingly attended to (Alfred’s coffee cup made me chuckle). I’d be happy to wait twice as long for an issue of something if it was able to meet the standards of what’s on offer here. It took considerably longer than that because it reportedly went into production around the time Judgement on Gotham (1991) was released, which perhaps explains why the two books in-between feel a little like filler.
I still prefer Bisley's work on the first book but it would be hard to top that.

Often with crossover events, when the two parties go their separate ways at the end everything returns to normal, but there’s a lingering feeling that for Dredd’s world the memory of what happened won't quickly fade.

Note: There was an Anderson story (Postcards from the Edge) with a brief allusion to Die Laughing. You can find it in Judge Anderson: PSI Files Volume 2 (2012) or, if you prefer, a screenshot of the panels can be seen HERE. It’s not essential. I include it just for fans who want a reminder. It's not a spoiler to the Anderson story, but I'm not at fault if you haven't read it and still choose to click.

4 black hearts out of 5

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