Ulises Farinas

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts 5 (May 2014)

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts #5Not the strongest last issue, not at all. Though it probably does have Farinas’s most consistently decent art of the entire series. Well, in terms of detail and correct body proportions. His action composition is just terrible–Wolk tries to do way too much for the last issue, especially since he closes with a lengthy action sequence.

The finale goes a little too far with Dredd and trying to make him more complex (albeit briefly). One of the slight twists as things go along require almost some suspicion of Dredd, which is ludicrous. Even for an unfamiliar reader, Wolk has written an excellent Dredd until this last issue of Mega-City Two. Wolk tries too hard with the humor too.

Wolk also seems to set up one possible twist and then ignores it, even though it fits the series’s tone more appropriately.

It’s entertaining often but should have been better.

B- 

CREDITS

Everybody’s in Show Biz; writer, Douglas Wolk; artist, Ulises Farinas; colorist, Ryan Hill; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Denton J. Tipton; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts 4 (April 2014)

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts #4Wolk brings in the ex-judge with the Mexican wrestling mask–it isn’t too exciting as it looks just like a regular judge’s mask, only not a helmet–and Dredd has a team-up. In the second half of the issue, anyway. The first half of the issue is an introduction to Melody Time, which mixes Disneyland and anarchy. It feels like Judge Dredd meets Roger Rabbit, actually. It’s amusing.

Nicely, Wolk gets in stuff about the corruption plotline without stopping the narrative. Sure, at the end he sets up the final issue and the presumed big reveal, but he otherwise handles it rather deftly.

Farinas’s art, for the standard stuff, is better. Not many people without masks or helmets so he can’t mess up features. There are a lot of cartoon references in the story presentation (matching the setting) and they’re a little too simple.

Still, it works out.

B 

CREDITS

The Deterrence Machine; writer, Douglas Wolk; artist, Ulises Farinas; colorist, Ryan Hill; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Denton J. Tipton; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts 3 (March 2014)

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts #3Dredd gets a sidekick–temporarily, it’s like Wolk doesn’t want him to bond with anyone in Mega-City Two or something–and fights a giant sea monster. He also gets to see how the city turns away people back to the ocean; there’s a conspiracy going on or something. Wolk also promises a former judge who dresses like a masked Mexican wrestler.

There’s a little bit, with the conspiracy and then the setup at the end, about the main story, with the immigration scene an odd lull in the middle. There’s no action, even with one of Dredd’s camera crew (he’s a TV star) getting eaten by said sea monster.

Farinas does a little better than usual; there aren’t a lot of closeups. He flubs closeups.

The big action sequence with the sea monster doesn’t come off well–Dredd vs. kaiju–but Wolk has enough momentum to carry it through.

B 

CREDITS

Beach Blanket Justice; writer, Douglas Wolk; artist, Ulises Farinas; colorist, Ryan Hill; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Denton J. Tipton; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts 2 (February 2014)

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts #2Even though Farinas art gets a little worse, Wolk isn’t spending time setting up the comic, he’s just telling a Judge Dredd goes undercover with a West Coast biker gang of the future. They’re really into found art.

Dredd gets a sidekick in one of the biker gang and a lot of the issue is spent with their adventure to go get future beer. Work gets to concentrate on Dredd exploring the strange world–introducing it to the reader too–while still maintaining Dredd is in control of everything going on. It works rather well.

The end has a good fight sequence, with Wolk utilizing Dredd’s procedural abilities as well as his physical ones. It’s a rather nice finish. And even though Farinas is real light on the facial detail (and of people in general), there are some good visual moments in the comic.

Art problems aside, an excellent issue.

B+ 

CREDITS

Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream; writer, Douglas Wolk; artist, Ulises Farinas; colorist, Ryan Hill; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Denton J. Tipton; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts 1 (January 2014)

Judge Dredd Mega-City Two: City of Courts #1The back matter for this issue discusses the history of Mega-City Two, which I only briefly read. Writer Douglas Wolk has a nice structure for the issue–he drops the reader into Mega-City Two, with Judge Dredd as the anchor, and goes crazy. It’s a strange, Hollywood-influenced, happy place. Think the future in Wall-E, only a little more active.

Of course, no reader wants to see such a lame future and having Dredd around to kick things up is awesome. After almost half the issue of Dredd dealing with the dumb, extremely lax laws, Wolk gives the reader the backstory. He’s there on a secret mission, he’s supposed to like the chief judge; a quick recap then back to the story.

Ulises Farinas art is so-so. He does well on the Mega-City Two scenery, not so good on the figures.

Still, pretty good stuff.

B 

CREDITS

West Coast Swing; writer, Douglas Wolk; artist, Ulises Farinas; colorist, Ryan Hill; letterer, Tom B. Long; editor, Denton J. Tipton; publisher, IDW Publishing.

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