Review - Dark Justice: Torture GardenComic Reviews 

Review – Dark Justice: Torture Garden

Review - Dark Justice: Torture Garden

Review – Dark Justice: Torture Garden

Writer: David Hine

Artist: Nick Percival

Lettering: Annie Parkhouse

Publisher: 2000AD (Rebellion)

Originally serialised in Judge Dredd Megazine #400-409

Available: 6th October 2021 (Digital DRM Free)

Review - Dark Justice: Torture Garden

Torture Garden

After the events on the Mayflower, the cargo ship the Solips discovered the Dark Judges Death, Fire and Mortis floating in space, and the alien superfiends murdered the crew. Landing on a remote Mega-City colony world called Dominion, Death and co used their powers to decimate the population and create an army of zombies. Few survivors remain… as the Dark Judges have transformed their colony into a necropolis and their loved ones into an army of zombies…

Collected into a digital-only graphic novel for the first time, this series stars fan favourite villains the Dark Judges in a chilling storyline, with sensational artwork by Nick Percival.

Writer: David Hine

For anybody not familiar with Judge Death and the Dark Judges (!?!), they are the embodiment of death and perceive all life as the ultimate crime and the Judgement is..death. The nemesis of Judge Dredd has been featured in the pages of 2000AD for almost 40 years. Recently, many have found him after DC parodied his image to develop the terrible The Batman Who Laughs character in the Dark Metals series.

As characters, the Dark Judges helped solidify the amazing Judge Anderson as the main character and many a teenager has worn the “Gaze into the Fist of Dredd!” T-shirt from the beloved Bolland stories of the 80s.

Over the past few years, writers like Wagner and Hine have been filling in the blanks on the birth, life and err.. death of Sidney Death and this collected ten-issue mini-series adds another spin to the characters.

Mortis, Fear, Fire and Death were last seen getting picked up by the spaceship Solips and landing on the remote planet of Dominion. Here they destroy Dominion City and either kill or convert to zombies almost the whole population. Law enforcer, Rosco escapes and hides in the tunnels below Dominion where she manages to send a message to Chief Judge Hershey back on Earth to send out a rescue mission. The only problem is that it will take six months to get there and she is tortured by the images of the Dark Judges tortured the other Dominion outposts and citizens.

Hines takes his cues from the great Aliens in this issue with a group of ragtag marines sent to a dying planet to either save survivors or blow it out of the universe. His homage to Cameron’s stunning 1984 classic is perfect taking what works and moulding the rest around his ghoulish Judges.

The introduction of a new Dark Judge Whisper is a great twist and I will not spoil who and where he comes from.

Artist: Nick Percival

Percival’s artwork is perfect with these characters as his stunning artwork, twists flesh and bone into disgusting shapes and structures. The amazing ways he contorts and bastardises the human form throughout the issue, as each Judge as their way with various victims is shocking and not for those of a squeamish nature. I also want to mention Annie Parkhouse’s lettering for his issue, each Dark Judge is given slightly different but recognisable lettering and colouring, the new Judge, Whisper, has a paler speech bubble and tone showing his immaturity with his new role.

Overall Thoughts

Some will grumble that this is a rip off of Aliens but I disagree there is more than enough unique materials to give this issue life beyond the original. The series is a worthy addition to the ever-growing Dark Judges books and it’s out on October 6th – available from the 2000 AD app, as DRM-free download from the 2000 AD webshop, and on Amazon Kindle devices.

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Michael Lennox

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T'was a cold dark night in East Kilbride... and below the roundabouts, something old and ancient began to shudder awake. The world would rue the day that it gave the Green Jaguar comics to read!

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