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Original story still shines, but the sequels disappoint
on 4 June 2009
This volume collects the original 'America' storyline plus two sequels ('Fading of the light' and 'Cadet'). 'America' is still as good as I remember. Intelligent, politically astute and beautifully rendered by Colin MacNeil, whose work on 'Chopper: Song of the Surfer' I so admired. The story is self-contained, but provides a nice entry point to the larger 'Democracy' storyline, which also ties in with the epic 'Necropolis'. This story gives more of an insight into Dredd's world than any before or after, as evidenced perhaps by the much weaker sequels. 'Fading of the light' analyses the personal and social fallout from Benny Beeny's actions in 'America'. It is an interesting investigation of betrayal and transgender issues, but its unfortunately spoilt by some really poor artwork. Colin MacNeil's inks are okay-ish, but the horrendous digital colouring, with its garish, unnatural pallette really jars with the rather dark material of the script. The artwork on 'Cadet' is much improved, although still not anywhere near the standard I expected of MacNeil. What lets this third storyline down is the script. Unfortunately, it is a rather tedious police procedural, which has America Beeny (daughter of America and Benny Beeny) now a Justice Dept Cadet, working alongside Dredd to solve a frankly concocted "mystery" behind the events in the previous storylines. It doesn't ring true, feels like the facts are being re-hashed for the sake of reviving the characters and is distinctly unsatisfying as a whodunnit. A dismal way to end a series that started so brilliantly.