What’s cute, cuddly, and strikes fear into the hearts of villains everywhere? If you answered Baby Batman, you’re pretty close. If you answered the Funko Toy version of Judge Dredd, that would be very specific, but you’d be correct! Out this week from IDW comics, the pint-sized, bubble-headed crime fighter stars in his own one-shot comic book for fans of most ages. A work that doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s a fun and quick read between issues of IDW’s grittier Dredd work Judge Dredd: Blessed Earth, and waiting for the Dredd TV series to finally happen.
The comic is broken up into three mini-stories, with John Layman handling writer duties (ha ha, doodies), and illustration work split between Francesco Gaston and Troy Little. The first story has itty-bitty Dredd facing not only a mutated bull rampaging through the streets of Mega City One with a giant hammer, but also an annoying narrator robot that just won’t leave him alone. The following tale has Dredd rescuing a pup from the deepest, darkest part of Mega City One’s Mega Park, where only the creepiest of creatures dwell. The final story follows Dredd and PSI Anderson as they fight their biggest opponents yet, Judges from other universes!
Judge Dredd: Funko Universe is exactly what it advertises itself as: fun and goofy. Layman, who previously handled the award-winning comic Chew, was an excellent choice for writer. This is definitely a guy who has watched and read a good deal of the source material and tried to keep as close as he could to Dredd’s world while still making a funny comic. I adore how straightforward the Dredd character is, making his actions even sillier in such a silly world. It’s also a great introduction for kids who are still too young to read the ultra-violent world of the original work, but are eager to step away from Teen Titans or DC’s Superhero Girls and explore other corners of the world of comics.
Of course, the real question is, is this a genuine Dredd work made with passion and respect, or is it just a quick cash grab to sell Funko toys off the back of a beloved character? The answer is, who cares? It’s a one shot comic that’s more jokes than story and is clearly not meant to be treated as canon, or even taken seriously. It’s one issue among hundreds of Dredd stories, and if you can pick up a cute little toy with it, why the hell not? Speaking of cute toys, there is indeed a Dredd Funko toy for purchase and it’s pretty cheap. Unfortunately, there isn’t a unique toy that comes out with the comic, but the work stands on its own, so it’s no biggie. Pick it up at your local comic book store today!