?ands up meathead!?

Where WAR PLANET at times felt tired, JIHAD, the latest Dredd adventure, sticks out as the best audio since FIRE FROM HEAVEN. Writer James Swallow has the character of Dredd pinned down as well as an established comic book writer, and has crafted a script that, while not the most groundbreaking thing ever produced, does everything a decent action- audio needs to, while keeping Dredd? black humour and using it well. The regulars are good here. Toby Longworth contributes a room full of voices that show off his talent (Dredd is still the best character he plays though) and Teresa Gallagher brings the familiar air of frustrated authority that Chief Judge Hershey needs. The guest cast are good- even if their accents aren? all that?eter David-Gough is likeable as Aussie Judge Hogan, but his accent is terrible! The same goes for some of the other foreign delegates to the vital summit Mega City One is hosting.

The writer makes this different in that he puts in little things we wouldn? expect and cuts out the things we don? need to know, like where Jonah? (the villain) Cryo-capsule was before it enters the story- other writers would put that in, but its needless- Swallow leaves it out. To add to that, he has produced a script that runs over an hour- not something the Dredd? always do, despite the promise of 70mins on the CD sleeve (it actually says 60 on Jihad, so they?e realised!). Elements are glossed over here and there, but the link to the comic adventures is done fluidly and cleverly. This story doesn? really affect the Dredd world, but it fits in with 2000ad continuity- if such a thing worries you!

In all Jihad is a fun, well written romp that pushes all the right buttons- something Dredd tales haven? done for a few months. Unlike 99 CODE RED the comedy is kept to a sensible level, and unlike WAR PLANET Jihad is interesting and genuinely exciting- despite an awfully done final battle between Jonah and Dredd, its well done stuff.


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