Broken Frontier continue their reviews with Hondo-City Law:
Robbie Morrison, co-creator of beloved 2000AD characters like Nikolai Dante and Shakara, has created a shiny yet dark reflection of a Mega City in Hondo-City. A place perfect on the outside but rotten on the inside, the only force for good are the Judges and even there corruption is present in the highest ranks. Hondo-City Law collects a variety of stories, all born in the streets of Hondo-City.
Our Man in Hondo recollects the first meeting of Judge Dredd and Judge Inspector Sado (who would later play a pivotal rol in one of Dredd’s multi-arc events). Sado is Dredd’s perfect reflection in another part of the world, Clint Eastwood versus Toshiro Mifune. Written by Dredd’s co-creator and main chronicler John Wagner, it is a stunning game of chess (well… chess with robots, explosions and rogue sleeper agents) between the two seemingly perfect Judges, trying to find the crack in each others harness. They find themselves to be two Judges riding the same bleeding sharp knife of the law but on different edges of the blade, who will crack and who will turn out victorious? Colin MacNeill paints it all in hues that are bright and grungy at the same time, topping off the inner duel to perfection.
Next up is Shimura spotlighting Hondo-City’s other top cop, Judge Shimura, accompanied by cadet Judge Aiko Inaba, who take on a cybernetic corporate entity bend on dominating the Japanese megacity. The story is a nice mix of action and cyberpunk with some Japanese storytelling mixed in, but is especially noteworthy for deepening the dark underbelly of the Judges in Hondo-City, revealing questionable ethics for the sake of profit and ties to the Yakuza underworld. Glimpses of the dark beast beneath the shining pavements of Hondo-City. It also features one of the earliest published works of current superstar artist Frank Quitely. From the start his excellent sense of staging and space is apparent. His clean style is spot on for Hondo-City’s antiseptic streets, while his posed and transfixed figurework and facial characteristics exemplifies the inner troubles of being a Judge in Hondo-City.
Hondo-City Law is an action fest TPB full of double ententes, shady ethics and ofcourse uncompromising characters in a shady world where nothing works as good as a big explosion. The clean Japanese counterpart of the American Mega Cities is highly recommended as a visiting place in all tourist destination packages in the worlds of 2000AD!