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Judge Dredd, Jane’s World, Plutona, Truth Serum: This Week in Comics #6

Loser superheroes, Judge Dredd, a dead body, and more feature in This Week in Comics #6.

The big news in comics this week centers on a new app called Stela. Featuring only original work, Stela’s making waves by generating original comic content. Their tagline “Comics for your phone!” gets to the heart of where this medium is headed—arguably, where it needs to head—to stay relevant. Whatever love one carries for paper comics, the feel of going to the local shop and having a pull list of comics waiting for them, it’s hard to deny the impact smartly designed digital comics have on the market. Comixology, aside from being an incredible resource for reading truly indie comics digitally, also boasts “guided view” technology, where the reader flips panel to panel, not page to page. Is this more cinematic and better for storytelling? Or does it take away from the impact of the page as an entire work?

In today’s comic roundup, follow Judge Dredd as he groans his way through the stone age, hang out with a bunch of nervous kids who found a dead body, dip into the manic life of a newspaper reporter named Jane, and feel really, really bad about yourself with a bunch of loser superheroes.

Judge Dredd #3

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Cover for Judge Dredd #3. Artwork by Ulises Farinas with colors by Ryan Hill. Photo courtesy of IDW Publishing.

Written by Ulises Farinas, art by Dan McDaid, colors by Ryan Hill, letters by Shawn Lee.

Judge Joseph Dredd comes from a dystopian world of Mega-Cities where crime is so rampant and the population so repugnant that “Judges” like Dredd are a one-stop judiciary shop. Each judge is cop, a jury, and executioner, all rolled into one. But with IDW Publishing’s new Judge Dredd comics (Dredd originally appeared in the british comic magazine 2000 AD in 1977), Joseph Dredd finds himself in a Stone Age Mega-City. In this issue he continues his quest to figure out what happened, and meets a giant mutant monster named Trog Lody in a coliseum. The artwork inside isn’t as lush as Farinas’ cover, but it still gives off a frantic, hurried vibe that suits the stilted dialogue—an homage to classic indie comics.

Plutona #4

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Cover for Plutona #4. Artwork by Emi Lenox with colors by Jordie Bellaire. Photo courtesy of Image Comics.

Story by Emi Lenox and Jeff Lemire, script by Jeff Lemire, art by Emi Lenox, colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by Steve Wands.

In Plutona, superheroes are real and integrate seamlessly into normal society. They wage fights against each other, they go on talk shows, they’re spotted around town. But this story focuses on a group of highschool kids who, while walking through the woods one day, stumble upon the body of Plutona, one of the most famous superheroes in the world. By issue #4, they’ve managed to keep her body a secret, but the stress of the secret tugs on each of the kids in a different way. Plutona explores the awkward, nasty, gritty truth of growing up and working your way through high school hormones, friendships, and family life without making too grand a statement in any particular direction.

Jane’s World #1

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Cover for Jane’s World #1. Illustrated by Paige Braddock. Photo courtesy of Northwest Press.

Created by Paige Braddock.

Jane’s World #1 comes from the brilliant mind of Paige Braddock, who first graced the world with the Jane character back in 1998. Originally written as a proto-web comic focusing on a lesbian protagonist and her lesbian and bi friends, Jane’s World was (and still is) an important work in the LGBT comic world and is now available via Comixology Submit and Northwest Press. In this first issue, Jane gets hit in the head with a giant sign, accidentally tackles the new coworker, and gets arrested in a clown suit. It’s the type of rolling, Sunday Funnies adventure that’s so rare in the dour world of indie comics. If you’ve never read Jane’s World, treat yourself to this deceptively lighthearted read.

Truth Serum

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Cover for Truth Serum. Illustrated by Jon Adams. Photo courtesy of City Cyclops

Created by Jon Adams.

Truth Serum depicts a world where superheroes are sad sacks, losers, cheats, scoundrels, and generally a bit unstable. In this collection of short comics there exists an alternate understanding of the traditional comic character, with superheroes ignored by “cooler” superheroes, sad voyeurism, lying villains, and existential loneliness. Think Red Meat, but as two-page spreads about caped crusaders. This comic isn’t for everyone, in fact, it makes Watchmen look like Golden Age Superman, but it will definitely strike a nerve with fans of scouring self-assessment.

What were you reading this week? Let us know @CreatorsProject or in the comments below.

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