Comic Review 156 // Bad Manners by John Wagner and 2000 AD


I love knocking some titles off my TO BE READ pile of shame. This comic was brought over to Canada nearly 6 years ago and has sat waiting to be read ever since. Bad Manners collects three stories together tracking the final year of Judge Manners career. It tracks how the Justice Department s flawed in many different ways and shows the cracks appearing in a broken system.

The short series starts with the title piece Bad Manners. All the stories are written by John Wagner so you know you are in for a ride, but damn is this a dark opener! We follow a Juve who unluckily for him cross path with a Judge who is handing out a harsh side of justice. Soon this Judge is terrorizing the Juve and beating the crap out of him. Fearing for his life whilst still believing in the Justice Department the Juve reaches out to Judge Dredd for help. Unfortunately, Judge Manners discovers the call to aid and frames the Juve as a drug dealer, killing him in a failed arrest attempt. The artwork by John Burns is beautiful and really adds to the dark moody feel of the piece. This is a great opener.

We follow this up with a title called Flippers, once more John Wagner takes the lead, with the artistic skills of Wayne Reynolds. Before we get fully into this tale I should mention that Judge Manners is a bit of character in this story. He has at best five lines but does continue to show his character and a Tech Judge is becoming suspicious of his story. But with Judge Dredd around you know something will happen. Instead, this story follows a pair of judges who have taken their teamwork to the next level. Having discovered a child is on the way the pair attempt to steal money and flee, but sadly they are caught by Judge Dredd, moments from freedom. Overall a good story, interesting to see that Dredd really was obvious to them right up to the end. If they paid more attention to the world around them they may have escaped.

The final tale of this collection is called Rotten Manners - written by John Wagner and artwork by Paul Marshall. Once again Judge Manners has crossed paths with Dredd. With Manners being reassigned out of his old sector for unproven excessive use of force. Whilst on a routine patrol Manners discovers a guy handing out democracy fliers and gives him a beating, unknowingly leading to the perps death. As the case is discovered, Dredd remembers Manners being in the area and finally calls him for his corruption. Facing a one-way trip to Titan (a Judge Prison), Manners chooses to face off against Dredd. In an interesting turn of events, Dredd refuses to fight Manners, not wishing to grant him an easy way out. But as Manners draws his gun other Judges in the area gun him down, bring the reign of Manners to an end.

Overall this was a great read! It shows how all the perfect qualities of a Judge are actually only a short step away from a sociopath. It shows how the fear of the Judges can affect everyday people and worst of all it shows how those with the most power can abuse the system to the extreme. I feel this is a very valid view point of justice in general and shows the continuing flaw in the system.

I hope you enjoyed it? Feel free to comment below or seek me out on one of the many social platforms that I hang out on. Here is a quick LINK (Solo bio link) to my details. Cheers to reading this.

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