The Dark Judgesss Are Back: Previewing ‘Dark Justice – The Torture Garden’

by Richard Bruton

The latest of the 2000 AD Digital Editions, Dark Justice gives you thrillsss with the Dark Judges exploring ‘The Torture Gardenand David Hine and Nick Percival in control of the scaresss…

The Dark Judges have been discovered in space. So obviously, they were left alone, never to return. The End…

Well, okay, so that’s not what happened. Of course not. The whole point about those dastardly Dark Judges is that they have to keep coming back.

And, yes, over time, the power of the Dark Judges has been whittled away, treating them more like the comic relief and less like the genocidal nightmares that they obviously are.

Well, thankfully, after taking over from John Wagner on the Dark Judges saga of ‘Dark Justice’, David Hine’s idea of the undead quartet is firmly rooted in the latter rather than the former, as these Dark Justice tales have definitely proved. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Nick Percival doing your art – between him and Dave Kendall, they’ve pretty much cornered the market on the terrifying and gruesome strips of 2000 AD.

And through ‘The Torture Garden, Hine and Percival really do a bloody excellent job of giving us the Dark Judges we deserve, the nasty, gruesome ones.

As for what’s going on, well the Dark Judges have been picked up in space and headed down to the remote Mega-City colony of Dominion. No prizes for guessing that bloodshed and nightmares ensued.

The Dark Judges are in control, nearly everyone’s dead (well, what do you expect?), with young Rosco in hiding… until she discovers their plan to get back to Earth, a plan Rosco knows she can’t let happen. The cavalry’s on the way from MC-1, but Dominion’s a hell of a long way out and it’s going to be a long six months before they get there.

Six months on hiding and surviving, with the Marines getting closer and closer.

In the meantime, Judge Death gets a bit of reading in, which is where The Torture Garden of the title comes from, something Death seems entranced by, revelling in the darkness of humanity.

The great bit of ‘The Torture Garden’ is in the waiting, waiting for Rosco to be tracked down, waiting for the Marines to get here – and yes, of course that’s going to go south real quick, add that to the list of inevitable things happening that Hine still manages to make interesting and readable. After all, this the Dark Judges, you know things are going to be going bad around them.

And they do, they go as bad as they can… and it’s a damn good thing. Being this vile has never looked so good.

Dark Justice – The Torture Garden

By David Hine and Nick Percival, letters by Annie Parkhouse

Published by 2000 AD in digital edition on 6 Oct

Originally serialised in Judge Dredd Megazine #400-409


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