The Gateway Colony, a shiny new example of off -world living away from the chaos of Mega City One. But living off world comes with its own problems, not least from an Alien race called the Zhind. And the Zhind threat isn’t just to Gateway; it’s to the entire human race.
Mega-City colonial space, 2135AD. Mining colony K Alpha 61 renamed itself Liberty after cutting loose from the Big Meg. Furious at this dissent, and in a bid to stop the revolt spreading to other colonies, the SJS launched a blistering attack on Colonial Marshal Karel Luther’s forces. Now the alien Zhind have been defeated, and the SJS are turning on the insurrectionists.
Insurrection: Liberty was first serialised in Judge Dredd Magazine issues 334-342 and created by Dan Abnett (Sinister Dexter, Rogue Tropper, The Punisher) and Colin MacNeil (Judge Dredd, Strontium Dogs, Chopper). Both are 2000AD veterans so you know you’re in for a treat with Insurrection.
Gateway Colony is just that: a gateway drop off point for the people of Mega City One who have taken the leap into deciding to live off world. Things are dire in the Meg and off world living offers a fresh start on planets and moons that are relatively untouched. Willard Galloway is stationed at Gateway and is a Justice Department Colonial Marshall, one of the officers charged with making sure that Gateway is a safe place. He helps to oversee the safety of the colony, as well as the construction done by Uplifts and Meks. He has managed to convince his family to make the move off world and they arrive with the hope of a better life than the one that had back in Mega City One.
But, as with all off world living, there is always a danger from alien forces, not least from the Zhind, an aggressive alien race that the Justice Department has had run ins with before. And it doesn’t take long for them to arrive at Gateway. But Gateway is safe, isn’t it? They have the fleet in orbit to protect them. That is, until the call comes in that the fleet is needed elsewhere to help defend against the Insurrectionists led by Karel Luther, a traitor of the Justice Department. But, Galloway manages to convince some of the fleet to turn around and come back to help protect Gateway from the Zhind. But it isn’t enough.
Gateway falls, as does Galloway but wakes up 3 weeks later on the last remaining fleet ship being told what had happened by Augusta, another Colonial Marshall from Gateway. Now that they have been classed as Insurrectionists themselves by the SJS, Augusta wants to meet with Luther. It’s a shaky plan at best but one that ultimately makes sense. Luther was also on Officer of the SJS and not only that, he’s fought the Zhind before. So, the battle weary crew make their way to the Insurrectionists’ hide out and manage to strike a deal. But the SJS has been tipped off to their location and are coming in fast. They’re stopped by the Zhind and the two opposing forces band together to take down the aliens. That’s the end of it, right?
Wrong. The SJS wants the Insurrectionists dead but one of them survives to tell the tale to future generations. It’s a tale that needs to be told because the Insurrectionists stopped a space war that could have wiped out the entire human race. Turns out that there are more important things than Mega City One, the SJS just don’t want everyone to know about it.
It’s been a while since I read some progs that are based in the Judge Dredd universe but that don’t actually have Dredd in them, so Insurrection was a nice way to get back into that. It’s also been a while since a read a graphic novel that is completely black and white and I have to say, it actually enhanced this one for me. Saying that, and this will sound weird, my brain did actually supply the colour for me. There were certain panels where I think my brain did some colouring-in on my behalf. The artwork may be simple compared to some other 2000AD progs, but that’s what makes it so bold. It really grabs you and keeps you invested.
Ultimately, Insurrection: Liberty is about our humanity and the ability to make the right choice. It’s about what we would do when given orders that we don’t agree with and how far we’re willing to go to stand our ground. Which sacrifice is the most important and are we willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save others? And do any of us have it in us to make those decisions when it really counts?
Title: Insurrection: Liberty