Review – Judge Dredd – The Complete PJ. Maybe

Every so often in Mega City One, a child prodigy comes to light. But Philip Janet Maybe’ talent isn’t for anything healthy, like the synth violin, or skysurfing, or ingesting inanimate objects. P.J.’s talent is murder!

The current Judge Dredd epic in 2000ad is Call of Duty and over the past few  weeks there have been various references to the infamous PJ Maybe and in a recent interview writer and all round Dredd genius John Wagner has said that PJ will be back soon with ‘big shocks’.

So I hit gold last week in the local library when I picked up The Complete PJ Maybe, being new back into the world of Mega City One the whole PJ thing has passed me by, I knew some odd facts about him thanks to the guys over on Every Thing Comes Back to 2000ad but I wanted to know more and this it seemed was the perfect opportunity.

The collection opens up with Bug from Prog 534, this story covers the murder of the Swindley’s in Berger Block which is an apparently motive less murder which leaves Dredd a little stumped, the revelation at the end is that the whole murder was just a trial run for a certain PJ Maybe aged 13, it’s his fist murder but it will be far from being his last……

The next collection is the brilliant What I Did During the Summer Holidays by PJ Maybe 13 (class 2) and tells how PJ got ahead in the family business Emphatically Yess which supplies trouser’s of all things to the Judges !!!

Dredd finally catches up with PJ in the Confeshuns of PJ Maybe from Progs 632 to 634 and then it’s of to a padded sell with a strate jakit for PJ. The artwork by Liam Sharp in these early stories is very good especially the black and white in Confeshuns, PJ’s girlfriend Liana is a particularly fine piece of ass art.

PJ aged 15 ½ escapes from the cubes during the Necropolis crisis and is free again in Mega City One to carry out his diabolical machinations, this is when face changing machines and SLD88 become a big part of PJ’s repertoire which leaves Dredd once again chasing shadows.  However the pay off in the last panel from the PJ and the Mock-choc Factory story is pure class and is surely a classic Dredd moment.

The last two story arc’s in the book are taken from the Judge Dredd Megazine and are without doubt my favourite in the whole of this collection.

Six, written by Wagner with art by Chris Weston is a sort of origin story for PJ and bares a passing resemblance to David Fincher’s Se7en. Is this the reason PJ turned into a psychopath or is it because his mother and father gave him a girl’s name? who knows what goes on in Philip Janet Maybe’s mind, your guess is a good as mine, however this story is brilliantly chilling and inventive with art work to die for.

The last story is the Monsterus Mashinashuns of PJ Maybe and was originally published in the Megazine 231-234, once again with Wagner on writing duties and this time Carlos Ezquerra doing the art. This is absolutely bloody gorgeous the art and the colouring in particular is phenomenal and the story isn’t half bad either, in fact it’s all kinds of brilliant.

But this is where, unfortunately this particular collection ends. Now I know that PJ is the current Mayor of Mega City One, quite how he’s managed that is still a mystery – to me at least, but at least now I know a hell of a lot more about the career of one of Mega City Ones and Dredd’s most infamous foes and by Drok that enough for me – for now a least.

Bring on the ‘Big Shocks’.

Rating – 4.5/5

Dry Slaps – One – Not The ‘Complete’ PJ Maybe – Maybe???

GS Reviewer Nick Roberts

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