The essence of these following comics reflect in their search for truth despite manipulation, ignorance and simple feelings of superiority within the character constructs.
Judge Dredd – Toxic #1 Dredd as a character has always been an enigma. He stands for justice yet is also an executioner as well. This makes the gray in his judgment a little more problematic in terms of reasoning and motivation. This story progression here focuses on “scrubbers” who deal with waste in the levels beneath the city. What transpires is an essence of sentience with a symbiote which allows the workers to live less painful, mutated lives. The balance and what Dredd represents can be at odds with a sense of right but that is the gist of the character with his rock chin which is as immovable as ever despite his assurance that he can feel compassion
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Terra Incognita #4 This interplay keys in in the very way that made “Star Trek: The Animated Series” such a delight. It is too bad an animated series was not made with this crew. This issue shows Commander Riker trying to teach Ensign Wesley Crusher the importance between simulation and actual real world experience. The interaction reflects another TOS: The Animated Series story from “The Infinite Vulcan” which explained that nothing is at it seems and actions are determined by class and leadership. There are different levels of existence within this current away mission but another intelligence lies just below the surface which forces Wesley to make a decision despite the problems it may incur. The best Star Trek stories do this without hitting the reader (or viewer) over the head with what they need to think.
The Lodger #1 Reflecting like the recent “Curtain Call” graphic novel, this story of a drifter girl meandering from city to city with seemingly murderous intent never quite balances its intelligence with sense of motivation but still relates a sense of tone. The essence of the black and white art brings across textures of say “National Born Killers” but relies too much on profanity and seemingly esoteric dialogue to really make a true impact making the angst seem more like simple propellant than actual motivation.