Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 04

jdcc04Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 04

author: John Wagner

It’s a good job I’m getting the Case Files books digitally. By the time I’ catch up with today’s Dredd, I’d be in need of a room just for the books if I were buying paper copies.

File 4 contains another of the great Dredd epics- the Judge Child Quest. This is one I haven’t seen the whole of before, because back when I was picking up the Quality/Eagle reprints, this was a mini-series of its own. Disaster is coming to the Big Meg, and it has been predicted that only a child called Owen Krysler can save the city. Dredd sets off to find the boy- who has a justice-eagle birthmark on his forehead and is a powerful precog- first in the Cursed Earth and then outer space. Along the way, he has to battle the King of rubbish, the Angel Gang, ship eating planetoids and a human hating robot empire. The tale is episodic, much like the original Cursed Earth story, with Dredd encountering strange creatures and situations that aren’t all directly related to his mission, before the final showdown with the Angels and his important decision about the Judge Child’s fate.

The rest of the collection sees Dredd back on Earth, stopping block wars and fending off the poisonous attentions of wayward last Angel, Fink.

All in all, another classic slice of Dredd.

From:: Garth Owen Goodreads reviews

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 03


author: John Wagner

Still a big batch of classic Dredd, this collection suffers in comparison to the concentrated thrill power of the previous edition.

Lacking an epic tale, where the second edition had two of the greats, this collection feels bitty and a little disjointed. Having said that, the inventive future city stories are still in evidence and lots of interesting and important background is developed.

The stand out tale is the introduction of Judge Death (and Judge Anderson) as the cross dimensional wraith comes to Mega City 1 to pass judgement on the city- by killing as many of its citizens as possible.

The classic artists are still in evidence, but the double page spreads which were so common in the previous collection have gone- Dredd must have been relegated from starting on the centre spread.

Only a disappointment after the highs of the previous edition, this is still a good selection of classic Dredd.

From: Garth Owen Goodreads reviews

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 02


author: John Wagner

I’m going to work my way through the Dredd case file books one by one, until I’m as up to date as possible.

I didn’t read these early tales in 2000AD, but caught up on them in the eighties in the Eagle/Quality comics US comic size colour reprints. Those issues, it seems, missed out occasional episodes for various reasons. Being a complete chronological reprint*, the complete case files keep throwing out episodes I’ve never seen before, which is always a pleasure.

This book features two of the classic Dredd epic tales- Cursed Earth and Judge Caligula.

The premise of Cursed Earth is stolen almost whole from Damnation Alley, the Judges travelling East to West across America rather than the other way. The over-arching plot of getting a vaccine to Mega City 2 breaks down into a series of shorter tales, as Dredd and his crew encounter the various bizarre denizens of the desert- vampire robots, cloned dinosaurs, alien slaves and more.

Returning from Mega City 2, Dredd is framed by power-crazy (and just plain crazy crazy) Judge Caligula, who is making a power grab for absolute control of Mega City 1. This story is more of a sustained plot than Cursed Earth. Cal’s plans are revealed piece by piece, Dredd and his band of rebels gain victories and suffer setbacks, and it all leads to a grand showdown.

The classic stories are complemented by a roster of classic artists, particularly Mike McMahon and Brian Bolland. Many of the episodes open with a double page spread, giving extra thrill-power to them.

*Apart from, in this edition, four episodes which have never been reprinted anywhere because they depicted certain fast food chains and a well known food advertising green giant and drew threats of copyright based lawsuits.

From: Garth Owen Goodreads reviews

Going Ape

There’s a Judge Dredd story where a scientist accidentally releases one of his concoctions and the inhabitants of a city block start devolving. The closer to the centre of infection, the farther back along the chain until the scientist himself is nothing more than a blob of protoplasm, which Dredd promptly arrests.

Someone’s let the Dover, Pennsylvania school board get a sniff of the elixir and they’re rapidly turning into amoebae. At least the teachers they’ve ordered to talk up the non-science of Intelligent Design are far enough up the tree to still have backbones.

I've been through the desert on a horse with no name

I was just relisting a bundle of Judge Dredd Megazines on Ebay and had gone looking for cover pictures to perk up the ads, when I found this. Way back in 1978, when 2000AD was running the classic Cursed Earth story a couple of fill in writers came up with the Burger Wars and Mascotmania stories, satires upon consumer culture. Naturally, McDs, BK and the Jolly Green Giant people were up in arms about this. Fleetway, 2000AD’s publisher ran apologies and the stories have never been reprinted anywhere. I despaired of ever finding these elusive pages, but the internet has once again come to my rescue.

America, A horse with no name