Monday, 28 March 2016

The Bookshelf: The Complete Case Files 2 (Part 2).


Hey John here with part two of the Complete Case Files 2. If you missed the first part just follow this link. I've chosen to make this a two part edition because this book contains two sagas. The First was called "The Cursed Earth'' and this one is known as "The Day the Law Died". As you will come to see it shows how corrupt the Justice System can be and of course only Dredd can save the day. So I hope you enjoy.

Warning Spoiler Heavy!
The Day the Law Died

Story: Crime and Punishment- Dredd faces the Council of Five, his crime Murder! Having only just returned from the Cursed Earth, it seems like Dredd can't stay out of trouble for long.
Highlight: Judge Cal- Main villain for this epic saga, but he is so cool. Deputy Chief Judge and Head of the SJS, Judge Cal holds a lot of power within the Justice system and is rightly feared by a lot of Judges.

Story: Outlaw- Dredd has been found guilty of murder, his sentence 20 years on the Titan Penal Colony. Left with no choice Dredd hi-jacks his transport and attempts to escape and prove his innocence.
Highlight: The idea of Titan. A colony for only the scariest scum. To be able to live/work there you have to suffer a painful reconstruction of your face. Nose and lungs replaced with machines to help aid the criminal breath.

Story: Bring me the head of Judge Dredd- With Dredd on the loose, Judge Cal attempts to capture Dredd with a robot. The same robot Cal used to frame Dredd in the first place. After a showdown takes place, Dredd uses the robot to clear his name. Not knowing it was Cal you framed him.
Highlight: Max Normal Daddy-o! The Pinstripe freak is back and he is helping out Dredd.


Story: The Day the Law Died- The title piece story. Chief Judge Goodman is ambushed and stabbed multiple times, by the time Dredd arrives the old man is on deaths door. Goodman's last act is to hand Dredd an badge torn from the attackers, all it says is "SJS". Dredd also comes under attack be an assassin and is shot in the head, left for dead.
Highlight: Judge Quincy- Having somehow lost a button on his uniform (see above); Judge Quincy is forced to strip to his boxers by Chief Judge Cal. Cal sentences Quincy for breaking the dress code and forces him to carry out his duties like this for the rest of the series!

Story: The Tyrant's Grip- With Goodman dead, Cal tightens his grip on the city. Introducing news laws and a death penalty for speaking out against him. Dredd still recovering from his injuries is left facing the barrel of Cal's gun. As he faces death, only the quick thinking of Judge Giant can save him.
Highlight: Duty Judge Fish- Having become Chief Judge, Cal has to chose his replacement. And who better than his pet Goldfish!

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd and Giant are on the run, with no where go their options are limited. But in their new hideout, help is on hand as the Academy of Law tutors join Dredd's side. Lead by the one eyed Judge Griffin.
Back at Justice Central, SJS Solcum comes up with a plan to save his officers from Cal's wrath but will it work?
Highlight: Judge Glass and Percy- Forced to dress in young girls clothes as punishment for let Dredd escape.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Cal's reign of terror continues with more crimes becoming punishable by death. The citizens fearing the new system, attempt to protest the Cal's rule. Cal answers their protest by brutally ending the protest through the use of SJS riot Squads. Dredd and the tutors seeing that the city is on the point of rebellion, decide to storm a broadcast station in an attempt to inspire the city to rise up against Cal.
Highlight: The SJS- A menacing arm of the Law. Decked out in pure black with a Silver eagle and skull motifs. These guys personify fear and are brutal when carrying out orders.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd with the aid of the Tutors has stormed a broadcast tower and is inspiring MC-1 to rise up against the SJS and Cal. Knowing ultimately that if the citizens are to storm Justice Central they need weapons, Dredd and Giant mount a daring raid on the Department Armoury.
Highlight: Judge Cal sentences the City to Death, whilst having a bath :)

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd has Cal surrounded at Justice Central and is demanding his surrender. But it seems Cal won't be surrendering just let as he has one more card to play. Using alien mercs, Cal successfully beats the revolt and chases Dredd off. Now back in control of the city, Cal continues with his plan to execute the citizens starting with Aaron A, Aardvark.
Highlight: Kleggs- A race of reptilian Mercenaries. Lead by Grampus these cold blooded killers fight for the joy of killing and expect payment in meat!

Story: The Day the Law Died- The executions have begun! Citizens are dieing in their thousands, under the watchful gaze of the Kleggs. Dredd is left with no choice but to kidnap Judge Slocum and attempt to trick Cal into abandoning the executions.
Highlight: The death of Judge Fish. Using Cal's superstitions against him, Dredd has Judge Fish killed and frames it to look like natural causes. The time of death coincides with the first executions, making Cal believe they are linked. After stopping the executions Cal holds a massive state funeral to mark the passing of Duty Chief Fish.


Story: The Day the Law Died- Citizens have had enough of Cal's rule. Unable to revolt up against him they are left with no choice but to abandon MC-1 all together and risk the Cursed Earth! Fearing the lose of the citizens, Cal orders the Klegg's to force the exodus back into the city. With a corner population Cal decrees that a wall should be built to trap the citizens in.
Highlight: Following on from Deputy Judge Fish's death, Cal promotes the leader of the Kleggs: Grampus to the rank of Duty Judge.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd's days are numbered. Having finally annoyed Chief Judge Cal enough, Duty Grampus sends out kill teams to hunt down Dredd, Giant and the tutors.
Highlight: Klegg hounds- A weird mix of crocodile and bloodhound, these weird creatures lead the Klegg's to Dredd's base.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Completely surrounded and outnumbered Dredd and the tutors prepare to sell their lives dearly. But Giant is ready to give up let and has an escape plan.
Highlight: Klegg's war chant- Slicey Slicey, Oncey Twicey, Claw and Fang'll, Kill Dredd Nicely!

Story: The Day the Law Died- Following their escape attempt, Dredd and the survivors plunge from the destroyed road and smash straight through into the abandon undercity. Having declared Dredd dead Cal continues his rein of insanity. But it seems Judge Slocum and a few SJS judges have had enough.
Highlight: The Big Smelly- The heavily polluted Ohio River that runs under MC-1. Smells so bad that it can kill and believed by many to be un-survivable.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd and the tutors have washed up on the Banks of the Big Smelly, only to find themselves confronted by the locals. Whilst in the City Cal has declared happiness a crime and the sentence is Death!
Highlight: Fergee- King of the Big Smelly, Fergee is a simple man with a baseball bat and a horde of flies. Unfortunately for Dredd and Giant he has also has a dislike for them.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd faces off against Fergee: King of the Big Smelly. Following a brutal fist fight that ends with Fergee falling into the Big Smelly, Dredd finds himself a new smelly ally and holds a funeral for his fallen allies.
Highlight: Judge Cal holding auditions for a tv show to celebrate his life. He chooses a midget to play Dredd before sentencing the other actors to death.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Hiding out in Fergee's palace, Dredd and the team finally work out how Cal manipulated the entire Justice Force- Cal is using the Dream Machines to hypnotize the Judges.They formulate a plan and with the help of Fergee head back into MC-1.
Highlight: Fergee attempts to capture the annoying flies that follow him, by casting a net over himself. The flies flee the trap leaving poor Fergee in a tangled mess.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd and Fergee have made it back into MC-1. If they are to take down Cal, they first need help from a old friend. Sadly for Dredd Walter the Wobot has become a servant to some Kleggs.
Highlight: Dredd promotes Fergee to Judge!

Story: The Day the Law Died- Dredd and Fergee rescue poor Walter from the Kleggs and hatch a plan to get close to Cal. But can Walter pull it off?
Highlight: A pretty straight forward filler story, no real highlight apart from the progression of the story.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Walter has convinced Cal that he hates Dredd and gets made a Judge. But as soon as he is alone, Walter begins his real mission: To un-hypnotize the Judges!
Highlight: Cal worried about Judge Slocum's worry lines, has Slocum medically paralyzed and pickled in a giant jar.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Cal's wall is nearing completion, but his own mental illness is worsting too. With the voices in his head worsting Cal decides it time for him and the city to die!
Highlight: Fergee gets his first letter and is so happy about it.

Story: The Day the Law Died- As the countdown to the City death continues, Dredd and his rebel team manage to infiltrate the Halls of Justice and undo Cal's hold on the Judges. As their numbers grow, Dredd leads a final attack on Cal, Grampus and the Kleggs, but are they too late?
Highlight: The Death of Grampus is actually a low point for the tale. Considering he was main villain and led his Klegg's in the killing of hundreds, his final scenes seemed lack luster. Grampus surrendered without a fight and was killed by bike cannon fire. Very disappointing.

Story: The Day the Law Died- Finale. As Dredd and his team storm the statue of Justice, Cal stands poised to push the doomdays button. Who will save the city?
Highlight: The death of Cal. With Dredd and the team captured and Fergee bleeding out it seemed like nothing to could stop Cal's madness. But luckily for the city Fergee is a stubborn man and refuses to lose a fight. Dragging himself to his feet Fergee springs on Cal and jumps off the Statue of Justice, taking Cal and 8 corrupt Judges with him! The outlander saved MC-1.  

Story: Aftermath- A short 2 page strip showcasing what happened in MC-1 after Cals fall. First up the Kleggs are hunted down and destroyed by the now freed Judges. The damaged city is rebuilt, but under Dredd's direct orders statues are erected of Fergee: King of the Big Smelly and finally a new chief Judge is assigned: Judge Tutor Griffin becomes Chief Judge and Judge Tutor Pepper becomes his deputy. Whilst Dredd pulls out a classic line 'My place is where it has always been, on the streets', cue walk off into the distance.
Highlight: The recognition of Fergee's role in saving the city and the statues erected in his honor (side note may try to make one as terrain for JDMG).

Story: Punks Rule- Following the reign of Cal, some parts of the city are left under the rule of vicious gangs. One such area is Southside Sector 41; home to the Cosmic Punks lead by Gestapo Bob.
Highlight: Dredd single-handedly takes out the gang as an example to other law breakers. For their crimes the Cosmic Punks get their Citizenship revoked and are exiled to the Cursed Earth for 10 years.

Story: The Exo-men- Bank robbers using exo-skeletons design to aid in demolition lead Dredd on a merry chase through the sector. But whilst Dredd is distracted two members of the Citizens' Committee for Compassion for Criminals (CCCC) get involved and Mrs Marjory Blackshack gets kidnapped!
Highlight: The Exo-suits- Though they slow down the users speed, they increase their strength by tenfold allowing their wearers to rip open safes and wield wrecking balls like maces!

Story: The Exo-men Part 2- Mrs. Marjory Blackshack has been kidnapped and only Dredd can save her.
Highlight: The Kidnapper halfing his asking price just to get rid of her!

Story: The D.N.A man part 1- Dr Milton D. Frankenstein is working on the key life. Using his research he manages to clone himself, but the test ultimately fails and he is left with a sub-par clone of himself. Then when Frankenstein's lab assistant attempts to kill the DNA man, the pair over come the lab assistant killing him and dumping his body.
Highlight: Though it was a Dredd light story it seems to have a lot of potential. Will be interesting to see if it's a complete Frankenstein rip off.

Story: The D.N.A man part 2- Dr. Frankenstein's attempts at cloning seem to be getting worst! With 5 more failed attempts and Dredd sniffing around over the dead Lab assistant, Dr. Frankenstein feels trapped and sends his clones off to kill Dredd.
Highlight: Walter the Wobot bossing poor Maria about and being his normal pain in the arse self.

Story: The D.N.A man part 3- Dredd has beaten the DNA hit squad and is now hot on the trail of Dr. Frankenstien and Dennis, but can he catch them in time before they leave the city.
Highlight: Dennis- the first DNA man. Complete rip off of the monster from Frankenstein and ultimately kills himself and Dr. Frankenstein by throwing himself off the bridge.

And here ends the book. Wow what a long article, if your still here reading this then thank you! I hope you now understand why it had to be split into two. The second Epic 'The Day the Law Died' was a great read but seemed rushed at times which was a real shame. Especially how some of characters died, they could have added a few more pages in to do it all justice. Overall tho this part of the book seemed to run on the theme of taking from pre-existing literature ie. Cal is Nero/ Dr. Frankenstein and Denis is Frankenstien's Monster. 
Hugely enjoyable and a good follow up to the Cursed Earth Tale. So I'm giving it a four Dredd Rating.

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