What's this another comic review! What possible topic could it be about this time? DREDD! What a surprise....
I know. I'm sorry it is always Dredd. But I just love old stoney face and with such a huge catalogue of work I'm never sort of things to write about. I'm returning to the good old case files and this time delving into Volume 3.
Pages: 244 - Paperback
Writers: John Wagner, Pat Mills
Artists: Mike McMahon, Ron Smith, Dave Gibbons, Brian Bolland, Brendan McCarthy, Garry Leach, Ian Gibson, John Cooper, Barry Mitchell
IN THE NAME OF THE LAW!The story of future lawman Judge Dredd continues in this third book collecting together his adventures in chronological order. This bumper volume features many of Dredd's most exciting cases including the first appearance of Judge Death and Psi Judge Anderson and the return of Satanus, first featured in the epic Cursed Earth saga.Featuring the writing talents of comic book legends Pat Mills (Sláine) and John Wagner (A History of Violence), this volume also features the art of Ian Gibson (The Ballad of Halo Jones), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) and Brian Bolland (Batman: The Killing Joke) amongst many other artists.
THIS VOLUME CONTAINS ALL THE JUDGE DREDD STORIES FROM 2000AD PROGS 116-154
Plus! BONUS STRIP Dr. Panic (2000AD annual 1979) Covers Gallery Author Biographies
- Vienna- Dredd's Niece Vienna (Daughter of Rico Dredd) has been kidnapped by Harry Carmen- a perp arrested by Dredd and sentenced to six years in the iso cubes for a computer swindle. With his mind plagued by the guilt of killing her father, Dredd allows himself to get captured and must slowly wait as time runs out to save his niece. Overall this story shows us how much guilt Dredd has over his history with Rico. We also see a more human side to Dredd, which we rarely see in the earlier strips. His final act with Vienna is heart aching stuff, as Dredd must choose to put distance between them if he hopes to save Vienna from future pain.
- Cityblock Part 1- Charlton Heston Block, home to 60,000 citizens. A city within a city and always on the edge of a riot. In this tale we join Dredd on a routine patrol, so what could possibly go wrong? A great funny little tale, that due to a chase scene we get to experience different levels of a city block. It's sad that it all started out due to a dropped piece of litter. But I'm excited to see more and see how it grows.
- Cityblock Part 2- This time we visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe Block and learn about the huge unemployment issues faced by MC-1 citizens. Here the citizens risk jail time by destroying cleaning droids, just so that they can have a job. We then move onto Benjamin Spock block, where Arnold the old caretaker has been replaced by robot. Faced with too much free time Arnold has gone Futsie (Future Shock, a mad killing spree psychosis), using a Laz-rifle to snipe people. Lucky for them Dredd is about. Another great example of life in the blocks. You can't help but feel sorry for these jobless individuals. It also seems like Dredd feels sorry to and sentences Arnold Short to hard labour in a Cursed Earth Workcamp.
- Judge Dredd Hyper-Cop!- It's a Walter the Wobot tale! Nothing to intense just a fun friendly tale of when Walter ended up in jail, after saving Judge Dredd's life.
- The Forever Crimes- Dredd is visiting the The Forever Towers for the Semi-Dead to inform a customer that their son has died. After being awoken from suspended animation the lady confesses that her son was being blackmailed! Dredd is soon on the case and all leads point at the Forever Towers.
- A Tale from Walter's Scwapbook- Walter meets up with the other Robots at the laundromat and regals them with a heartfelt Dredd tale. Bit of a filler strip sadly, not much else to say.
- Father Earth- The Doomsday Dogs are back and this time they aren't alone. A mysterious figure known simply as Father Earth, has managed to rally a horde of Cursed Earth dwellers and is marching on MC-1. Normally the Judges would send out a patrol to investigate, but unfortunately for them it's election time. So the city is full of petty crime keeping their gaze elsewhere. As the election debates continue, Dredd worries about the mutants. Dredd is soon proven right when the Doomsday Dogs take control of the Power Tower; a building that harnesses the lava flow of the Earth's molten core to power the city! Soon an explosion splits open the Power Tower and makes a man made Volcano, killing thousands in it's escaped lava flow. As the city is torn apart by earthquakes the southern walls crumbs and Father Earth and the Doomsday Dogs spill in through the gap. As the city falls into chaos and the streets flow with lava, only one team can reseal the volcano: The Holocaust Squad. The Holocaust team jump into the heart of the Power Tower, their mission is to close the back up valve. The only downside is their fire suits will only last 3 minutes inside this hellhole, all five men ultimately give their lives but do succeed in closing the lava the flow. With the streets no longer a natural disaster zone Dredd and the Judges head out to deal with Father Earth, But that won't be easy, Father Earth has taken refuge in the alien plant biodome. Protected by Man eating plants Dredd has a tough time reaching him. Unfortunately for Father Earth he has forgotten that he is just a man too! This was a great multi part tale, it was fun to see some old villains come back in the form of the Doomsday Dogs and the Cosmic Punks. It was also fun to see how the city of the future is powered, along with the introduction of the Holocaust Squad. Overall A+.
- The Guinea Pig that Changed the Law- Dredd is confronted by a talking cat and is told a murder is taking place. Dredd follows the cat to Mage-Labs and finds Monty a Guinea Pig on death row. Sadly Dredd's hands are tied and Dr. Galt knows it. Dredd leaves frustrated but can't shake the feeling Dr. Galt is hiding something. After doing some digging Dredd fears Galt is planning on re-releasing the common cold a disease that has been seen for over a hundred years. As Galt is on the verge of injecting Monty with the cold virus Dredd arrives and saves the day! Highlight of this tale is the talking cat. I love cats!
- Night of the Ripper- Weather Control is having difficulties over district 6 and as a result a heavy fog has fallen over the area. Allowing a new danger to haunt the streets. Ignoring a Judge's warning two young women walk home alone, soon confronted by the legendary Jack the Ripper! Lucky for the captured women Dredd is on hand to save the day and discover Jack is merely a robot from the MC-1 Chamber of Horrors. What happens next is a fun tale of Dredd face off against historic horror characters before closing down a crime ring.
- Crime Blitz- In this strip Dredd is conducting a Code 59 (D): 'A Judge may enter a citizen's home to carry out routine intensive investigation. The Citizen has no rights in this matter'. After turning out a clean sweep on an apartment owned by a Mr. Sweet, Dredd becomes suspicious and orders a 24 hour watch on Sweet. Soon Dredd's fears were right and Sweet is seen handing a briefcase to a Sov-1 spy. After giving chase Dredd is riding the waves of Black Atlantic, heading straight towards a Sov Pollution cleaning ship. What happens next is pure Dredd high adventure, where he manages to survive being in the Black Atlantic, board the sov vessel and arrest everyone on board! Amazing strip and a possible precursor to the Apocolaspse War?
- The Testimonial of Lips Lazarus- The strip starts off at the Spaceport with Judge Dredd bringing in an important witness from Luna-1: 'Lips' Lazarus. Lips has important info on the mob and is unsurprisingly on their hit list. To make matters worst, Lips is now only a head in a jar, kept alive by complex machines on his trolley. It doesn't take long for the mob to find them and we end up with a gun show. The highlight of this tale has to be the blitzers. Each man has a bomb implanted in them that can register their emotions, at the first thought of surrender the bomb goes off killing the blitzer instantly.
- Sob Story- Set on the highways of MC-1, Dredd investigates an out of control Mo-pad (caravan home of the future, used by 18 million people). Inside Dredd finds a murder and robbery has happened and that it has links to a show called Sob Story. A show where the viewers send money after hearing a sad tale. Downside to this, is that the show gives out the contestants address. Meaning over 800 million people would know their location! And it would seem one of them was smart enough to realise this guy would be rich soon. Highlight of this strip is the fact that Dredd doesn't solve the mystery!
- Sob Story Part 2- I weirdly couldn't find a title for strip but it is a continuation of the earlier one, so I went with Part 2 (original I know). In this issue Dredd is attempting to capture the Sob Story Murders. To do so he has coerced 'Otto Sump' to help him. Otto is the ugliest man alive in MC-1. Unsurprisingly he receives a lot of viewer support and money and soon attracts the attention of the the would be murders. But lucky for Otto Dredd is there to strike. Soon the gang are either dead or capture and Otto is left to count his money in peace. I know this isn't the last will see of Otto and I find this character super intriguing but more about him when it comes around. Overall sob story was a fun two parter, pretty much a filler piece but raises questions about real life shows, like Jerry Springer etc, That use unfortunates for their own personal gain.
- The Great Muldoon- In this strip we head North of the city to an area that houses the 'Little Bowl'. The show today will feature 'The Great Muldoon', diving through solid steel into a water barrel! Of course Dredd is not so keen on the idea and attempts to shut it down; only to find out that Deputy Chief Judge Pepper has signed off on it. Muldoon's plan is to use a Particle Converter to allow him to pass through the steel. Unsurprisingly it doesn't go to plan and we are left we a cheesy Dredd one liner that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Sort strip, complete filler with a lack of any real story a bit of a let down.
- The Invisible Man- Dredd and the City of MC-1 is being blackmailed by 'The Invisible Man'. As each crime gets bigger, so does Dredd's frustration. In one attempt to capture the perp, Dredd riot foams an entire square only to find out the guy was miles away within seconds. Lucky for Dredd he gets a tip of that leads him to Doonan. Doonan is a cleaner who works at 'Inter-Time', a company that specializes in time machines. But the machine being used by Doonan actually allows him to slow time around himself. So a hour in Doonan's time is mere seconds to Dredd. Dredd has only one chance to stop Doonan, can the lawman shoot faster than Doonan can push a button? I really liked this two part strip. It showed Dredd on a back foot and also showed him suffering from frustration. I want to see more of this!
- Palais De Boing- A new craze is sweeping the City. Boing! The 22nd Century marvel that turns people into Human Pinballs. The Judges were soon to pick up on the possible dangers of Boing! so they enforced the rule that it could only be used in designated arenas called Palais de Boing. Basically a massive Pinball table. But soon Boingers, were practicing their sport outside and it wasn't long before deaths occurred. Cool fun story, once again a very short tale, but has a lot going on. Would love to see more of Boing! in the future.
- Death of a Judge- Boredom is a common problem in MC-1 and can be a real danger in the city. When Boom, Nick and Zit felt bored, they formed 'The Hellfire Club' and imagined they were real criminals, going on a crazy drive. After being pulled over by Judge Harkness, things turned real ugly after Zit kills the Judge. We then discover that her training partner a Judge Bryce was actually in love with Harkness (something forbidden by the Justice System) and he wants revenge! Dredd soon has to make a hard choice save the perps or let Bryce break the law.
- Night of the Bloodbeast- This B-movie inspired tale is set within the 'Enid Blyton' Block on the North side of MC-1. A monster is prowling her halls and only Dredd and can stop it. What we soon discover is that the monster is in fact a deformed Klegg, left behind after the rule of Cal. Unfortunately for the Klegg he was caged by some stupid citizens and left to get hungry and feral. Unsurprisingly his hunger leads Urk the Klegg on a killing frenzy. Great tale and a sad one, if the citizens had informed the Judges maybe Urk, would have been dealt with in a better more humane way. Instead Urk was made feral and left no choice but to seek out food.
- The Great Plasteen Disaster- In MC-1 everything is made out of Plasteen: Roads, clothes Signs, buildings, cars, bikes, radios, everything! So when a Plasteen eating Bacteria comes off an inter-space vessel, Dredd fears the worst and rightly so. Soon citizens are becoming naked in the street, cars are crashing and roads collapse. As the cost of damages mounts Dredd begins his investigation into the cause. His first stop is the Headquarters of Inter-Space and it's owner KK Danvers. Danvers' lawyers refuse Dredd entry as he is in isolation following an operation. But when a mob bursts in demanding compensation, Denvers' isolation is soon broken and the billionaire dies within seconds. Turns out his new heart was made from Plasteen. This is another fun story that I feel is social commentary on our own plastic demands. What would happen to us if plastic no longer existed?
- The Black Plague- Finally a mini epic tale. Out in the Cursed Earth a new strain of mutant spider has evolved. They're need to feed complies them forward eating everything in their path. Soon the mutie township is under attack and with the help of Dredd they plan to make a stand. After hours of holding back the horde the spiders give up and head in a new direction. Straight to MC-1! It's soon a race against time, can Dredd stop the spiders or is MC-1 lost. Great mini epic tale, had some fun muties in it and was fast paced as well as fun. Great tale.
- The Day Barney went Haywire- 'Barney' is the name of the city hall computer. Given a soothing voice and a smile, he is the human face of MC-1 government. Barney helps the Citizens of MC-1 run their lives so when he goes wrong Grud help Judge Dredd. Again a very short one strip tale of Christmas coming early at Des O'Connor block. Barney is attempting to make all the citizens happy, but can humans ever be truly happy?
- Uncle Umpty's Magic Candy!- Umpty Candy is the most popular candy of the 22nd century, so popular it can cause riots. Uncle Umpty has discovered the most addictive candy recipe, ever to be made. It's so addictive that even machines can't get enough. The downside to such a product is the withdrawals and soon the Justice Department is fearing the worst. With no answer to the problem the Judges declare that Uncle Umpty is dead and his recipe has died with him. In truth though, poor Uncle Umpty is loaded into a spacecraft and banished from Earth! Such a funny ending to the tale. I was expecting the candy to be filled with sugar or drugs, but instead it was just too tasty. The fact that machines couldn't resist either made it even more funny. Do feel sad for Uncle Umpty though.
- The Boy who would be king- Albert isn't your normal four year old Mega City kid. With an ability to absorb knowledge, Albert was speaking 37 languages and making a fortune on the stock market. But soon his thirst for knowledge became a thirst for power. Having declared himself King of MC-1, Albert was forcing the Judges to ban New Years Eve or he would set off five H-Bombs. Pretty average tale, nothing too special. Feels like a first attempt at the PJ Maybe character, child genius gone evil etc..
- Judge Minty- Sometimes when a Judge gets too old (a rare thing in MC-1), their Judgement and reaction speed becomes diminished. Sadly for Judge Minty these problems almost cost him his life. Whilst hunting down the Kovak mob with Dredd, Minty is out gunned and injured. Whilst recovering in hospital Minty has no choice but to step down and retire. Retired Judges have only two options open to them: 1) Become a tutor or 2) Take the long walk. Minty choses the Long Walk in the Cursed Earth and for the first time in 2000AD we hear the line: "Take Law to the Lawless- Until Death". This is great tale and shows the human side to the Judges. Better let this tale even got a fan made film that starts were the story finishes so follow this LINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Alien Seeds- A new craze is taking MC-1 by storm. Grow your own aliens! These aliens are a plant based lifeform, that start life off as a plant. In the second stages they become sentient lifeforms and need feeding. It's normally at this stage that citizens throw their pet aliens into the street, leading to a massive pest problem. Soon the seeds are banned, but the problem continues to worsen. It's left up to Dredd to find out the producer and shut them down for good.
- Judge Death- He's finally here! Judge Death has arrived in MC-1. But not only do we
- Blood of Satanus- Satanus is back (first appeared in the Cursed Earth Saga). Lab assistant Ratfinkle, has dreams of being a scientist. Sadly for Ratfinkle he is just a lackey for the real scientists. But this all changes when he gets his hands on a vial of Satanus' blood. Slowly feeding the blood to his unfortunate neighbour Rex Peters, Ratfinkle watches as poor Rex transforms into a half man half T-Rex monster. Soon the T-Rex side controls poor Rex and with a feral need to feed; Rex kills his wife and soon Ratfinkle in order to control his blood lust. Soon Dredd is on the scene and hunting down Rex through the back streets of MC-1. This is a pretty sad tale as Rex and his wife were the rarity in MC-1, they were happy! They both had jobs, money and a stable life, but Ratfinkle ruined it for them..
- Dr Panic (annual 1979)- Some madman is attempting to kill off the dregs of MC-1. Soon Dredd is on the case and is lead to a weird arcade where you can win fortune. But first you must wager your life! Pretty much a filler tale, that really shows it's age. I'm sure why it's in here as I know it's in the unrestricted files. Bad way to end the book.
Ultimately Judge Dredd the Complete Case Files Volume 3, is made up of filler tales. We've gone from multi issue Epics like Cursed Earth and Cal, to one strip wonders. I think what 2000ad was attempting was to show us life in MC-1 and I feel they successed. Most of the tales seemed rushed, but at the same time I enjoyed nearly all of them. Just wish they had maybe given them two issues per story instead of one. Highlights from this volume include: Father Earth, Judge Minty, The Black Plague and Judge Death. But compared to the last volume I have been left wanting longer tales, so I can only score this a 3 out of 5.