Experiencing Early Dredd (A 2000 AD Review)

Several weeks ago I picked up 2000ad’s prog 2000, and given how new reader friendly it was, I was determined to familiarise myself with the worlds of 2000ad. To that end I purchased 3 trade paperbacks from 2000ad. I picked up Slaine: Warriors Dawn, Red Razors and Judge Dredd the Complete Case Files Volume 1.

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Judge Dredd Complete Case Files 01

Being most familiar with Judge Dredd, having seen the two film versions and having already read the Batman Judge Dredd crossovers, I dived right into Volume 1 of the Complete Case files.

Being a modern reader of mainly Marvel and DC Comics, I’m used to colour, but the early dredd’s being in black and white were still easy to read and the lack of colour actually enhanced the artwork in some respects. Not being artistically inclined I always feel like a massive dick for criticising art work, but the only downside (and not much of one at that) is that because there is a different artist each week (for practical reasons I know) I feel that the lack of continuity in terms of artwork is a little off putting at first, although once you get used to it, it does lend to the story and almost makes it seem as if Dredd’s world is being seen from many different points of view. No mention of the Artwork would be complete without mentioning the fantastic work of artist Brian Bolland (of Batman the Killing Joke fame), who to my mind stands out head and shoulders as the best artist of this volume.

 

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Brian Bolland’s Artwork

The writing flows naturally, and the dialogue feels natural, even when you factor in such things as Walter the Wobot’s (Judge Dredd’s speech impeded service droid)  massive lisp and the villainous tropes from characters such as Ricco Dredd and Call-Me-Kenneth, there are some exceptions such as Dredd’s landlady Maria (a somewhat stereotypical Italian Matriarch) and the less said about Judge Tex, the Luna Colony Deputy, the better.

These stories do paint a picture of a dystopia, struggling with overcrowding and crime and I loved every page of it, I will be investing in further volumes and you can look forward to future reviews, after reading this volume I can say that I am most definitely a converted Dredd Head and can’t wait for my next trip to Mega City One.

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