The Apocalypse War remains an all-time fan-favourite Dredd series. One of the epic, universe-altering, year-long episodes that 2000AD published back in 1982 (which you’ll find in Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 05), it was a devastating examination of the potential horror of nuclear armageddon, told at a time when the United States and Russia could easily have mirrored this fiction.
The effects of the war echoed through the years, both inside the Dredd universe and in the stories told about it. This is a collection of some of the more recent stories inspired by the series, and mostly revolve around Dredd ranging deep into Sov territory and facing the horrors he finds there.
It’s great to see John Wagner and Alan Grant’s successors bring new stories spinning off from the bitter relationship between Megacity 1 and the Sov Bloc, and see Wagner himself revisit some veterans from the original story in a poignant tragedy. Also included are a vengeful special ops mission, a complex three-way battle over precious Siberian resources, then a couple of stories that chart Dredd’s arduous journey home, including a ghostly horror story right on the edge of the crater caused by the bomb the Megacity Judges dropped on East-Meg One.
These may not be the finest examples of Dredd stories ever written but the theme is a good reason for a collection. If, like most Dredd fans, you enjoyed the Apocalypse War, you’ll enjoy this revisit, though there’s nothing here that’s quite so dramatic or overwhelmingly world changing as the war that inspired it.