The previous collection of Case Files is a tough act to follow but this volume just about manages it. Early on we see two-fifths of the Angel Gang on the streets of Mega City One, looking for revenge for the death of their family. There is a superb irregular series in which a group of criminal masterminds think up new and increasingly bizarre ways to commit the perfect crime (all foiled by Dredd, of course). There are forays into the irradiated Cursed Earth, crawling with mutants; two alien invasions; and some classic light-hearted comic relief after the horror of The Apocalypse War with stories like The Stupid Gun.
We love how much the war is referenced in this book, making the continuity between stories one of this series’ greatest strengths. Here the story writing is so bold, so confident, so imaginative and so concise, that you can’t help but love the overall package, even if individual stories don’t work for you.
The art varies across the book, with some newer artists lining up alongside Dredd veterans like Ezquerra and Smith. This doesn’t help the coherence of the art but it’s a good job on the whole.
So the shorter story format is a pleasing way to follow up a long story like The Apocalypse War, but by spreading these stories into two, three and four parts, there’s still enough to them to make them engaging and interesting. Another classic Dredd period from the 2000AD archives.