Judge Dredd Featuring Judge Death
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Judge Dredd Featuring Judge DeathJudge Dredd is an institution in British comics. One of an organisation of 22nd century lawmen, he has the power to arrest, try and sentence criminals on the spot. Taking the spotlight in 2000AD, a weekly comic anthology, Dredd has entertained generations of British comic fans.
This book brings together one of the classic teams to grace the series. Writer John Wagner has filled decades worth of Dredd scripts, though everything in this collection is from the first three years or so. And artist Brian Boland is partly responsible for the classic style of the character and remains one of the fans' favourite artists.
For the graphic novel reader, the five or six page per episode format of the original stories, with a cliffhanger at the end and recap at the beginning of each episode, gives this collection a disjointed feel. This is a necessary evil given the weekly publishing schedule of the comic in its original form. However, it doesn't detract from Wagner's awesome imagination, particularly in the Judge Death stories that make up part of this compilation.
The other stories in the book cover most of the single-issue pieces illustrated by Boland. This makes for a bit of a disjointed collection, as the stories are collected from various times in Dredd's history. However, Boland's artwork remains wonderful throughout. Compared to the other Dredd artists at the time, there's a distinctive realism to Boland's work that brings the story to life.
This is seminal Dredd. The Judge Death stories have become legendary and, although not as influential, the other tales showcase both Wagner's imagination and Boland's black and white illustration. The biggest problem is that there are large gaps between some of the stories making a disjointed narrative, so it's not a particularly good place to start if you aren't already familiar with Judge Dredd.
Originally published in
200AD 50-52, 57, 110, 120, 127, 149-151, 224-228
Brian Bolland fan site