Comic Review 03 // Judge Dredd Complete Case Files 01
Today the post is all about Judge Dredd: Judge Dredd the Complete Case Files- 01 Digital Edition.
It is a long post so hold on tight. Judge Dredd the Complete Case Files 01, is a complete collection of stories from 2000ad. Starting with Dredd's first appearance in Prog 2 and finishing with prog 60. It also includes as a bonus: Bank Raid from the 1981 Annual and the Walter the Wobot strips. This review is longer than the rest, so you have been warned.
I will be breaking the book into the different stories and will give the title, a brief overview and the highlights for me. It will be brief because I do not wish to give out too much of each story, also this post would be as long as War and Peace. I will then finish off with a quick overall review.
Simple hey? So let's get going.
"IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE LAW...
For almost thirty years, one man has dominated the British comic scene. He is judge, jury and executioner, a merciless far-future lawman delivering justice with an iron fist on the mean streets of Mega-City One. He is Judge Dredd!
Now you can re-discover the roots of this legendary character in this vast and Thrill-packed series of graphic novels collecting together all of Dredd's adventures in chronological order, complete and uncut!"
Story: Judge Whitey- Following a murder of a fellow Judge Dredd is called in to track down the killer.
Highlight: Devil's Island- A prison built in the center of a massive traffic island. The Island itself stands in the center of a vast multi lane intercity highway, with the only one way off by air. It's inhabiting inmates are all serving life sentences.
Story: The New You- A perp on the run from Dredd uses a face changing clinic (high advance version of Plastic Surgery), but is it enough to fool Dredd?
Highlight: The New You- Is a face changing clinic. The process only takes minutes to rewrite your DNA and give you a new face! A scary thought for most people, but could see the appeal.
Highlight: Mutants- First time we hear about the Cursed Earth and that mutants exist outside the Mega-City borders. This Brotherhood of mutants seem to be a stable strain of mutation. As they all seem to be afflicted in the same way, a weakness to bright light or sunlight in general. Suggesting they maybe come from an underground colony.
Story: Krong- Dredd investigates a string of murders, that seem to all be linked to a b-movie monster studio.
Highlight: Maria- We are introduced to Dredd's Italian cleaner, who costs twice as much as a robot cleaner. In the future it is almost impossible to have a job, so is Dredd being nice?
Story: Frankenstein II- Dredd witnesses the theft of an ambulance and tracks down the culprits.
Highlight: Learning that transplant surgery is illegal due to it being too successful at prolonging life!
Highlight: The Statue of Justice- A mammoth statue of a Mega-City One Judge, used to prove their unyielding resolve and power. Beside it and now dwarfed by it's shadow stands the Statue of Liberty a slowly crumpling relic of a bygone era.
Story: Antique Car Heist- Dredd deals with some perps attempting to steal, 20th century gasoline cars.
Highlight: Dredd- Dredd removes his helmet for the first time ever. Tho sadly the imaged is censored due to his face being so horrific! What could be under that helmet?
Story: Robots- Dredd is tasked with protecting Robots, but who will protect whom?
Highlight: The Trans-Atlantic Tunnel- Joining North America and Europe. The tunnel spans the Black Atlantic sea, with one entrance in Mega-City One and the other in Brit-Cit (think a crazier version of the Euro Tunnel).
Story: Robot Wars- It's outright rebellion! The Robots of Mega-City One are rebelling and over throwing the oppressive meat bags. Only one man can save the city, any guesses who?
Highlight: Walter the Robot- A simple Robot who works in the Justice HQ canteen. He only wants to please the Judges, but it never seems to work out for him.
Story: Brainblooms- Dredd is on the trail of some bizarre illegal plants, that look like heads!
Highlight: Mrs Mahaffy- An one hundred year old bio-criminal a.k.a Green Fingers Ma Mahaffy. She's illegally selling Brainblooms on the black market and has even trained them to emit a hypnotic noise that renders people suggestible.
Story: Mugger's Moon- Dredd goes after muggers and bystanders alike, on this full-moon night.
Highlight: None really. A bit of a filler story, but we do see heat seeker rounds used for the first time.
Highlight: Max Normal- Max Normal is one of Dredd's informer, who describes him as a pinstriped freak. He is also the only man in Mega-City One who can call Dredd "baby". A shuggy champion and an all round groovy kid, we will learn a lot more about him.
Story: The Solar Sniper- The streets are heating up for Dredd, when he draws the attention of the Solar Sniper.
Highlight: The Solar gun- Powered by the sun's rays it can incinerate even a tank!
Story: Mr Buzzz- Dredd arrests a futuristic murder gang, before hunting down their insane leader Mr Buzzz.
Highlight: Mr Buzzz a mutant with no eyes, but can use a buzzing sound like sonar.
Story: Smoker's Crime- Some bad habits lead Dredd straight to the criminals.
Highlight: Smokatorium- As part of the pollution laws, smoking on the streets is a crime in Mega-City One. The city Smokatorium's are the only buildings where smoking is allowed and users are required to wear helmets to help them breathe within the toxic atmosphere.
Story: The Wreath Murders- A string of horrific murders are taking place in MC-1. The only clue being left behind is a wreath. Can Dredd uncover the villains?
Highlight: M.A.C- The Judges central computer M.A.C stands for Macro-Analysis Computer. This system keeps all Judges up to date on crimes and criminal activity.
Story: You Bet Your Life- In the future life is dull so here comes a new game show to light up your nights.
Highlight: Society- We get to see the dark side of MC-1 life. With no need to work and a lack of space, citizens will do and watch anything for entertainment. Almost seems like Big Brother.
Story: Dream Palace- Dredd must prevent a crime he witnessed in a Perps dream.
Highlight: Justice Day Parade- This yearly parade features floats: one displays the Covenant of Judges, the second marked In Memoriam, the third honours the Riot Judges and the fourth a huge statue of a Judge carrying the Book of Law and The Sword of Justice. Either side of the parade is a honor guard of Judges.
Highlight: Rookie Judge Giant- His father was the Captain of the Harlem Heroes Aeroball team and having recently graduated as a cadet with full honors, is paired with Dredd to complete his Rookie training. Initially Dredd fails him, but in a moment of softness rarely shown by Dredd, he gets a second chance.
Story: The Neon Knights- Dredd takes on a Klan, who seek out robots for revenge killings following the robot wars.
Highlight: Walter the Wobot- Dredd's unrelenting servant gets into even more trouble.
Story: The Return of Rico- Dredd's clone brother leaves Titan with only one thought; revenge on the man who judged him.
Highlight: Rico- Cloned from the same genetic stock as Dredd. As a cadet, Rico was an excellent marksman even better than Dredd. But soon he became a bad apple, taking bribes, running protection rackets and killing people who couldn't pay up. Dredd ultimately arrests him and sends him to Titan penal colony for 20 years. There Rico is surgically altered to work in the vacuum of space and swears vengeance on Dredd.
Story: Devil's Island/Return of Whitey- Whitey escapes the inescapable Devil's Island.
Highlight: Einstein- A fellow inmate on Devil's Island. Einstein manages to build a mini-weather control system in the prisons workshop (seems like a bad idea giving them a workshop), with his invention he manages to call in a snow storm and stop all traffic in the area. Aiding in Whitey's escape.
Story: Komputel- A self aware hotel causes havoc!
Highlight: Singing cars- The latest fad in MC-1
Story: Walter's Secret Job- Walter is up to something and Dredd plans on finding out what.
Highlight: Walter the Wobot- Once again this little guy adds some humour.
Highlight: Dredd gets called Old-stoney-face for the first time.
Story: The Troggies- Whilst investigating a series of disappearances Dredd himself becomes a victim.
Highlight: Slick Willy- The leader of the Troggies and a Teddy Boy, judging by his style. Slick Willy is planning to destroy MC-1, from underneath and is kidnapping citizens to act as his slave workforce.
Story: Billy Jones- Dredd and the now fully trained Judge Giant go in search of kidnapped Billy Jones.
Highlight: Judge Giant- Another appearance of this fan favourite character, this time as a full Judge.
Story: Monkey Business- Apes have been given increased intelligence in the future. But sadly some choose to follow their human counter parts and become criminals and gangsters.
Highlight: The Ape Gang- Lead by Don Uggie Apelino, in this story we also meet Fast Eeek and Joe Bananas to Hench-apes. All in Gangster outfits and tommy guns.
Story: The Mega-City 5000- Can Dredd stop this reckless and dangerous sport.
Highlight: Spikes "Harvey" Rotten- Leader of the Muties bike gang. An excellent and skilled biker, Harvey even uses a riot shield as a ramp to jump a judge's barricade.
Luna One Adventures
Story: Luna 1- Dredd gets appointed Judge-Marshal of Luna-1 and makes himself a prime target for the local gangs.
Highlight: Judge Tex- Judge Tex is the permanent Deputy-Marshal of Luna-1. He is a Texan, also a coward who declines to assist Dredd in arresting criminals.
Story: Red Christmas- Dredd's spending Xmas on Luna-1 as Judge-Marshal, when Walter gets kidnapped!
Highlight: Geek Gorgon- A killer with an axe and his favourite method of killing is by beheading. His face was burned in a fire three years ago, which has led to his slight unhinged-ness. Dredd sentenced him to imprisonment on the Moon but he has escaped and kidnapped Walter. He sends Dredd an ultimatum and attempts to behead the Judge.
Story: 22nd Century Futsie- It's New Year's Eve on Luna-1, when an office party goes wild!
Highlight: What makes a Futsie flip (gives me loads of ideas for characters).
Story: Meet Mr Moonie- Following on from the Futsie case. Dredd decides to visit Mr. Moonie.
Highlight: C.W. Moonie-He first landed on the moon in the spring of 2014 and was looking for signs of lunar life. He climbed what is now called Moonie's Peak and discovered its neighboring river of mercury. Here he found signs of life and claimed a ten million credit prize, but it was a microscopic virus which he himself fell victim to. It became known as Moonie's Virus. Moonie had to hide himself away and hasn't been seen for over forty years. He used his prize money to buy, cheat and steal for himself a monopoly on the Moon. His ranch contains a Museum of the Moon, with which he attempts to kill Dredd in.
Highlight: Rowena- Beatrice Spock's robot. She tries to alert Dredd to crimes against her mistress. Rowena appears to have feeling for Walter.
Story: The Oxygen Desert- Dredd recounts the events that left him dying of asphyxiation on the lunar surface.
Highlight: Apollo Territory- Outside the domed civilized area of Luna-1 and along a major road building site are the Hills of Ipsimus, home to an array Badlands gangs.
Story: The First Luna Olympics- The Olympic games come to Luna-1, causing Dredd way too many problems.
Highlight: Judge Cosmovich- A Sov Judge. He attends the athlete's inspections at the first Lunar Olympics on Luna-1 with Judge Kolb. When he catches Zilch's possible murderer, he intends to kill him. Dredd stops him, Kolb is killed and Cosmovich declares war on Luna-1.
Story: Walter the Wobot: Tap Dancer- Walter prepares for a fancy ball.
Highlight: Walter the Wobot- Taking an oil bath to relax and get ready for the party.
Story: Luna 1 War- The Sov-Cities declare war on Luna-1!
Highlight: The Sov-Judges (personally love the Sov Judges).
Highlight: Robots are made of metal and are seemingly still prone to rusting.
Story: The Face Change Crimes- Dredd is on the search for some bank robbers.
Highlight: Judge Dredd uses a face changing machine, but then reverts back to his old face.
Story: Walter the Wobot: Walter's Brother- Walter gets into deep trouble and accused of a bank robbery.
Highlight: Walter the Wobot- The scene of him drinking Oilade!
Story: Elvis- A computer controlled car called Elvis goes on a killing spree.
Highlight: Elvis- "I've never strangled you before, how do you like it, Dave? I find it...quite pleasant..."
Story: The Oxygen Board- A gang swaps Luna-1's oxygen for Tranq gas to rob the colony.
Highlight: Learning about a future breakfast cereal called Plasti-Flakes. Yep made of recycled plastic.
Story: Walter the Wobot: Radio Walter- Walter appears on pirate radio.
Highlight: O.B. Noxious- He is a Radio Funk DJ. He is fined one million credits for broadcasting without a licence and declares himself bankrupt.
Story: Full Earth Crimes- Luna-1 experiences a full Earth, which can mean only one thing.....Lunatics everywhere.
Highlight: Judge Che- Using a whip whilst on duty. Whatever will Dredd think?
Story: Walter the Wobot: Master-Mind- Walter becomes a contestant on a TV quiz show. What could possibly go wrong?
Highlight: Herman Schicklegruber- an interior decorator and contestant on Masterbrain. He appears to be wearing a World War II German SS uniform and a toupee. He objects to Walter's involvement in the program and Magnus Magnanimus drops him into a pit of crocodiles.
Story: Return to Mega-City- Dredd returns to the big Meg, but is reluctant to arrest anyone.
Highlight: Maria- Dredd's chef showing affection towards the man of stone.
Story: Firebug- Dredd is back on the streets and hunting down an arsonist.
Highlight: Charles Q. McCracken- Known as Chuck, he is the owner of several buildings in Mega-City One. He has been in financial trouble recently and set fire to ten of his buildings to collect the insurance money. He is nicknamed the Firebug. Dredd submits his top layer of skin for chemical testing and when the results show traces of petrol based fire-raiser, he arrests him for ten counts of arson and 718 counts of homicide.
Now as you can guess these stories are all written in the 70/80's and in all truth Dredd and his city lack any real depth at this stage. For the first few tales Dredd is just a violent cop in an even more violent city, this can be witnessed in the first 8 stories. Nothing over the top happens, other than Dredd cracking skulls and beating criminals (sometimes with a bad catchphrase ending). But as the book progresses, we start to to understand that to survive as a Judge you have to let go of some of your humanity (a problem some Judges suffer from). Let at the same time, we also see a softer side to Dredd. Meeting his long time suffering housekeeper Maria, as well as Dredd adopting Walter Wobot. This starts to show Dredd as a more rounded individual, struggling to uphold laws in a crazy time.
If you are completely new to Dredd, I would not recommend this book as a starting point. As the city lacks some depth along with Dredd. But if you are a long time fan this is great to see how the Lawman started out and how far he has come.