For this review I am going to break it up into two parts as this is a crazy large comic and it would take a huge amount of reading and writing to do it justice.
Lucky for us (but mostly me) this book can be easily broken down into two separate story arcs: The Cursed Earth Saga and The Day the Law Died. So without further ado here is part one which we will be called.........
The Cursed Earth Saga
This story arc was the first true epic tale for Judge Dredd, lasting over a staggering twenty two issues. It would introduce the readers to the world beyond Mega City-One, which is truly diverse and scary. We get a glimpse of Mega-City Two and treated to an in depth view of The Cursed Earth. Gone are the massive towers and homes of the citizens, gone is the high tech gadgets of Justice Department, all that exists is the burning atomic man made hell and the creatures that exist there. So let's dive in and enjoy!
Highlight: Dredd's friend Red succumbing to the 2T(FRU)T plague and attempting to eat Assistant Grand Judge Fodder! Also the fact that all victims chant tutti fruit.
Story: Into the Darkness- Dredd seeks his last team member: Spikes Harvey Rotten (see Complete Case Files 1). A harden criminal serving life for being in a motorcycle gang.
Highlight: The K2001 Land Raider a four wheel drive, thermo-nuclear engined, tank armed with a flamethrower and machine guns. This then connects to the Killdozer, a more heavily armed tank equipped with nemesis rockets, cannons, laser guns, two quasar bikes and is nuclear blast proof.
Story: The Devil's Lapdogs- In the town of Deliverance crime is judged by the Lawgiver and one unlucky couple have been sentenced to be eaten alive by the Devil's Lapdogs.
Highlight: The Devil's Lapdogs- Mutated Rats that live on a Garbage belt carried across the desert by atomic winds.
Story: King Rat- The mutant rats are coming for Deliverance and Dredd is all that stands in their way.
Highlight: Lawgivers classic ending at the hands of the Devil's Lapdogs.
Story: The Mutie Mountains- Dredd and his team have arrived at Mount Rushmore, but whose face is that on the mountain?
Highlight: Brother Morgar self installed leader of the Mutie Brotherhood. Wears a rat as hat piece and owns a rare and powerful La-Saw (think ufo flying saw blade).
Story: Dark Autumn- Dredd and his team are now being relentlessly chased by the Mutie Brotherhood. Their escape leads them to Novar. But will he aid them against Morgar's forces?
Highlight: Novar a cursed earth mutant who enjoys building trees from scrap metal and using his powers of telekinesis.
Story: Night of the Vampire- In a backwards town near the ruined Fort Knox, townfolk are being drained of blood. But who's behind these strange killings.
Highlight: How ancient myths get corrupted for a new modern setting,
Story: The Sleeper Awakes- In future Kentucky vampire medical robots collect blood for their sleeping master. President Robert L. Booth! Will Dredd let the Hillbillies kill the last President of America?
Highlight: Snap, Crackle and Pop the Vampire Medical Droids. This unlikely trio of medical droids named after a popular cereal.
Story: The Slayriders- 12 days into the mission and Dredd has reached the Mississippi River. The once tourist attracting river, is now a blazed with petrol, pollutants and nuclear waste. To cross it, Dredd has to employ slavers. But when one alien attempts to flee, can Dredd sit idle and watch as the Slayriders hunt down the slave?
Highlight: Tweak an alien ant eater who loves eating rocks..
Highlight: The Slayrider General, a goat headed mutant armed with a Power Sword and riding a spiky giant mutant lizard! What else could I pick as highlight?
Story: The Coming of Satanus!- The team are caught in a dino stampede. But what has caused them to run?
Highlight: Dinosaurs, must be a throw back from my youth. But I love me a dinosaur.
Story: For Whom the Bell Tolls- Dredd has been caught by the local town folk and is to be sacrificed to the Great Satanus.
Highlight: Flashbacks of Satanus life. Gotta love a baby T-Rex.
Story: Picnic at Black Rock- Dredd escapes being Satanus lunch and declares Repentance to be razed to the ground.
Highlight: Claw fights- Think illegal dog fights but with Velociraptors!!
Story: Black Sabbath- Dredd has condemned Repentance to be razed and what better than using Satanus to do most of the work.
Highlight: Bull Cannon the leader of Repentance having a giant T-Rex tooth through his head lol.
Story: Loser's Leap- The Team has made it all the way to Nevada, hoping to find a safe hold in Las Vegas.
Highlight: Las Vegas Judges aka the Mafia. After the wars the Mafia removed killed the Judges and brought back gambling and a justice system based on the drawing of a card.
Story: The God-Judge- Judge Dredd has arrived in Las Vegas, which has been taken over by the Mafia and turned into a gambling nightmare. After a fight with the God-Judge, Dredd is forced to take the Losers' Leap.
Highlight: Story becomes like a gangster movie. So Tommy guns and gangster cars.
Story: Tweak's Story- We find out about Tweak's past and how he managed to come to earth.
Highlight: Para-medic Storm Troopers heavily armed and armoured doctors. These guys are badass! IF you can't cure it, kill it!
Highlight: Tweak pretending to be stupid in an attempt to save his planet from the human race.
Story: Legion of the Damned- Dredd reaches Death Valley, were a War Memorial for the Battle of Armageddon 2071ad is erected. But they are not alone.
Highlight: General Blood 'n' Nuts- A decapitated war droid on a track unit. Leader of the Legion of the Damned the elite army unit of President Booth's army.
Story: Dredd's Last Stand- In a ruined fort outside of Mega-City Two Dredd, Spikes and Tweak fight a desperate battle against the Legion of the Damned.
Highlight: The last stand of Spikes Harvey Rotten, the billionaire goes out in blaze of glory and style.
Story: The Big Kiss Off- Judge Dredd is in the outskirts of Mega-City Two. He's beaten, dehydrated and facing down the past battles within the Cursed Earth. Will he survive or fall so close to victory.
Highlight: The return of Tweak. The furry alien arrives shortly after Dredd and is given his freedom to return home :)
Well that's it for part one and the review of the Cursed Earth saga.
But what a saga indeed. Early on we have to deal with a far fetched disease name 2T(FRU)T, but then we are blessed with a great epic tale of mini tales building up to a heart wrenching finale. Along the way we meet some strange and quirky villains and fall in love with some great heroes too. I feel this has it all and is a must read story arc! So now I feel there is only one amount of Dredd's I can give this the full 5 eagles!
Have you read this arc? Or better let have you read the missing stories to do with some burger companies? Let me know in the comments.