Like last time it is in it's bold striking purple jacket, ringing in at 404 pages. The tales inside spann progs 208 till 270 (62 progs worths) it covers the Mob wars, the return of Judge Death and the Apocalypse war years of 2103-2104. I love this era of Judge Dredd as we see great artwork, stunning stories and the rise and fall of some great heroes and villains. For this book I had to break it down into three parts as it is a long one and this part is ultimately the Return of Judge Death arc.
Story: Judge Death Lives Part 1- Having spent the last few years imprisoned within Judge Anderson, Judge Death has waited patiently. That is until now, when a tourist of the Grand Hall of Justice releases him from his prison. Now carrying the essence of Death within him the poor citizen returns home to find his wife dead and the Dark Judges holding court in his home.
Highlight: The first ever panel showing Fire, Fear and Mortis is one of my favourite Brian Bolland panels ever. So creepy and atmospheric.
Story: Judge Death Lives Part 2- Judge Death, Fear, Fire and Mortis are loose within MC-1. Having erected a Shield the Dark Judges start sentencing the citizens of Billy Carter Block to death! As Dredd and the other Judges arrive on scene they find just pure carnage as the citizen try to flee the block and burn up on the shield!
Highlight: Seeing the Dark Judges powers in action, purely horrific and mindblowing. How will the Judges stop them?
Story: Judge Death Lives Part 3- The Dark Judges are racking up a body count like no other. Whilst trapped outside a frustrated Dredd is visited by a recovering Anderson, who informs him of the other three Dark Judges. Using her willpower Anderson is able to get herself and Dredd through the shielding into the besieged block.
Highlight: The last stand of Billy Carter Citi-Def in Peanut Park. Full of hope and trust in their guns and ultimately they barely scratch them or slow them down.
Story: Judge Death Lives Part 4- Dredd and Anderson are now in Billy Carter Block and searching for the shield device only problem is Judge Fire and Fear stand between them and it.
Highlight: My highlight is also a lowlight. Dredd defeats Fire by trapping him under concrete all fine and well. But with Judge Fear he does his classic Fist of Dredd line which is pretty badass. Unfortunately for me all seems a bit too easy. They are supernatural beings brought down with ease by a meer man! I would have preferred to have seen Anderson stepping up to the plate and aiding more help than just the odd shot from a lawgiver.
Story: Judge Death Lives Part 5- With the shield down the full might of MC-1 Justice is hitting Billy Carter Block. With one of their number down the three remaining Dark Judges flee MC-1 via a dimension jumping device. Not wanting to miss their chance Dredd and Anderson follow using Judge Fears dimension jumper and end up on Deadworld, home of the Dark Judges. Here an epic battle takes places resulting in Anderson harnessing the victims to finish off the Dark Judges. But can the dead truly die?
Highlight: The statue erected showing the spot of the last living soul to be judged. Who exactly built it?
Story: Diary of a Mad Citizen Part 1- Kweeg has gone Futsie and as his diary reveals he has vowed to kill anyone who annoys him today! First up was his friend from the Citi-Def, followed soon after by a poor joe who knocked into him on the pedway, then a passing street Judge, followed by an explosion at a fuel station, before finally killing his old boss who fired him! Quite the first day for Kweeg, but when an un-named Judge (I assume Dredd) pushes him Kweeg's mission changes focus.
Highlight: Putting his dead friend in the rubbish grinder! Such a sad way to end a friendship.
Story: Diary of a Mad Citizen Part 2- Kweeg has gone Futsie. Worst let he wants to kill Dredd and no one will stop him! After killing his taxi driver Kweeg finds himself heading back to the taxi station were he kills everyone! From here everything goes downhill as he attempts to out shoot Dredd! For his crimes Kweeg is sent to a Kook Cube for the rest of his life.
Highlight: There wasn't one really. Pretty sad ending for the villain, felt rushed and seemed weird it went on for two strips.
Highlight: The Gila-Munja. How best to describe them...Short, poison clawed hands and weird Conan hair. A tribe of Assassins from the Cursed Earth, their mutation has stabilized and they now use their abilities to kill for money.
Story: Assault on I-Block-4 Part 2- The Gila-Munja are within MC-1, now we get to see their skills in action and how quick they can break through an impenetrable building. Soon Dredd is alone facing off against three of the Cursed Earth mutants.
Highlight: Shaky Pete Coco even though he survived the assassination attempt Coco's heart ultimately fails him and technically the mobsters win.
Highlight: Aquaponic Farm growing Munce plants. Munce is the miracle food of the future but creepy looks like human heads!
Story: The Hotdog Run! Part 2- The Cadets have managed to chase down the marauders to an Aquaponic Munce farm, which is now under siege. To make matters worse the Marauders have a tank!
Highlight: Cadet Spode fails and is forced to head back to MC-1, before leaving the Academy. Life is hard for a cadet Judge.
Story: The Hotdog Run! Part 3- With the Judges hot on their heels the Marauders makes a fateful error and enter the territory of the Gila-Munja. Unsurprisingly casualties are high and a promising cadet dies. With their mission complete Dredd passes Judgement on the surviving Cadets passing only two of them.
Highlight: The Gila-Munja are back and scary as ever.
And with that tale we bring this part to a close. The next tale is Block Mania and the opening of the Apocalypse War Saga. What to say on this section of the comic..highlights include the artwork on the Judge Death strips, but not so happy how easily dealt the villains were. I would have preferred to have seen it go a strip or two longer and have a more epic showdown. Also the diary of a mad citizen had a rushed ending to it which was a shame, made it feel like filler than the in slight into a citizens life. Hotdog run entered the Cursed Earth so it was a given that I would enjoy it! Overall this section is a solid 4 out of 5. Now onto the war!