Book Review – Dredd 3D peaked my interest in learning more about the long running British comic. I had some exposure to Judge Dredd through crossovers and the DC attempt at publishing new adventures during my youth but never really felt like the character was something I wanted to read more about. After that dreadful Stalone movie I passed the Judge off as a joke and never looked into reading more about him.
The Mongoose Kickstarter (which lets be honest was really just a presale to garner attention, but good for them because the game looks like fun and I like the look of the sculpts) combined with the amazing new movie gave me reason to revisit the character and give him a second chance. A book that's been running since 1977 and still going strong has to be worth checking out. The special features from the blueray convinced me that I needed to read the original British work and not the attempts to "americanize/superheroize" the Judge.
Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01 covers his adventures from the 2000AD, Programs 2-60. While these were written in 1977 they still hold up fairly well, some of the costuming is a little dated but overall the stories are well written and clever. Most of the stories are self contained one shots but a few carry over for a few issues such as the Great Robot War in which a robot named Call me Kenneth instigates a rebellion of all the robot slaves and Dredd's six month visit to the moon to serve as marshal of the Luna 1 colony.
The printing is clean and crisp black and white with a decent quality uncoated paperstock. My only minor issue with the production quality of this collection is in the panels that span a full spread. Most of the text gets lost in the gutter due to the massive size of the spine on a collection this big.
I'm convinced that reading the original material is the only way to truly appreciate Judge Dredd. However this first collection is pretty disjointed and most of the stories are plays of pop culture at the time, so not all readers are going to love it. I have the next three case files to read and am looking forward to the books of the 1980's.
BONUS REVIEW – Over the weekend I took my daughter and her friend to go see Mama. This is the new Guillermo del Toro movie about two girls who are found after being lost in the woods for five years. After years of searching their artist uncle and rock star wife adopt the girls and try to give them a normal life. Unfortunately the thing that kept them alive for all those years won't let them go and craziness ensues.
The visuals for this movie are super creepy and set the atmosphere for the story. Rather than being the traditional gore fest modern horror movies have opted to become this relives more on disturbing images and sounds to set the tone. While there are plenty of sudden scares the movie isn't all that scary and instead languishes in the skin-crawling, grimey-feeling creepiness that del Toro is famous for.
While I enjoyed the film and thought it was well executed, the ending fell flat for me. I'm not going to spoil it for those who have yet to see the film, but it was pretty meh for an otherwise well executed film. If you're a fan of Pans Labyrinth or Hellboy then you should definitely check this out as the visuals almost make up for the lame ending.