Book Review - Judge Dredd Case Files #16

Book Review – Just wrapped up Judge Dredd Complete Case Files #16, slowly I'm making my was through the complete series. Judge Dredd was never readily available when I was a kid so I didn't know a whole lot about him other than it was the same style as the other British sci-fi I liked (40K, Necromunda). When the miniatures game came out I decided to track down the complete collections and read them from the beginning.

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Dead Tau ... Book Review

Dead Tau ... Book Review

Warhammer 40,000 – Ok so that's probably not the most accurate title for this review, but it's kinda catchy right. As part of my Damocles binge I recently finished the Space Marine Battles: Damocles and for the most part really enjoyed the book. It's a bit different from other books in the series as it is an anthology rather than a single story.

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Getting Raunchy - Judge Dredd Book Review

Book Review – Recently I finished reading Judge Dredd: The XXX Files. I picked this compilation book up because the cover art is really fun and kept catching my eye. I'm slowly reading the Complete Case Files but opted to take a break from them to read a stand alone compilation. 

Starting with the book itself, this is a nice trade paperback with a soft-touch finish on the cover which looks and feels great. The interior full color pages are printed on a nice glossy stock that reproduces the art well. This would look great on a coffee table as a conversation piece. (given you're ok with the content)

The stories inside are from mulitple time periods by different authors and illustrators, sharing the common theme of love, sex or other adult industries in Mega City One. Some of the stories are just plain weird like the Sex Olympics while others are a really compelling read with great art like the Jack the Ripper style sex-droid killer. Even the weird stories are an interesting read and provide a look into the seedier side of the Big Meg. 

I picked this up for some inspiration to finish up my Slippery Kitty Lounge terrain piece. The art definitly gives me some good ideas on how I should decorate the interior. The added bonus is I also have some ideas on possible story arcs to use once I can get my group back into playing the Judge Dredd Miniatures game.

If you're a fan of Judge Dredd this is a must read.

Comic Sans ...

Comic Sans ...

Random – As of late I've been reading a lot of graphic novels. I recently found that through our library collective I'm able to put holds on books from any library in the system and as it turns out that system has a bunch of comics. So I've taken a break from novels as I wait for the Horus Heresy stuff to be released in mass market paperback (I refused to pay more than $10 for bolter porn). I've been catching on on stuff that I missed.

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Judging the Aftermath ...

Book Review – As quickly as the Judge Dredd Complete Casefiles are being released in the US I'm picking them up and reading them. It bums me out that the next volume won't be released until February so I might have to splurge and get the British Editions.

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol 6 picks up where the last volume ended. In the aftermath of the Soviet Judge invasion Mega City One is in ruins. Most of these stories deal with the problems that arose from the city being destroyed. Some of my favorites deal with a Soviet Judge who doesn't realize the war is over. 

Once the aftermath is dealt with the stories fall back into the usual pattern I really liked the series which dealt with the Perfect Crime. Each episode dealt with a different "genius plan" which is ultimately foiled by Dredd.

The quality of this as with the other collections is pretty top notch and I highly reccomend them if you have any interest in Judge Dredd as a character or the Mongoose Publishing miniature game.

I Am the Law Comrade ...

Book Review – I just finished up reading Judge Dredd: The Complete Casefiles Volume 5. This is the fifth collection in the series and collects some major story arcs in the Judge Dredd Universe.

The first half of the book collects a series of shorts detailing the rackateers of Mega City One. Each story focuses on a particular type of crime perpetuated by the syndicates. Some of the more memorable ones are body leasers who put a loved one in cryogenic sleep as collateral for a loan. These stories are really fun and give a sense of what the Judges deal with on a day to day basis.

The second half of the book is dedicated to the Apocalypse War. This huge story line begins with Block Madness erupting all over Mega City One; think civil war with each giant block of people fighting against every other block. 

Questing for the Law

Book Review – Hmm ... I seem to be running out of clever law references, anyway I recently finished reading Judge Dredd the Complete Case File Volume 4. This volume continues the chronological adventures of "Britain's Favorite Comic Hero" (I wonder if that's true, is Judge Dredd as popular over there as Spider-man is here?) and is presented in black and white like the other volumes. This time around the paperstock seems to improved in quality and there's a soft touch UV coating on the cover. I hope this is the direction the rest of the collections go in as it just feels nicer.

Some big stories in this collection most of which is taken up by the Judge Child story which takes Judge Dredd into space searching for a child who is supposed to save the city in the future. It's a interesting story that introduces the Angel Gang, a band of Desperadoes from the outskirts of Texas City. During the interstellar chase Dredd visits numerous planets doing battle with various alien species as well as law breakers on colony worlds. Eventually Dredd catches up with the child and deems him evil abandoning the quest to return to Mega City One. 

For a story that took up most of the book this was a good read some of the chapters were better than others and some were just plan weird, which seems to be a thing for this book. The material from this story feels dated although the new Green Lantern cartoon is using a similar premise to tie it's stories together so I guess the idea still is relevant. 

Where the book shines is when Dredd is back in his element fighting crime in Mega City One. I really liked Chopper story and the Rat Fink stories. They carried on for a few issues but kept on point without getting to weird. 

My name isss .... Death

Book Review – Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 03 is the third book in the series that captures Judge Dredd's chronological adventures from the pages of 2000AD. This book seemed to be significantly thinner than the other volumes I picked up. The paper seemed to be of a lower grade stock as well as having a few less pages (unsuprisingly the MSRP is the same as the other volumes).

This volume introduces Judge Death and being from another dimension in which life is against the law. Creepy premise but the initial story wasn't as great as I though it was going to be and only took up three or four chapters of the total book. It's a little unimpressive since he's featured on the cover but still not a bad read, especially since the shorts are self-contained or carry over for and issue or two.

My favorite story in the collection is "Sob Story," in which a gang of killers is killing residents that live in mobile homes and setting the home on auto pilot so it can be years before the body is found. 

This collection features more one shot stories than the previous collections and I really enjoyed the volume as a whole.

I'm still the Law ...

Book Review – Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol 2 continues the adventures of everybodies favorite lawman. The second collection is more interesting than the first as it begins to tell more epic tales that introduce you to the insane world that is Mega City 1. 

The first of these tales is the Cursed Earth Saga. This tale has Judge Dredd leading a convoy to Mega City 2 (Essentially L.A.) to deliver a cure for the disease that is running rampant in the city. Unable to fly Judge Dredd has to trek across the radioactive wasteland that is the Cursed Earth. The stories are fun to read however due to some copy right issues several installments were not included in the collection. Apparently two of the story arcs had Dredd fighting against the descendants of McDonald's, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Honestly I'm really bummed about that and am trying to track down someplace to read these stories as they sound like a blast. The stories that are included in the collection have Dredd fighting dinosaurs, mutants, robots mecenaries, rat worshipers and the corupted judges of Las Vegas.

The next big epic in this collection is The Day the Law Died. In this story Judge Caligula becomes the Chief Judge and has a rein of terror. Fun story and I can see how they'd be fun to play in the tabletop game.

The rest of the collection has random one shots about Dredd patrols of Mega City 1.

Overall I enjoyed this collection a bit more than the first one. It's still crazy and off the wall (much like most comics from the late 1970's) but you can slowly see Dredd developing into the facist lawman that I've always known his character to be. I have a feeling the next volume will be even better, as the writers seem to be developing along with the characters.

I am the Law ... Case Files 01 Review

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.


Series Overview – The Dark Tower


Years ago I began reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series. When I first started reading them there were only the first three books. The third book ended with a cliff-hanger and it was years before King returned to the series to finish it. I recently picked them all up on CD from the library and listened to them again. Revisiting the series made me wish there was more. After a visit to the comic shop I found graphic novels retelling portions of the story with amazing artwork.

My point in bringing this up is the series shares some similarities with Malifaux. The main character Roland is a gunslinger, which in his world is the equivalent of being a knight. On his quest to bring his father's killer to justice he travels through his world which has "moved-on" and eventually passes through to different time periods in our world to recruit other "gunslingers" to join his quest. 

I'm not going to go through the whole series as the wiki covers it pretty well. The western theme as well as the numerous "breaches" into other worlds will appeal to fans of Malifaux and I urge everyone to check it out.

King also uses the breaches between worlds in "The Tailsman" I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much but it was an interesting story. It focuses on a young boy that travels into another world and has to save his mother from an evil man that works in both worlds.