Thread: Dredd Thread

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  1. #1
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    Default Dredd Thread

    Having vastly enjoyed the early DWW Tom Baker comic strips, I've happened to notice that the writers of the strips went on and had careers of their own. One of the things that I think Wagner worked on were the early Judge Dredd comic strips.

    I suspect I'd really enjoy Dredd, but there is a huuuuge back catalogue of stuff, a lot of it recently re-issued. Does anybody have any idea where would be a good place to start, or to get a taster?
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    Not sure if this helps but I was surprised to see our local library had a few of the omnibus JD books in their junior section - maybe a try before you buy ?
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  3. #3
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    In the run up to the movie's release in 1996 there was a series of mags called "Classic Dredd", don't know if it still runs. The comic strip is quite humerous, and definitely I loved it so much I couldn't help but feel violated by Stalone's performance.

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    The comic strip is just superb, and although it sounds like a very limited format ('future cop in murky city') the writers and artists managed to make it able to encompass almost any sort or story. I'm no expert, but I read 2000AD avidly from about 1979 to 1986, and in that time there were grim epics, thought-provoking one-parters, even a story where Dredd appears to end up in Oz. The film, however, was complete pants, compared to the strip, in that it seemed to miss the subtlety and the wit and the point.

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    I'm not sure if anyone knows or is interested but Big Finish have a range of Audio's from the 2000AD genre. Clicky.

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    Hmm... thanks everyone! I'll let you know if I get round to reading any.

    The library! I would never have thought of it.

    As for those BF ones - has anyone heard them? Are they any good at all?
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    I haven't heard them but I noticed that some are now out of stock. So if you want to get them you might have to search ebay for them.

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    I don't know which ones have been released as 'graphic novels' but I suspect among them will be the encounters with Judge Death (originally a 3-parter I think) and the sequel to the same, with three or four other Dark Judges (a 5-parter?). And of course the Judge Child, which spawned a couple of other feature-length stories (including a very crafty 'voyage into the future' story). They're certainly worth looking out for, Rob. Then there's Block Mania/The Apocalypse War, which features one of the iconic-est (I guess that should be 'most iconic') of 2000AD covers:


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    There's a complete strip here, courtesy of the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/comics/200.../dredd01.shtml

    By sheer coincidence, it's actually from issue 120, so is only the third Dredd strip I ever read (my first prog was 118).

    Enjoy!

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    It's hard to know where to start with Dredd considering there's been 30 years worth of strips in 2000AD, and of course his own comic has been going for a fair old while now too.

    Like Andrew suggests, Block Mania and Apocalypse War are great stories to get your teeth in too, I'm also a big fan of all of Judge Death's more epic storylines, Necropolis being my personal favourite. I'd also recommend Oz, which introduced the character Chopper, which has lots of sky surfing fun in it, as well as City of the Damned.

    America is really good too, which came from the Megazine and is a more personal, and realistic take on how horrific life in the Big Meg is, whilst the P.J. Maybe stories always appealed to me as well, which are a lot lighter in tone. I don't think they've been collected together though, but I could be wrong.

    Oh, and the Dredd vs Batman graphic novels are lots of ultra violent fun too, though don't expect too much subtlety in them.
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    For those who are interested, 2000AD have spent the last couple of years publishing Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files, which is so far nine volumes of all the original strips from the beginning. At the moment, this covers i think most of the first ten years.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    One of the things that I think Wagner worked on were the early Judge Dredd comic strips.
    If you mean John Wagner, I think you'll find he had/has a slightly larger involvement in Judge Dredd than that

    Also, Judge Dredd started a couple of years or so before Doctor Who weekly, and he'd been working in comics for years before that, so it's not exactly a career he "went on" to have.

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    I've just remembered one other classic Dredd story that I really liked - it's a one off where he just has a bath. Well, it's a bit more complicated than that, but that is the basic gist of it...
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

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    I remember the Garth Ennis written Irish one as well, where the Irish equivalent of Judges all have spud guns and drink Guiness.

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    Emerald Isle that was, dragging out one or two of de auld Oirish cliches, and I think introducing a trans-Atlantic bridge, amazingly.

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    Thats the one. I remember the bridge idea. That was quite cool.
    Garth Ennis is himslef Irish so he can be forgiven for pushing those cliches. In fact, as Dredd is largely a satire, you could say he was making fun of those cliches.

  17. #17

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    The Transatlantic Bridge had been featured long before that too

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    It's the earliest I remember hearing about it; it's a good job these reprints are out now, I've not read any of these stories in years.

  19. #19

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    I remember him chasing some Frankenstein-type-monsters over it as they tried to escape the city a good few years before that. I'm not even sure if that was the first time because it wasn't a particularly prominent part of the story.

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    I can remember a story called Frankenstein 2, which was Frankenstein done Dredd-stylee, but that was very, very early on. I'm going to be going through all these Collected Dredds in the near-ish future, i'll try and keep an eye out for that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Wallis View Post
    For those who are interested, 2000AD have spent the last couple of years publishing Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files, which is so far nine volumes of all the original strips from the beginning. At the moment, this covers i think most of the first ten years.
    Does this include those strips which were supposedly banned from ever being reprinted, due to the heavy-handedness of those burger chains MacDonalds and Burger King?

  22. #22

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    Nope they're not in the collected books. There's no supposedly about it, they were banned (they were rubbish anyway though, so no-one's missing much)

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    Thanks to the power of the Library, I recently read the 'Death Aid' collected issue and pretty good it was too. The first story was about a group of assassains, the Hunters, who kill for fun and go on a sponsored killing spree to help raise money for orphans. The best bits were where a guy Dredd was chasing got blown up, so the surgeons hook him up to a life support machine so Dredd can interrogate him. All they were able to save of the man was half his head though, but Dredd still gets his information. And there was the line 'You can't stop me now Dredd! I'm a registered charity!' which I liked.

    The other stories featured an old Chief Judge (Silver, I think) coming back from the dead and there was a Christmas one-parter, where a Scrooge-type character mends his ways after being visited by ghosts and vows to find a meal for the poor, starving McKrattchits. He shoots a dog-vulture and gets shot himself by Dredd. He crawls to the McKrattchits house and they end up eating him. That was a good one.

    I was also intrigued by the references to the other stories peppered throughout, paticularly the Necropolis.
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    Picked up a couple more:

    'Origins' was a big long story and much more serious in tone. It was also pretty brilliant, filling in the back story of Mega City One and the Judges from a recognisable modern-day America. A ransom demand takes Dredd and a number of other Judges across Cursed Earth, the nuclear wasteland filled with bizzare mutants, savages and Hillbilly towns. The 'Origins' are filled in on the way as flashback. The depiction of the nuclear war was paticularly stunning, as was the chance to see young Dredd and Rico in action.

    Slightly less impressive, but more humorous, was Muzak Killer, about a fan of 20th Century music killing off all the pop (Muzak) stars of the day. There's loads of spoof names, such as Jez Ramsay, who looks suspiciously like Jason Donovan, New Juves On The Sector, Styrene O' Boge and Coz (Bros?) which was all a bit silly, but the story was quite amusingly nasty to all the stars, who all wound up dead.

    One of the things I really like about the strip is that Dredd is not really the hero or the villain - he's just the Law. Sometimes the characters in the story are sympathetic, sometimes you're clearly supposed to be rooting for Dredd to kick their arses. His relentless, one-tone character is appealingly static and self-assured.
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    Origins? That was quick, it was only in the comic earlier this year!