Review – Judge Dredd Classics #8 (IDW)

JDredd_Classics_08-pr.pdf-page-001Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Artist: Carlos Ezquerra
Release Date: 5th February 2014

Collecting the last few issues of the Apocalypse War arc together, this collection deals with a pivotal moment in the history of Judge Dredd.

I’ll be honest and admit it’s one of my least favourite Dredd stories, but viewed in the context of the time – originally printed in 1982 at one of the cold war’s frostiest points – and annoyed leading that it takes the familiar dystopian themes of the title to some pretty brutal extremes

Following a nuclear assault and invasion from East Meg One (basically Moscow) Judge Dredd and a crack squad of Judges mount a last ditch effort to win the war by overtaking a Sov nuclear bunker.

Of course, Dredd wins and in ordering the launch of the bunker’s nukes against its own city, effectively judges half a billion souls guilty of crimes against Mega City One.  That’s arguably the grimmest thing ever done in comics, right up there with Thanos killing half of the life in the universe to impress a girl.

Actually, it’s much worse because that mass genocide is the hero of the piece doing exactly what he set out to do.

Of course, this is entirely in keeping with the bleak nature of the title and Dredd’s unblinking loyalty to justice as defined by the Law of Mega City One and as a reminder that JUDGE DREDD IS NOT A GOOD GUY, this should be a must read for all Dredd fans, if only for the sake of completeness and context.

However, there’s not much here for anyone else and of all the Dredd tales it’s aged particularly badly.  In short, there are a hundred Dredd stories I’d point folks towards before this.

Rating: 2/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Chris Napier
You can also find Chris on Twitter.

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