Top positive review
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Slimmer but slicker
on 5 July 2007
A much shorter book of early Dredd adventures than volumes 1 and 2, but no less essential for that.
Having established a lot of the history and set-up of Dredd's world in book 2, building a more solid world around him than the often naive and slapdash environment seen in Book 1, the strip really starts to take off here. It's as though, having realised just what possibilities Dredd's world offered during the course of writing the Cursed Earth and Judge Cal epics, writer John Wagner decides to really start pushing some boundaries and having fun.
After his 'baptism of fire' during book 2's twin epics, Dredd himself emerges here as a character really worth reading - beginning the move away from the frankly childish figure of the strip's first year to the fascinatingly flawed and layered lawman we know and love today. And his city, Mega-City One, starts to take on a shape of its own. We find out where citizens live, what they do for fun, where they work, what they drive - gameshows, fashion trends, food brands, it's all explored here - and all with typically madcap future twists. In short, the book is in effect an exercise in worldbuilding. It may be short, but there are far more of the staples of Dredd's oddball enviroment created here than in both the previous volumes.