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Volume 13 almost reads like a mission statement of a grittier change of direction, as a couple of older characters are redefined with darker, more believable edges. In 'Cardboard City', for example, Dredd's former housekeeper & incredibly annoying 'comedy character' Maria returns as a homeless alcoholic. Similarly, Dredd discovers that his former colleague Giant has a son from an "extra-judicial liason", who is now a Cadet Judge with an attitude problem.

Meanwhile, having previously murdered his way through his family to get his hands on their fortune, teenager PJ Maybe is looking for more creative ways to handle his parents' business rivals, so as not to cause any more suspicion. But how far can he push his luck?

Also, Dredd's on the trail of a former foe in the hotbed of corruption that is Ciudad Barranquilla, aka 'Banana City'. And his younger clone is nearing completion of his training - which is a good job because the old man likes a nice, relaxing bath these days... But even that won't improve his disposition when a letter from a child asks him some difficult questions about the Justice system & the Democratic March - a letter which has a profound effect on Dredd.

Like the previous volume, Case Files # 13 contains several fun shorts combined with a little pre-Necropolis build-up. It's a thinner volume than most in this series but still contains a respectable 43 'progs', so its size may partly be due to the change in paperstock as much as anything. But volume 14 promises to be much thicker, as it contains the classic 'Necropolis' epic.
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VINE VOICEon 4 October 2009
By this point John Wagner was starting to get itchy feet with regards to Dredd, which resulted - as it starts to here - in much of the strip's trademark black humour taking a back seat as Dredd starts to turn into a dour old man bearing the grimness of the world on his shoulders. Dredd's ultra grim n gritty seriousness lasted for a few years before Wagner cheered up again and pretty much decided to ignore the fact Dredd's knocking on in years and get back to telling great stories.

That's not to say that there aren't some good stories in this volume, because there are, including the beginnings of Dredd questioning the system... but at the same time as Dredd took a downturn, 2000AD made the catastrophic decision that from now on all artwork was to be in colour. As this was pre-photoshop, the result was that 2000AD's pages were flooded with garish, slapdash, and often horrendous painted artwork as artists, often with no aptitude for working in colour, churned out work as quickly as possible in order to pay the bills. Most artists floundered (including some of the greats like Ezquera in this volume) and for every Simon Bizley there were hordes of others floundering along with Ezquera.

Fortunately Photoshop eventually appeared on the scene, the artwork drastically improved, Wagner got it all out of his system and Rebellion revitalised 2000AD... but all this is unfortunately a few volumes down the line. I'll still be buying them all obviously, but as Necropolis is looming on the horizon (not in this volume thank god) and it's just about my least favourite Dredd story of all time I'll just have to grit my teeth. Never mind, it all sorts itself out in the end!
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on 11 February 2016
Not fully in colour but getting there
The book isn't as thick as volume s
1-11 this is because of the type of paper
Used . In this book sees the introduction of cadet kraken and the assessment of cadet giant .you can never get Tired of .dredd as pointed out he's nearing 60-70 how long will the books ho on for
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on 31 December 2012
Love the book slowly collecting the series, book arrived in excellent condition. These have been great reads and am enjoying the prospect of buying slowly more. Arrived in excellent condition
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on 26 March 2014
This book was entertaining to read and featured some nice artwork. Some stories were funny and caused few chuckles to be emitted. The book leads nicely into Complete Case File 14.
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on 8 April 2016
Another Judge in my collection. Like a pokemon collector - I'm going to collect them all. At least all case files. It's a really great comic book. Now in full color!
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on 8 January 2015
I enjoyed every single volume of these so far, don't waste time just plunge in.
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on 14 July 2014
He is the law
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on 24 August 2009
I was expecting this collection to have properly started Necropolis, but it's still just some (fairly early) preamble leading up to Necropolis and following on from the previous volume.

What we have is a mixed bag - touching, fascinating, derivative and inane. The usual Dredd dark ironic humour has been rather dialed-back, regrettably. This is somewhat true of both the writing and art, the latter of which is also of mixed quality and tone but not generally up to the standard of the Dredd classic artists (I think this is the period when the new artists are finding their feet and also adapting to continuously producing Dredd in colour).

An example of the mixed quality - we get to visit the South-American 'Banana City', which is an extremely welcome insight into another police-state of the overtly corrupt kind - BUT it reads like an essay with the weak foreground plot being a simple follow-up to an earlier story, leading to an irrelevant damp squib of an anticlimax. Many of the stories read like this - quite weak tidying-up of loose ends or mere digressions, that don't stand at all well on their own.
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