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on 15 August 2010
Volume 1 includes the initial introductory Dredd stories, the Call-Me-Kenneth robot revolution, Return of Rico, the Luna period and ends with Dredd returning to MC1 in time for the Cursed Earth saga. Also included are the first, unpublished, Dredd by Esquerra and a selection of Walter the Wobot one-pagers.

Volume 2 includes the excellent Cursed Earth and Judge Caligula epics back to back and ends with three parter the DNA man

Volume 3 returns to shorter storyline formats and includes Judge Death, Father Earth, Umpty Candy and the blood of Satanus. These all all good stories although this volume is one of the thinnner ones and it must be said the reproduction really isn't good in parts. The backgrounds of some frames are lost completely and some of the best art in Dredd ends up looking pretty pedestrian. Sticklers may be better trying to seek out the superior image quality of the Titan publications.

Volume 4 includes the excellent Judge Child saga, Otto Sump, The Fink, Pirates if the Black atlantic and Chopper's first appearance.

Volume 5 Includes Block Mania and the epic Apocalypse War

Volume 6 follows on from the conclusion of the Apocalypse war with Meka city, Fungus and Destiny's Angels and then it's back to reasonably good shorter storylines with Rabid, Blobs, Night of the rad beast, the slightly naff Starborn thing, The Stupid Gun, Trapper Hag, the good Shanty town and a real forgotten gem The Executioner.

Volume 8 Includes some multi parters but no epics - Cry of the werewolf, the classic fatty eating saga Requiem for a heavyweight, The graveyard shift, Bob & Carol & Ted & Ringo, the Haunting of sector house 9, Citizen Snork and numerous okay single episode stories. This volumes marks a changing of the guard in terms of artists with the introduction of Cam Kennedy and Jim Baikie.

The print reproduction is generally good - but some pages suffer bady and some really great art is made to look very ordinary, particularly when toner is used - this is understandably unavoidable on the colour spreads but surely not on the b/w pages. Despite this minor gripe you won't find a more affordable and comprehensive Dredd collection and kudos to Rebillion for getting these in print. Essential.
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on 13 March 2009
Long time Dredd fan - first time reviewer.

I started reading Judge Dredd about 25 years ago. I probably missed the first year or two of 2000AD in its original format, but quickly found myself addicted to the comic and have been a long time fan.

I recall in my early readings of Dredd some of the references to things like Walter the Wobot and Maria (Dredd's maid), but never read them. Until now.

I like to read the odd Graphic Novel every now and then, so a bit of nostalgia brought me to Vol 1 of the Case Files.

They say to never meet your heros. I kinda understand that a bit now. Dredds early stories were poor, the writing was cliche'd and the drawing had not yet matured. However, this is the beginnings of a Icon who in my mind has one of the best long term "canons" out there (yes - even to rival some of the big american names). Everybody has to start somewhere.

Overall, I enjoyed reading what the type of Dredd stories that I probably fell in love with - but they are nothing special. However, if you are looking for a glimpse of how an Icon started (from humble beginnings), this is a good start. This Vol will hold a firm place in my collection - because of its importance rather than its quality.

If you really want to read a good Dredd story - start with the mega epics. There is 30 years of quality awaiting you. How I envy someone who is only discovering Dredd now.
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on 11 April 2013
This may seem odd, but if you are new to Dredd, I wouldn't start here. The early stories are a bit hit and miss as the character was very much being formed "in public". The stories significantly improve in Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files, Vol. 2, beginning with the epic Cursed Earth saga which is a real classic. I would start volume 2, and if you enjoy it, move to book 3 and so on. By all means come back to Volume 1, but I fear it may put you off wanting to explore more of the early stories if you start with this volume. I speak from personal experience. I read 2000AD in the mid-eighties, and when Volume 1 was published in the mid-2000s, was keen to see how the 70's version was. I didn't like it at all, and put it down to overly-fond childhood memories. Friends convinced me otherwise, advised me to start again with Volume 2 and they were spot on.

If you only want to buy one book, it would have to be Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files v. 5, which has three of the greatest Dredd stories ever; "Judge Death Lives", "Block Mania" and "Apocalypse War" as well as a good selection of other shorter stories. Volume 1 just isn't in the same class.
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on 11 April 2006
As a 17 year-old I had only read a handful of these stories in reprints. Now this huge collection of Dredd stories is out I can say that I have experienced the beginning of Britain's greatest comic character (alongside Dan Dare and Captain Britain). The great thing about these stories is that they wear their age proudly. Everything just reeks of the lates 70's and sometimes things even enter a cheesy zone. However, this is still great to read and really maintains the feel of these older strips. Dredd is a young man compared to how old he is today (he ages in real time so he is now nearly 30 years older than he is depicted here) and it really shows. He still comes across as very idealistic, but never naive. He isn't as tough and as harsh as he became later in the strips. I really think this book is great for new Dredd/2000 AD fans and the price is really good for what you get, these are Marvel Essentials on steroids. They may not contain as many pages as the Marvel editions but the paper stock is miles better than the toilet grade paper you get with those books. I strongly suggest that you pick this book up!
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on 17 May 2012
I'm pretty au fait with later Dredd works, but thought it would be interesting to go back and check out some of the earlier stuff's not that great. I'd say it's analogous to something like very early Simpsons where, you recognise the characters but it just hasn't quite got the oomph to it yet. Evidently the creative team were still finding their feet, and were probably all pretty young themselves and needed to mature.

This stuff is relatively old - the late 70s - and it's worth remembering this when reading it. Think of 'The Dark Night Returns', then look back at some of the 50s and 60s Batmans, they're very different from a different time.

If I could give half stars I'd probably actually give this 2.5. All that said, there are some entertaining stories here and is well worth a look if you're interesting in the beginnings of a classic character!
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on 11 September 2012
If you are new to the world of Judge Dredd (maybe through the new Dredd 3-D film?) then this is the place to start.
Judge Dredd made his first appearance in the comic 2000 AD (issue 2) and his been a main stay of the comic for nearly every single of it's 1800 issues to date.
He also has his own magazine (called "The Megazine) and this is still going and has reached over 300 issues.
This volume charts the early Judge Dredd stories.
Featuring such classic stories as "The Robot Wars" and Judge Dredd's stint as a marshall on Luna 1 (the moon).
The writing is crisp and often quite funny by Wagner and the art work is some of the best the series has ever seen from the likes of Brian Bolland and Ian Gibson.
A great volume and at over 300 pages great value for money too.
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on 1 December 2012
I started reading this volume as a new comer to the world of Mega-City One. I haven't seen the new film, and I did see the original- which whilst kinda crap, is enjoyable to an extent, but I understood importantly that that film was NOT Judge Dredd. As a film on it's own, it's an OK film, but as a Dredd film you couldn't go more wrong. So saying that, I was a newcomer to this volume. My first impression? Like the original film, this book isn't Dredd- at least not yet. At this point in the character's history, he's just a guy with a gun. Saying that, there are some stand out stories in this collection- Robot Wars was good, and there was a good two-parter that introduced Judge Giant, who I thought was a great character and contrasted nicely with Dredd. But the entire collection, as a whole, detracts from these good stories. That's not necessarily a problem- it's still a good read, but remember this is very early Dredd, his first year of publication, and like most popular books the writers need to work out a few kinks. It's not exactly a book you can just sit down and read- it's composed of lots of 10 minute short stories that don't really build on each other or add to Dredd or his world. As such, there's a very loose sense of continuity, and you could pick just about any story from this volume and they would serve as equally bland introductions to Dredd and his world. They all showcase the same thing. There are a handful of good stories in this volume, though. As I said before, Robot Wars was memorable but still naive. Also Dredd's stint in the Lunar Colony was good fun. But the real stand out stories are the one-shot Return Of Rico and the Judge Giant story. Both of those are really resonant because they contribute the most to Dredd's character. The first, Rico, was the inspiration for the film but proves to be a far more poignant and tragic story, again contributing to why Dredd is so stone-cold. Judge Giant on the other hand brings out the rough side of Dredd much more, just because Giant is so much more of a conventional good guy superhero. As a quick side-note- the character of Walter the Wobot is certainly an interesting facet of the story. Some compare him to Jar Jar Binks, and whilst I think that's a good parallel, I actually think Walter is a much better character. There are many heart-warming and hilarious moments involving Walter, but I am glad he's dropped later on so that, by volume 2, Dredd can pick up a bit with the classic Cursed Earth saga, which displays a more modern and well-thought out version of Dredd. This book is good, but only really for collectors or historians of the character- for most, I'd skip this volume and go straight to volume 2, which collected the Cursed Earth and Day The Law Died, both of which are fantastic. I'll post a link to my review of that when I've finished reading the volume.
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on 8 September 2013
I've always liked Judge Dredd and have toyed with getting these volumes for ages. So when the came up for the kindle at a bargain basement price I couldn't resist.
Whereas I can't fault the quality of the content it's really quite difficult to read this on my kindle. The screen is not quite big enough to make reading all the text possible and the detail suffers.
However is you have an full size iPad or other tablet this makes all the difference.
One for the Kindle app not the kindle device.
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on 16 October 2007
As a long time 2000 AD fan during the 70s 80s and 90s , I was thrilled to see the publishers of 2000AD ( Rebellion ) take a leaf out of the big publishing houses in the US and amass the collected works of this iconic individual into an easy to read book . The irony that he has become a British icon despite being an American has not been lost on me .

The evolution of the Judges system of justice and Mega City One throughout the book is interesting to read about , and it is only towards the end that the Judge Dredd that we know and love comes to the fore . The stories themselves are quite caustic in places in terms of their social commentary , whuich can raise the odd wry smile . Sure the book has dated in places due to this , but it is also threatening to be worryingly accurate in other places .

Why only four stars ? Well , I'm not a fan of Maria the housemaid or Walter the Wobot , and I know that there are stories in future collected editions that fully deserve five out of five .

This is definately the place to start if you want to read about one of the UK's most memorable fictional characters for the last thirty years .
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on 1 September 2009
I've always been a fan of the Judge Dredd comics after reading some of my father's old collection, but I've never had the opportunity to read the actual comic from day one. This volume introduced me to lovable characters I'd never even heard of such as Maria, Dredd's Italian cleaning lady, and Walter, Dredd's faithful servant, as well as his first major villian and nemesis Call-Me-Kenneth.

I find this a brilliant read for fans Old and New to Judge Dredd. Well worth the money.
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