Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pax vobiscum, creep!, 22 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Judge Dredd: v. 22: The Complete Case Files (Paperback)
Another schizophrenic Dredd collection from an era in which the strip was dragging itself out of the darkness and into a bright new dawn - but in the tradition of the best horror movies, there's an unexpected grab of the ankle by a threat thought dead, before the series makes its final escape. Short review - not a bad collection, but not as good as CF21. Long review? Read on...

The volume kicks off well with `The Candidates' / `Voting Day' - a brief but superb piece of prime Wagner, in which Dredd finally runs for Chief Judge. Art is by Mick Austin and Carlos Ezquerra - the latter seems to have sorted out some of the computer colouring issues that made `The Tenth Planet' and `Wilderlands' so garish, and has opted for a more muted, rather bleached approach. He's not quite there yet, but it's a definite improvement on his man-gone-mad-with-filters period.

After that, though, is a protracted period in which the series fails to shine. First comes Pete Hogan's lengthy but completely inconsequential `The Big Sleet', in which Dredd is relegated to bystander in his own strip by Norse god Odin. And then we're into `The Exterminator', which sees Dredd time-travelling to 2001 to prevent a space-plague from decimating his own era. `The Exterminator' is that rarest of things - a lengthy John Wagner story that doesn't really work, though it works a damn sight better read in one go than it ever did in drawn-out weekly instalments. Apparently it was a rewritten script for a `Terminator' story - a bystander even describes Dredd as looking like Arnie's famed cyborg, which of course, he doesn't. Consensus seems to rate John Burns's art for the first two parts as superior to Emilio Frejo's for the rest - personally, I'd say Frejo's energetic work was the best thing about the story.

A rare misfire from Wagner then - but hot on its heels is the real dreck. Yup, you thought you'd seen the last of the Morrison / Millar Dredd with Case Files 20, but here they are, back for one long, unwelcome encore with `Crusade'. True, `Crusade' is by no means as dire as `Inferno' or `Book of the Dead', but still contains the usual mischaracterisation, cultural stereotypes and disastrous plot holes, along with the faint whiff of school-boy misogyny which dogs most of the duo's work on Dredd. The plot concerns judges from around the world duking it out at the South Pole, with custody of a transmogrified Tek-Judge (who may have spoken to God) as prize. Mick Austin's art is good - his design for Vatican Judge Cesare is suitably vampiric - but the story pays little heed to Dredd-world continuity, almost thumbing its nose at `Shimura' and `Devlin Waugh'.

The 2000AD half of the volume (and it is around half - there's a lot of Meg material in this collection) finishes with a wild upswing in quality with `Escape From Kurt Russell', showcasing some brilliant Paul Marshall art over a solid Wagner script, and then we're into the Meg. There's a few good Wagner character pieces in here (`Crash Diner', `Poor Johnny', `The Strange Case of Bill Clinton' and best of all, `Terror With Mrs. Gunderson') and a couple of extremely forgettable Si Spencer tales - `A Very Creepy Christmas' shouldn't be a Dredd story at all, and will make no sense unless one has read Spencer's `Creep' series. More notable is `Skar', which is a fairly straightforward Wagner monster yarn, but with very distinctive and likely fan-polarising art by Ashley Wood. The highlight for me though is `The Secret Life of Judge Pal', in which we learn of the special leeway given to Mega-City One's most effective Judge - and it's not Joe Dredd!

Overall, this volume probably averages out at about three-and-a-half stars - `Crusade' drags it down, `The Exterminator' doesn't help on the buoyancy front, and whilst the Megazine stuff's mostly good, there's nothing to match `Giant' or `Howler' from CF 20. Worth a buy though, provided your expectations aren't too high, but a slight dip compared to CF 21.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Jul 2014 09:47:30 BDT
Book Beaver says:
A most comprehensive & helpful review.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details


4.3 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
£19.99 £16.99
Add to basket Add to wishlist

G. Meldrum

Location: Scotland, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,025