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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 April 2013
Want to know how old stoney face came to be a judge? Or what the world was like before Mega City One? Or how the Cursed Earth was created? Or how the judges came to be the supreme power? Then this is the book for you.

Dredd is sent to the Cursed Earth with a bunch of other judges to deliver a ransom for what is reported to be the real first Chief Judge's body (the one in the Halls of Justice is a fake). On their way to meet pay the ransom, Dredd tells the story of how the judges came about and why, and some of his own history too.

I found the book to be very interesting, using flashbacks interwoven with a pretty good story. The Wagner / Ezquerra partnership (ably supported by Wilson) is first-rate, and is as consistent as always.

I wouldn't recommend people new to Dredd, or those who have just seen the movie, to start here. Go for some of the older stories first, particularly those in Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files, Vol. 2 and Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files v. 5 which will give you a good grounding in Dredd's world and help you appreciate this book better.
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on 27 June 2013
John Wagner finally gets around to detailing the story I thought we'd never see, the rise of the Judge system and the gradual metamorphosis of the USA into three Mega Cities in the Cursed Earth.

Of course, none of this was a secret. The basic back story was in place within the first couple of years, so is a thirty year wait really worth it?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Whilst many Dredd epics have built a sense of scale through huge geographical spans, this one manages to get a sense of grandure by tracing the course of a whole society across 130 years.

Without contradicting anything that has gone before, Wagner manages to weave a story with unexpected twists and payoffs. And best of all, although there are plenty of loose ends tied off, and nods to many previous stories, this is no continuity porn: this would be the perfect book to give someone who wanted to know what Dredd was all about.

And it's not all about the writing-- the art is top notch. In the prologue Kev Walker channels Mike Mignola to give the appropriate sense of mystery and shadowy foreboding, whilst the main story features the best Ezquerra art I think I have seen. In particular the attention to detail in the evolution of the judge uniform tells a story in itself.

The story manages to reveal significant moments without destroying their mystique. In particular it manages to deepen Dredd's character without trying to humanise him or go for cheap emotional shortcuts. This is still a man who will execute a severely wounded opponent begging for mercy without a second thought.

Not just one of the best Dredd stories, but one of the best comics I have read all year. Recommended unreservedly.
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on 11 June 2013
I have to agree with the other reviewer who said that if you're new to world of Judge Dredd, this is probably not a good place to start. And if you are a fan of the character (which i am) then chances are you've read this so my review is redundant. There are those who will say that there are inconsistencies and continuity holes with past stories. Granted, but these are relatively minor, even microscopic compared with the legions of American super hero writers who take shameful liberties with character histories, for ease of storytelling. All i'll say is that this book is excellent. John Wagner proves he's got the touch after 30 years of writing the character both Ezquerra's and Walker's art are excellent. A cracking read and highly recommended!!!
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If you thought the body of Fargo, the first Chief Judge, was lying in a vault in the Grand Hall Of Justice, then you fell for a cover-up cooked up by a handful of senior Judges. Which is why when a gang of mutants sneak in from the Cursed Earth to deliver tissue belonging to Fargo & a ransom note for one billion creds, Dredd is less surprised than most.

Sent to retrieve the body with a hand-picked team & a transporter full of money, Dredd fills his comrades in on how Justice Dept. was REALLY created and how Fargo, the man he was cloned from, REALLY compared to the legend.

There isn't much more I can say without revealing too much of the plot, since there are more twists in this tale than at a Chubby Checker concert. There are plenty of surprises in store for long-term Dredd fans in a story which touches on earlier Dredd epics, including 'Oz' & 'The Cursed Earth'. However, 'Origins' stands on its own without the reader having to be clued up on earlier stories - in fact, I feel that the way it fleshes out the birth of Dredd's world makes it a good starting-point for new fans.

Kev Walker pens the introductory storyline, while Ezquerra draws the rest. Because there is a natural break in the story where one artist takes over from the other, it doesn't distract in the same way it does with other epic storylines where the artists seem to be chopped & changed at random. And it seems most fitting that Ezquerra is given the reigns for most of it - the classic Dredd artist for a classic Dredd epic, tucked inside a classic Bolland cover. Perfect.
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on 19 May 2013
Brought this on kindle for £2 and its a steal. I don't know all there is about Judge Dredd, but liked it as an origin story and loved the fact that it referenced stories from judge dredd 30 odd years ago. It's a great book and a great deal! Also check out the pit as well as that is also in the sale and a great story.
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on 24 May 2013
What I like about the kindle is that you can use it vertically or horizontally. Unfortunately you cannot do this with this purchase. In the introduction at the start it says just double tap to see any section. This is hit and miss. As mentioned in the 3 star review the text is really small. I have just wasted my money purchasing this. Now I have to get a magnifying glass out to read the graphic novel. Way to go Kindle.
Also when I tried it on my kindle app for Windows 8 I was greeted with the really helpful message that this title is not available for windows 8. EVERYTHING else is available why not this? I mean I could actually read it on my 17 inch monitor. Kindle you suck at Graphic Novels.
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on 23 May 2013
I purchased this for my Kindle fire as it was cheap and I wanted to see how good graphic novels had be implemented.

Good : colours really 'pop' on the kindle fire screen and look vibrant. The art has transferred well.

Bad : this would probably look great on an iPad or other tablet device with a bigger screen, but on the kindle fire it is too small. This makes it hard to read the text, and not a particularly good reading experience. Turning the kindle horizontal had no effect, the pages only render vertically.
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on 22 December 2010
brilliant colour artwork here and a great storyline, if like me ( as a kid) you enjoyed dredd in 2000ad and did`nt much worry about the story behind him ,this will fill in alot of the story behind the history of how the judges came to be and the events after a worthy addition to my dredd collection 10/10
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on 23 September 2013
If you don't wear glasses to read, you may struggle to read this book unless you enlarge each panel on the page. The story is pure Dredd. Enjoyed revisiting the start of the Dredd legend. If you are Dredd fan 're read this book, if you are just starting with judge Dredd then this should be your first encounter with the great man of the law.
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on 1 July 2007
The reviewer "Dreddhead" below has it completely wrong, if he really understood Dredd and his world he would know nothing ever turns out to be black & white, it's just part of the stoicism that Joe Dredd projects. The dichotomy at Dredd's core is the real story. I'm not going to bother wasting my time pointing out the obvious flaws in all his points. Go read Origins. it's great.
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