Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 18 February 2013
I've been waiting to read this epic storyline for sometime now, having jumped on board to 2000ad after the arc finished. When it was announced that we would get the first of what would be a trilogy of trades about the Day of Chaos storyline, i ordered my copy from Amazon without delay and waited with bated breath for it to be released. And after receiving it (two days before the expected release date) and reading the book from cover to cover, i can proudly say that it was an absolute joy.

I will start with the cover; Greg Staples does a magnificent job in potraying Old-Stoney face. The artwork is beautiful to behold, with the details and use of colours. It looks like a painted masterpiece, something a Michaelangelo or DaVinci would produce if they were comissioned by 2000ad to draw Judge Dredd cover! High praise you might say- but praise rightly awarded in my view.

The presentation of the trade is superb; the paper quality is of the high standard which we have come to expect from Rebellion - they have done a stellar job in producing it. There's a nice introduction by Keith Richardson and the actions of Dredd in the Apocalypse War and the implications it has on the future. I loved the corresponding panels from the Apocalypse War, just bringing back memories of what a joy it was to read and of course Carlos Ezquerra's outstanding contribution to it.

And then we get started on the more meatier or "muncier" parts of the book (but trust me- there's nothing artificial about the story as we shall see!).

The first thing that grabbed me was the artwork by Ben Willsher. I'll be honest, it took me a while before i could get used to his style. It felt a little 'unrefined' for my tastes as opposed to maybe Colin MacNeil or Henry Flint's work (which we will come to). But maybe 20 pages in i started to get accustomed to It. In fact upon finishing the first chapter (the bulk of the artwork in this trade is by Willsher) i really enjoyed it. There were some really funny homages to (what was then) the upcoming Dredd movie, with references to Karl Urban and Ma-Ma. Not to mention nods to other comic works like Watchmen (who watches the watchmen? Ma-Ma apparently!).

As for the story, the opener was 'The Skinning Room'. It concerned a Resyk employee called Mr. Skinner who goes about skinning victims, and turns their skin into fashion accessories, shirts, jackets, ties and so on. The way he lures the poor souls is by advertising for a room vacancy in his appartment and then he goes about his ghastly business. At the same time Judge Dredd and the Coucil of Five are cracking down hard on crime in the Mega City. Criminals are getting shot by special sniper squads for even petty things like wallet snatching. Its clear that everything is out of control...chaos reigns supreme. We come back to Mr. Skinner (there's a really nice artistic and storytelling touch when we see him go about his business from the view point of a soon to be victim). But amidst the city in turmoil, and block to block inspection, the murderer makes a key mistake when a nosy Judge comes-a-calling...

The second story in the collection was 'Hot Night in 95' which was originally serialised in The Megazine. Written again by Wagner and illustrated by Staz Johnson, it was a fun read. A number of things are happening; a food eating contest where two very fat gentlemen proceed to gorge themselves into oblivion, a vigilante group that goes on a shooting spree and a stoning epidemic. It all comes to a head on a 'hot night' and results in a well known Judge getting shot...

It was a nice read. We still haven't got to the main Day of Chaos arc (which begins halfway through the trade). But i feel what these stories demonstrate, is the sheer explosion of the city into total widespread chaos and anarchy...even before the 'real' chaos has even begun.

Next up was 'The Further Dasterdly Deeds of PJ Maybe'. On art duties was one of my favourite artists, Colin MacNeil. We see Maybe taken into custody after being caught for immitating the dead Mayor Ambrose. Dredd would rather see him dead, but his colleagues decide otherwise "don't come crying to me when this blows up in your faces" cries Dredd. Of course we all know he is right and this decision would likely come back to bite them on their asses. But then we wouldn't be so entertained by the 'dasterdly deeds of P.J Maybe' would we? I have to say i always enjoy the hilarious exploits of my favourite serial killer - and this story is up there with the best in my opinion. Nobody draws Maybe more brilliantly and with so much character than Colin MacNeil. This was a fun read, and the only downside was that it was over all too quickly.

The next story 'Nadia' is where the Day of Chaos officially begins. Nadia is a East Meg assassin who makes her way into Mega City 1, undercover as a cosmetics person for 'Ugly-Con'. But pretty soon her intentions become clear, as does her sheer ruthlessness when she dispatches a member of her own East Meg sleeper cell with clinical and emotionless precision. Her goal? To kidnap a scientist who has engineered the Chaos Bug, and have him re-create it to so both she and her seniors from the Fourth Faction can unleash widespread chaos and devestation to MC1. And pretty soon she sets her target on Dredd...

This was a thrilling read full of twists and turns, and genuine gasp out loud moments. And Ben Willsher brings it all alive with his vibrant artwork.

The next story, 'Fourth Faction' is when we finally come upon the work of Henry Flint (who alongside Peter Doherty and David Roach - is my favourite arist working for 2000ad right now, or any comic for that matter). my word....the detail in each of his panels, the line work, small character nuances and of course the environments and vistas - is just breathtaking to behold.

It is in this story that we meet the Fourth Faction commander; Yevgeny Borisenko, who still bears the scars of The Apocalypse War and the nuking of East Meg 1. Now he is the man directly in charge of the Chaos War operation. Like the preceding story, this also made for a fascinating read albeit more on the planning side than action. But it was intriguing to see the man, and the thinking behind the man who will bring Mega City 1 to its knees...

Last but not least was 'Elusive', again drawn by Henry Flint. Here we catch up with the dasterdly P.J Maybe. The Judges are out in force looking for him, but what does Maybe do? He decides to get himself a job at a face change clinic, conning the gullible manager into thinking he is an undercover Judge! I mean,what is he like?! It was a very enjoyable read indeed. In fact when we see Maybe trying to slither his way into a wealthy elderly lady's company (and the conniving plan he concuts in going about it) i just had to put the book down....so i could restrain myself from bursting out with laughter! (it didn't work!) You can see why he is a firm fan favourite!

Reading this collection was an absolute joy. It was like a treasure trove of intriguing and exciting storytelling from Mr. Wagner and the superb artists in line showing off their talented wares. Even though the book came at a meaty 160 pages, upon finishing i wanted more - which is a sign of how strong Mr. Wagner's storytelling is, and its not surprising really because Day of Chaos is just getting started. It's like the calm before the storm so to speak. And i for one cannot wait for the next collected trade delving more deeper into one of the greatest epics in comic book history.

I definitely recommend this title, not just to Judge Dredd enthusiasts, but to anyone interested in comics.

EDIT: it's now been confirmed that there will be two trades, not three as initially thought. So Day of Chaos: End Game will be the last trade in the storyline and is due for release on July 2013.
44 Comments| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 14 February 2013
I'd been looking forward to this for some time, an epic Dredd story by the only man that can write Dredd (John Wagner) and in some ways, a sequel to 'The Apocalypse War' that I had read 30 years earlier in my mis-spent youth. Not reading the weekly 2000AD any more, I've enjoyed his previous recent Dredd epics such as Tour of Duty and Origins and seen the character of Dredd age in real time and build up a regular cast of fellow judges around him.

Knowing the length of the story I knew that this would be the first of 3 volumes (I think), perhaps my only disappointment. Arriving a couple of days early, I was straight into it. A kind of hint of '24' to this volume with various story lines touched on and various terrorist types plotting and scheming building up slowly and nicely.

Dredd artist stalwarts Colin MacNeil and Henry Flint chip in their regular solid work. The big surprise is unlike the majority of the newer 'fill-in' artists in recent Dredd volumes (just my term - they could be 2000AD Dredd regulars) the ones here are fairly good and don't draw Dredd and his world in a cartoonish, OTT style that seems to have been the vogue.

Overall a great read setting the scene of what's to come - cant wait for the next book.
44 Comments| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 March 2013
mediocre generic judge dredd stories - only recycling old stuff again and again.
not the whole story - you have to wait for next book.
illustrations are kinda DC/Marvel US style - i want old style back!!
this is the first JD book i didnt like. seems the author is ehausted.
33 Comments| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 11 May 2013
I bought this book with a bit of trepidation; would older Dredd still be as good. You may not realise this, but in the comic 2000AD, Dredd ages in realtime - so he is over 35 years older than when he first appeared in Prog 2 back in 1977. He's been through a lot, and so would the more "modern" Dredd be as good as those early adventures.

Well, the short answer is, yes - he is still just as good. Dredd has been given a role on the Council of Judges, and the politics and paperwork bore him senseless. The street is where he wants to be. In this book, we see Dredd tracking an old adversary whilst trying to ensure election day passes of peacefully. At first, the stories seem to be unconnected, and this feeling is enhanced when you realise they come from both the comic 2000AD, and the Judge Dredd Megazine. However, the early stories in the book serve to introduce you to Dredd as he is today - useful if you haven't followed the comics, and if you are coming to this from the recent movie.

Wagner pens all the stories, and he is assisted with a variety of artists. Stand out for me is Ben Wilsher and Henry Flint. Don't get me wrong, I like MacNeil and Johnson as well, but Ben Wilsher's art in "The Skinning Room" amplifies the feeling of revulsion the reader feels for the main protagonist. And Henry Flint is one of my favourite comic artists anyway, and his work on "The Fourth Faction" is brilliant. Check out Zombo and Shakara for other Flint works of genius.

Doesn't matter where you have come from; new to comics, seen the Dredd movie and want more or remember Dredd from when you were a kid, pick this book up and you won't put it down until it's finished...
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 14 August 2013
Fourth Faction

I am a long time reader of Judge Dredd who prefers to catch up on the latest stories through the Collated Graphic Novels (like this one), rather than getting the weekly comics. I was very keen to read the new "mega epic" of Day of Chaos and recently bought the two parts. I have just finished reading Part 1 "The Fourth Faction". This didn't feel like a mega epic to me, at least not in the old sense of the word when you had a 20+ week by week story on the same topic. This story takes the format of a thread of the larger, looming story, occurring within the daily activities of Judge Dredd. As a result of this we get several 2000AD and Megazine stories that are of good quality, but they still only hint at the larger threat to come (ie the actual Day of Chaos).

That said, I found the artwork to be excellent and storylines to be gritty and funny. I felt that there was a similarity to "Tour of Duty" and recent JD storylines, which were more mature. It often reminded me of the old acclaimed TV show called Hill Street Blues, in that it followed a number of perspectives from the Police (Judges) to the Criminals (PJ Maybe) as well as the background politics and machinations (The Council of Five and the Judges Academy).

Overall, I would give this a 3 to 3.5 stars out of 5 - a good warm up to the 2nd (and final) part of the story, without it hitting top gear yet.

I look forward to reading Day of Chaos - Endgame next.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 February 2013
This story is new to me as I only got my 1 years 2000AD and Dredd Megazine subscrption started last year , from Prog 1800 onwards , spurred to do this after I saw the Movie DREDD ( 2012 ) .
Anyway I have really looked forward to reading this CHAOS DAY story since I paid in advance for this book last year -
for me FOURTH FACTION is beautifully written and drawn , and IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to you
I can also say that 2000AD is really well written as well , and is as good as when I used to read it from 1977 till the early 1980's when my work took over my spare time

enjoy !
11 Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 3 April 2015
Horrible white border on the pc kindle app,.
This badly needs better zoom options, as I can't get the page to fill the screen.
review image
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 October 2013
Cracking read! Would highly recommend this to anyone even remotely familiar with Dredd and his world. I think it's fair to say the book is divided into two. While all the events in the first half are in some way connected to the main event, they can serve as a sort of a 'day in the life', an introduction to new readers on what life can be like in Mega City One, which is as much a character in the Dredd mythos as Dredd himself. The second half is where the action takes off, and leads into the Day of Chaos. Wagner at his best, and when you've finished, check out the sequel 'Day of Chaos: Endgame' which left me breathless!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 5 September 2013
Wagner is the only author worth reading if you want to follow some sort of definitive story arc for Dredd (It's his creation after all). After following Dredd's adventures from the tender age of eleven, it's probably unsurprising that Mega City One is a little confused and grown beyond all recognition. What we need here is a bit of a disaster to put the pressure on.. This collection of stories build the foundation to that disaster. Essential reading and one of those milestone events.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICEon 24 February 2013
To get myself in the mood to watch the new Dredd film I was more than happy to read this graphic novel that landed. Yes it has some nostalgic moments for me but when you add artwork from some of the graphic novels heavyweight division into this then you know that its going to not just hit you deep down but be a graphic novel that you're going to savour.

Throw into the mix cracking stories, some wonderful twists and of course a judge who doesn't like to lose and all round it's a graphic novel that for me really doesn't get any better. If you were to pick one to read for world night (as The Dark Judges is nominated) then I'd definitely suggest this one, the size is ideal, the text much more legible and when added to the wonderfully colour artwork really makes this a cracking title.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse