Andy Naylor reviews Judge Dredd Classics #1…
“Re-presenting classic Judge Dredd tales monthly, with all-new colors by Charlie Kirchoff! Up first, 30 pages of “Block Mania,” which will lead to the beloved Apocalypse War!“
Judge Dredd Classics #1 is a re-issue of the classic 1981 Block Mania story arc, featuring the first 30 pages and in colour for the very first time. The recent spate of Dredd releases to our U.S. cousins can only be a good thing. Surely the aim must be to increase the popularity of the famous lawman and introduce him to a whole new generation. As a side note, anything that helps with getting another Dredd movie featuring Karl Urban made is perfectly fine with me.
The story opens with a beginning of a Block war, not an uncommon occurrence in Mega-City One. When Dredd and the other Judges roll in to put an end to the fighting, they soon find themselves out of their depth as the block war spreads, even to some of the Judges who take sides. The story is what it is – a classic prologue to the awesome ‘Apocalypse War’ run. The plot speeds along nicely, flitting between Judge Dredd as he tries to cope with the block wars, and the escalation of the trouble.
The major difference between this re-issue and its original publication, in 1981, is the addition of colouring to the story. What I did enjoy was the understated neutral colouring of the city and its people in contrast to the vivid red and gold of the Judge Dredd visuals. He stood out clearly and it instantly draws the reader’s eye. My one big negative is the font, both the size and the style. It’s fuzzy and in some places nearly impossible to read. At times I simply had to skip whole segments of speech and narration as it just appeared no different than an ink smudge. An opportunity to clear it up and allow it to be crisp and clear should really have been taken; it seriously detracts from the flow of the story when you have to work out what you are meant to read.
Overall, this is a worthy re-issue and I hope it attracts new readers, maybe even some old ones, to the world of Judge Dredd. I eagerly wait for the conclusion of the story; it’s been that long since I initially read it that it feels new.
Andy Naylor – Follow me on Twitter.