Judge Dredd Complete Case Files 23 – spoiler light with preview pages

DREDD-CASE FILES 23 coverPublished by 2000AD
14 August 2014 320 Pages £19.99

Writers:
John Wagner, Pat Mills, Garth Ennis, Robbie Morrison, Jim Alexander, Gordon Rennie, Chris Standley
Artists:
Carlos Ezquerra, John Burns, Tom Carney, Siku, Trevor Hairsine, Anthony Williams, Mick McMahon, Nick Percival, John Higgins, David Hine, Jason Brashill, Paul Johnson, Chris Foss, Chris Weston, Andrew Currie, Jim Murray, Charles Gillespie, Steve Sampson, Pete Venters

Letterers:
Tom Frame, Ellie De Ville

320 pages of a mix of colour and black and white stories from both 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine. As with most Case Files as this is a large collection of Judge Dredd stories in print order the stories vary greatly in theme and style. This makes for a very interesting read.

A full list of contents follows and there are 9 pages of The Three Amigos by John Wagner with art from Trevor Hairsine. I’ll just review two stories, one from 2000AD and one from the Megazine.

I re-read Goodnight Kiss in April this year as preparation for Lawgiver: A Celebration of Dredd because Nick Percival was a guest and I would be running a panel that would include him. Cunningly named the How to Draw a Panel Panel; I’ve always found it amusing that the term ‘panel’ is used when questioning comic creators.

I know quite a few Dredd fans that don’t always appreciate Garth Ennis scripts. I’m not one of them though. A hit man from Euro-Cit is hired to kill Judge Dredd and he uses a clan of mutants called The Brotherhood of Marshalls. One weakness in the plot surrounds the Marshalls themselves, they all seem to have the same mutation which suggests they are a tribe of related individuals. Jonni Kiss refers to a Northern Tribe of Marshalls which supports this assumption. All the Marshalls seem to be male, again supported by the ‘Brotherhood’ title.

It isn’t a big thing, after all the actual tribe with the women-folk, children and eldsters might be elsewhere… possibly actually being the Northern Tribe?

Other than this aspect the story has some great moments, especially Part Four which includes a hallucination scene.  The art is full of character and the colour choices are atmospheric.

The Megazine stories do not have titles or credits on the story pages due to how they were presented in the Megazine. Some readers might find this slightly off-putting.

The Three Amigos is a lighthearted story that sees Dredd teamed up with Judge Death and Mean Machine Angel. A rather improbable team-up. Granted there are precedents for convicts being used as part of a team, Spikes Harvey Rotten in the Cursed Earth for example. So Mean Machine maybe… but Death? It is a bit of a stretch of the suspension of disbelief.

That said the over all story is fine, Death and Mean Machine are played for laughs more than once. I know many readers don’t like lighthearted use of Judge Death.  The plot is however very consistent and within the bounds of this story the odd team-up is explained adequately. The villains are rather stereotypical, which isn’t unusual for stories set in the Cursed Earth.

The art is outstanding with the three protagonists well portrayed. The mutants are a great variety of looks, except for the leaders who are a family with distinctive mutations. The locations are great and full of detail, you can see preview pages of this story after the list of contents.

Contents (from 2000AD):

GOODNIGHT KISS
Garth Ennis & Nick Percival
Originally published in 2000 AD Progs 940-948
BLOWOUT
John Wagner & David Hine
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 949
LANGUAGE BARRIER
John Wagner & Jason Brashill
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 950
JUDGE DREDD: FLASHBACK 2099: THE RETURN OF RICO
Pat Mills & Paul Johnson
Originally published in 2000 AD Progs 950-952
THE NEON MAN
John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 951
MEGALOT
John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 952
JIGSAW!
John Wagner & Chris Foss
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 953
CAUGHT SHORT
John Wagner & John Higgins
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 953
STATUE OF JUDGEMENT
John Wagner & John Burns
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 954
BLASTER BUDDY
John Wagner & Anthony Williams
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 954
MY SON THE HERO
John Wagner & John Higgins & TCS
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 955
BAD FRENDZ
John Wagnern & Carlos Ezquerra
Originally published in 2000 AD Progs 955-959
TO THING WITH LOVE
John Wagner, Chris Weston& Mike Hadley
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 956
THE DECISION
John Wagner & Andrew Currie
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 957
AWAKENING OF ANGELS
John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra
Originally published in 2000 AD Prog 958

Contents (Judge Dredd Megazine):

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BILL CLINTON
John Wagner & Siku
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazine 2.81
REPEAT OFFENDER
John Wagner & Tom Carney
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazine 2.81
BUG CRAZY
John Wagner & Charles Gillespie
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazines 2.82 to 2.83
SKEDWAY MADNESS
Jim Alexander & Jim Murray
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazine 2.82
FACE OF JUSTICE
Robbie Morrison & Steve Sampson
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazine 2.83
FAMILY FEUD
Script: Chris Standley, Paul Johnson & P.B. Smith
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazine 3.01
GET ME TO THE CHURCH ON TIME
Gordon Rennie & Pete Venters
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazine 3.01
THE WALL
Robbie Morrison, Tom Carney & P.B. Smith
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazine 3.02
THE THREE AMIGOS
John Wagner & Trevor Hairsine
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazines 3.02 to 3.07
HOT PURSUIT
Chris Standley, Mick McMahon & P.B. Smith
Originally published in Judge Dredd Megazine 3.03

Amigos p1 Amigos p2 Amigos p3 Amigos p4 Amigos p5 Amigos p6 Amigos p7 Amigos p8 Amigos p9

 

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