Judge Dredd: Casefiles 01: 10th Anniversary Edition by John Wagner (2015-08-13) Hardcover – January 1, 1646
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Top reviews from the United States
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These stories, particularly at the beginning of the book, are a little heavy-handed and simplistic, although the same can be said for most of the first few issues of "classic" comic books starring other characters. However, over the course of this first collection, the character of Judge Dredd and his world are fleshed out more and more, and the stories point to the familiar characterizations and complex plot-lines to come. That's not to say that this book is not entertaining or worth reading, but if you started reading within the last 10 or 20 years (heh), then these stories a perhaps a little on the primitive side when compared to the more recent comics.
Judge Dredd is not very likeable, but his moral compass for right and wrong is unwavering, and at times, it's intentionally too unwavering. The tales have humor, pathos, irony, and a lot of action. If you're a Judge Dredd fan, this collection should be on your bookshelf. Four stars.
I dont know how good the other ones get but this is a great starting point
Top reviews from other countries
Having read some of the reviews which are adverse, I think they’re not unfair. Sometimes the dialogue here is risible and hasn’t held up well to 40 years of hindsight, especially knowing how good some later stories are. However, for me this is absolutely superb and probably the best value of any of the Rebellion stories, especially if it’s on offer. Featuring some essential stories, it really gives an insight into the character and his origins. Particular highlights are the Robot Rebellion and the stint as the resident Marshal in the ‘Lunar One’ colony but even though there are some ‘unusual’ stories which don’t quite work, for me this is a superb collection, and indispensable for any true fan of the character. Full marks for sure.
The stories are, well, written for older children. The major difference between UK and US comics is that UK comics contained many different stories/characters in each issue, giving just a few pages to each story, whereas US comics devotes each issue to a single story/character, giving the opportunity to tell stories in greater depth. This is readily apparent in the early Judge Dredd stories, where each is over and done in 3 pages.
This is overcome, to a certain extent, by running stories over multiple issues.
It's great that these stories are still available, but as I'm not a massive Judge Dredd fan (that doesn't mean I dislike the character), I prefer much later stories, such as Year One, which are much more detailed.
Interesting to see the majority are standalone 5 page (on average) tales, with a few multipart stories in there too. Very of-its-time but they hold up surprisingly well - the artwork is consistently superb and the violence is quite shocking at times as I always assumed it'd grown more violent in modern times, but no, it's all there to begin with.
A good cast of supporting characters who appear here and there lend a great consistency to a brand new world and the whole thing lays great foundations for the many years to come. Good deal of character history is sprinkled in there too if you're a new reader keen to know more about Dredd.
The Dredd in this volume has yet to evolve into the quasi-fascist satire it later settled on, but a lot of the world-building is established here. Characters like Dredd's Italian land-lady and house robot Walter are quite odd vestigial limbs before things got grittier.
However, any story-line featuring a psychotic robot named "Call-Me-Kenneth" is alright with me!