Judge Dredd, the future of law enforcement, returns in this new collectible set of hardcover books in the UK. But is the Mega collection worthy of its title?
My first ever article for The Unheard Nerd was a short piece about the then upcoming film starring Karl Urban which you can read here. In fact looking over the archives, I’ve written quite a few Dredd related pieces, so this review is a little biased considering its coming from a Dredd fan.
Dredd is a long running comic strip from the United Kingdom that first made an appearance in 2000AD magazine back in March, 1977. For the past thirty seven years Dredd has been trying to keep the peace and enforce the law in Mega-City One.
Mega-City One, a city so large it populates the Eastern side of the American Continent. Its huge walls protecting the inhabitants from the dangers of the Cursed Earth, the radioactive wasteland left over from the atomic wars of the 2070.
Mega-City One may occupy a large space but its cramped. Huge skyscrapers called Megablocks house the millions of inhabitants. With little room and plentiful overcrowding, tension runs high. Enter the Judges.
The Judges each have the power of the entire judiciary system and can dispense instance justice, be it either time in an iso-cube (prison) or worse still, execution.
Judge Dredd is one of these law men and the comic has followed him on his adventures for almost thirty eight years now. Also the comic runs in real time. As the stories continue to run, so do the lives and events of Mega-City One continue to do so as well. So at this time, Dredd is thirty eight years older than his first appearance in the late seventies.
With this much content to choose from, where do you start? One option is the Dredd Case files. Volumes almost the size of telephone directories that have been reprinting every story since the first appearance and this year (2015) will be publishing its 24th volume.
What if you would rather have a handpicked collection of the most influential and best Dredd stories from the past thirty seven years. This is Dredd: The Mega Collection.
I was lucky enough to receive the first four books in the series from Hachette Partworks and I can tell you, this is a very impressive set.
The cover art is the first thing to grab your attention. Each book features beautiful black and white artwork with just a careful use of a splash of red. You’ll also find the title of the collection as well as the story contained therein.
Once you pick a copy up you can just feel the quality. These are some weighty books and rightly so. Each issue is a hardback book with the stories themselves having been printed on lovely thick quality paper. You can see where the money is being spent.
Each book also contains some great unpublished material. At the back you’ll find some of the original untouched artwork that was used for the 2000AD covers when the stories were first printed as well as the artists designs and character sketches.
If that wasn’t enough, the spines of each book contain a splice of a Dredd graphic that will complete once you have the entire set of books lined up on your book shelf. You can preview the complete graphic at the Judge Dredd Mega Collection official site
If you want the best of Dredd, this is a set seriously worth considering. I can’t emphasize enough how good the quality of this publication really is. My wife who opened the package before I got home was also impressed and wanted to remove the shrink wrap and look through them and she doesn’t even like Judge Dredd!
Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection part 1 is available now at your local newsagent from Hatchette Partworks for just £1.99.
Issue 2 will be £6.99 with issue 3 on-wards priced at £9.99. Do yourself a favor and purchase the first issue. For a couple of quid your getting a quality produced hardback graphic novel and that’s a bargain in anyone’s book!
If you choose to go ahead and subscribe, check out the great free gifts that all subscribers will receive including a replica Judge Dredd badge and stylish metal bookends to keep your collection tidy. Visit the official site of the Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection for more details.
I’m telling you, as a Dredd fan, if I didn’t have kids, I would!