COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE DAILY DREDDS VOLUME 1, 1981 – 1986 / WRITER: VARIOUS / ARTIST: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: 2000AD GRAPHIC NOVELS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
THIS is the book comic fans in the UK have been waiting for, and the wait has been more than worthwhile.
Rebellion are of course doing an awesome job of reprinting the 2000 AD strip in their ongoing Case Files series, but what about the Daily Star strip? Other than a few reprints in annuals in the mid-‘80s and The Judge Dredd Mega Collection in 1990, this is a rich vein of the Mega City Lawman’s legacy that has been inexplicably unexplored.
Here are all the strips that made buying the Daily Star on Saturday in the ‘80s a cool proposition. From the first instalment, all nine panels of it, published on August 29, 1981, adapted from the original 2000 AD material and never before printed, we’re away with all the introduction to Dredd and the City with its myriad crime problems even the most hardened Dredd novice would need before digging in.
These are mainly single-page self-contained stories with a few multi-parters thrown in, so there really isn’t much time nor room for exposition or indeed subtlety or nuance; the pace is as fast as the bullets from Dredd’s trusty Lawgiver gun dispersing another Block War on rapid fire. Given the constraints of the strip’s extremely limited space and panel number, these are textbook examples of expedience in storytelling. But however minimalist the structure, the strips are incredibly irreverent and satirical.
Dredd may be harsh and unyielding in his pursuit of bringing the perps to justice, but there’s no doubting that his brand of justice is also fair, and often ironic. Witness, for example, a riot by the frustrated unemployed masses of the city. Punishment – hard labour. You can’t help but smile at the joy of the rioters celebrating that they finally get to work.
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