You can say what you want about “Robocop,” “Batman” or whoever else you can come up with, but the fact is nobody can say that besides Dredd himself. With the success of the new Dredd movie, IDW has released classic “Judge Dredd” comics and damn are they still cool. The first volume of the “Judge Dredd Classics” graphic novel series is everything readers could want out of the series, with a visceral look and some wacky, but engaging story.
Collecting the first five issues of the “Block Mania” story, a block war between two blocks turns into a way between every single block that wants to protect their pride. The Judges are mystified by this and a full on investigation is put into effect while Dredd and other Judges try to keep civilians from destroying themselves.
Anyone who knows anything about the “Judge Dredd” comics knows that, despite the high violence, this is meant to be a parody of real life. Even the block names are out there (“Fats Domino Block,” “Betty Crocker Block.”) What was the reason for the start of the block war? In this universe no reason is needed to start a block war.
Even though there is almost no story here, the comic more than makes up for it with one outrageous idea. It’s this outrageousness that keeps readers coming back. This story arc is no exception. It has insane violence, “block war mania” and Dredd taking charge of everything. It’s comedy mixed with action that makes these stories worth reading.
The art fully embraces the comic’s intention of making a comedic story look like a serious story. Every human is ugly. Nothing pretty to look at here. The iconic Judge Dredd design is here in all its glory. He is as cool and scary as usual. The highlight character design is Judge Griffin. He looks like a superhero with a cape and giant golden eagle armor. The eyepatch and “utility belt” just makes the design even funnier.
“Judge Dredd Classics #1” encapsulates everything that makes the series so beloved. An out there and hilarious story with an equally out there art design this collection will keep readers frantically turning pages to see what happens next.