Released by: IDW Publishing
Released on: September 9th, 2015.
Written by: John Wagner, Alan Grant
Art by: Various
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In 2070, a great nuclear war made large parts of the world inhabitable which lead to the creation of the Mega-Cities, Mega-City One is the greatest of these Mega-Cities and the number one Street Judge is Judge Joseph Dredd. Judge Dredd has been patrolling the streets over 50 years and patrolling the pages of the weekly 2000 AD comic book for 38 years. Dredd was introduced in the second issue of the comic in 1977 and has rarely not been the most popular character, what's not to love though, he lives in a dysotopian future overrun with criminals, aliens and mutants where he is the law.
I remember how I came to Judge Dredd, I'm pretty sure it was the Judgement on Gotham comic where Batman and Judge Dredd have to team up to stop Judge Death. I loved him, his world, his villains and his awesome costume, granted I lived in a variety of small towns scattered across North Texas so I wasn't going to read many British comics but I never forgot how awesome he was so I was on-board with the '95 film (ugh) then I just bided my time till just a few years back when collections started coming out and then that amazing 2012 film came out, sadly it wasn't a hit at the box office so we will probably never see my imagined sequel that has Dredd taking on the Dark Judges. I should go ahead and throw out that since 2000 AD is a weekly comic, the stories are generally only a couple of pages long so it took a few weeks to get through a story the modern reader with this collection can breeze through in 10 minutes. It's also interesting to me that this collection is colorized as I've only ever seen the majority of these stories in black & white, this collection features three Dark Judges stories.
Oh, the Dark Judges are my favorite Dredd villains ever as I've always had an affinity for the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse whom they're a take on. We've got Fire, Fear, Mortis and Death, they come from Deadworld, a sadistic and vicious world where they were the lawgivers who one day realized all crimes were committed by the living so life was a crime and the only way to stop crime was to kill everyone. They slaughtered their entire world.
Having no one left to judge on their world, Judge Death made the jump to Dredd's world where he was pleased to find so many criminals to judge and went on a murder spree. The problem with stopping the Dark Judges is destroying their bodies only slows them down until they possess a new body so it's quite the task to put an end to their reign. After several hundred deaths and the possession and sacrifice of Psi-Judge Anderson, Death is finally put to rest where he will stay for eternity...
Did I say eternity? It wouldn't be a collection if there was only one story, when we left Judge Anderson she was encased for eternity holding onto the spirit of the twisted Judge Death in the Hall of Justice so everyone could remember her sacrifice. Death's brothers come to our world to free him and resume their murder spree where they slaughter thousands only to be stopped by Dredd and the reawakened Psi-Judge Anderson, this story sees Dredd and Anderson traveling to Deadworld to stop them and seemingly destroying the Dark Judges forever.
Nothing else would be heard from the Dark Judges for roughly four years, after her struggles with Death, Judge Anderson has a weird connection with him and can sense when he's around but he can't be, can he? Anderson destroyed him and his brothers and they can't come back. She travels to Deadworld and stumbles into a trap where she resurrects the Dark Judges who escape back to Mega-City One, this time though she finally defeats them once and for all or at least for a few more years.
My god, I seriously love these stories, when Ian and I were talking about this review I told him I'd read these stories a few times before but I'd gladly review it again so I could share my love with the world.