Review: Judge Dredd Classics #2
“Block Mania” continues here! Mega-City One is in the grips of Block Madness, and Dredd must track down the villain who poisoned his city and turned everyone against each other. Close calls and espionage abound in this re-colored collection of Judge Dredd classics.
The second entry of IDW’s new Judge Dredd Classics series is released today. Block Mania has reached a fever pitch, and time is running out for the Judges to get it under control. The story was written by John Wagner and Alan Grant. Ron Smith, Steve Dillon, and Brian Bolland each provided art for the different sections of the 4 part conclusion. Tom Fram handled lettering and Charlie Kirchoff is the man giving the classic storyline splashes of color. So what’s the judgment on Block Mania?
The different blocks are at war and no one knows why. Something has affected the citizens of Mega-City One, and Dredd is determined to get to the bottom of it. A man has called Dredd and told him he knows what’s going on. He wants full immunity and the Judges to get to him as quick as they can. On their way to the Frank Zappa Block, the H-Wagon carrying Dredd and the other Judges is attacked. Dredd has to set out on his own to find what clues the citizen holds. Of course the man is dead by the time Dredd gets there. The apartment holds enough clues though. The water supply is contaminated and Orlok is behind it. It’s a race against time as Dredd has to track down and stop the assassin from spreading Block Mania even further. What happens when Mega-City One is in ashes? Is there anything left for Dredd to save?
The story is great. It’s a “Judge Dredd Classic” for a reason. Block Mania and the next story The Apocalypse War consistently make Essential Judge Dredd lists. When the entire city is fighting each other, the Judges are against the rope, and the city is in ruins and that’s not even the real problem, you know you have an ambitious and action-packed story. Bolland, Dillion, and Smith are all pretty iconic Judge Dredd artists. The story came out in the early 80s, so there isn’t much more to say about how great the art is. It’s Charlie Kirchoff’s colors for these story collections that are new and one of the series’ major selling points. Kirchoff keeps things bright, vibrant, and very much in line with 1980s Judge Dredd. The fight scene between Orlok and Dredd is colored amazingly well. It’s a little darker and toned down compared to the rest of the book. The fight takes place in a few feet of water. That’s a challenge in a lot of comics, but Kirchoff does it well.
Bottom Line: Judge Dredd Classics is quintessential Judge Dredd purchase. Even if you’ve read these stories, with Kirchoff’s amazing color work you’ll see them in an entirely new light. Judge Dredd has gotten a lot of attention since his latest movie, and IDW is giving fans a great selection of comics to continue his adventures. 5/5
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