06. Judge Dredd: The Garth Ennis Collection

Judge Dredd: The Garth Ennis Collection featuring art by Steve Dillon, Iam Gibson, Cliff Robinson, Colin MacNeil, John Burns & Greg Staples (US) - (Canada)
Judge Dredd

Pages:  160
Ages: 13+
Finished: Jan. 5, 2013
First Published: (1991-1993) Dec. 11, 2012
Publisher: 2000 AD
Genre: Graphic novel, science fiction, crime, post apocalyptic
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence: "Good dinner. Mister Ambassador?"

Publisher's Summary: "Here are a selection of his [Garth Ennis] best Judge Dredd stories, including his brilliantly funny take on the Irish Justice System in Judge Dredd’s world - The Emerald Isle - which he co-created with Preacher artist Steve Dillon."

Acquired:  Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading:  I'm a huge Judge Dredd fan and this is the latest North American publication.

At this point I recognise the names of the popular Dredd writers but I can't say I have any particular favourites except for Wagner, of course.  This is actually my first time to come across Ennis in my rediscovery of Dredd this past year or so; so my attraction here was not to the author in particular but just to more Dredd stories.  This book contains quite a nice selection of stories with several longer multi-issue stories interspersed with short one-issue ones.  The entire book is in colour except for the last story which comes to us from the 1993 Judge Dredd Yearbook.  All the stories are from the '90s which brings a nice consistency to the collection.

The book begins with "Emerald Isle", a multi-part story which takes Dredd to Ireland and a violent tale of terrorists.  Here we meet Judge Joyce who will return again in this collection.  I only had two problems with this book and one was the "cheese" in this story.  Now I like the cheesiness of early Judge Dredd as much as the next fellow but a gun invented to shoot potatoes instead of bullets was a bit beyond it; death by potato lodged in forehead, uh-huh.  Otherwise a great story.  Next is a short story where Dredd meets the very first guy he ever arrested. "Almighty Dredd" then brings a multi-parter where a bunch of kooks have created a religion around Dredd himself.  Let's just say they do get to meet their maker!    This is where I had my second problem.  Artist Ian Gibson drew this one and used a very cartoony style which I did not appreciate at all.  His work is in a lot of my books and I haven't had this problem with it before but the style just didn't work for me here.

I love the '90s Dredd!  His typical attitude is "Give yourself up to the laaaaaw!" Criminal "Never!" Dredd "Brakka! Brakka! Blamm!" "Call in the meat."  Anyway, next up is a story with probably the most violent villain I've come across in the Dredd Universe so far, Blender McCoy.  This multi-parter is violent but also a love story.  A very good one.  Then another multi-parter as Judge Joyce comes to Mega-City One following a couple of bad guys on the run from Emerald Isle.  By the time he's finished he's more than glad to go back home.  I rather like Judge Joyce.  Another multi-parter of a vigilante ex-Judge called "Raider".  Here I actually sympathized with him rather than Dredd.  I love Dredd, but he can be a high and mighty jerk. LOL.  This story also introduced me to my first "Wally Squad" (I'll be reading Low Life soon) member Judge Lola Palmtree.  I liked her and hope she comes back again.

Then the book ends with two one issue stories a mediocre story of the illegal drug snow, aka sugar and finally the only b/w in this book, a return to Emerald Isle with a funny but very gruesome story of a case for Judge Joyce.  A great collection of '90s Judge Dredd stories!


  1. Is there a collection that is good one to try? I have read occasional stories but would like to try one of the collections.

  2. Of the collections I've read Jim, I'd recommend "When Judges Go Bad" as it contains stories from the 80s right up to one from the 2000s so is a good "history" of the character. But since it is about "bad" judges the stories aren't typical.

    "Crusade & Frankenstein Division" is the other because it only contains 2 long multi-issue stories so you can get a good feel for them. They are also both '90s stories and what I've come to enjoy as the best decade for Dredd, imho. As I remember these are all colour as well.

    I'm no expert here though! So, if the above don't especially appeal, I'd just read the synopsis of various collections and get what appeals to you. If you like superheroes, post apocalyptic worlds, strange criminals, British humour and don't mind the occasional cheesy storyline, he should please. I love him, but I haven't watched either of the movies and don't really want to see him brought to life at this point.


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