142. Judge Dredd: Origins by John Wagner.

Judge Dredd: Origins by John Wagner. Art by Carlos Ezquerra and Kev Walker
Judge Dredd Universe

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

Mar. 19, 2013, 2000 AD, 192 pgs
Age: 18+

"The birth of Judge Dredd's world is revealed. How America became a wasteland with two enormous Mega-Cities on each seaboard. How Judge Dredd himself came to be, and his first taste of dealing justice on the streets. Secrets will be revealed. The future will be forged. Justice will be served. 
An unusual delivery is made the the Grand Hall of Justice, a package that will force Judge Dredd to lead a mission into the Cursed Earth and into the darkest recesses of the history of the Judges and Mega-City One...Now in this much-anticipated Dredd epic, history is written by Dredd co-creators John Wagner (A History of Violence) and Carlos Ezquerra (Strontium Dog) with a special introductory tale featuring the art of Kev Walker."

Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Brilliant.  A complete story focusing in on the childhood background of Judge Dredd, Judge Rico and their clone origins.  This details the beginnings of the Judge System, how and why it went into place.  Also a complete history of the Atomic Wars which created the Cursed Earth from a fresh point of view going into detail with what happened to major players Eustace Fargo and the last President, Robert L. Booth.  Even though this is an origin story, I wouldn't recommend it as a first introduction to Dredd as it does assume you know what the heck they are talking about.  The whole book is in colour which is a visual delight as Ezquerra's work is especially nice on Dredd.  Since this story is particularly violent, the colour does add to the graphic nature of this volume and there is a rape scene, so not one to pass off onto the kiddies.  Nevertheless, a fantastic story for readers, like me, getting into the Judge Dredd universe, who sort of know their way around but don't know all the history and background yet.  One of my favourite trade collections to date.