Judge Dredd: The Day The Law Died – Review

Rebellion have recently re-released a couple of classic Judge Dredd stories in a travel friendly manga book format, at a low price. Amoungst the re-released offerings is the classic epic The Day The Law Died, which tells the tale of the rise of tyrannical head of the Special Judicial Squad, Judge Cal, to the position of Chief Judge, and his subsequent falling to madness.

Employing alien mercenaries known as the Kleggs, Cal frames Judge Dredd and begins issuing increasingly bizarre orders – eventually sentencing the entire city to death! But Dredd is the kind of Judge who doesn’t go down too easily. Leading a team of renegade Judges can Dredd and his rebellion succeed against all odds and defeat Judge Cal before he destroys the entire population of Mega-City One?

There is a reason that this is considered one of the classic Judge Dredd stories, drawing inspriation from tyrannical rulers from history’s past,  The Day The Law Died provides a fully compelling, and page turning, satirical action romp through Mega City One. Whilst the writing has definitely aged (some of the dialogue and characterisation is 70’s cheese at it’s finest) the overal story has remained timeless. The format of the original stories is obvious, with what are essentially recap pages breaking up the issues, and this unfortunately does disrupt the flow of the story at times.

The artwork varies throughout, which once again unfortunately disrupts the flow of the book. However the reader is treated to some stunning illustrations by Brian Bolland (Batman: The Killing Joke) and Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), however the issues pencilled by Mick McMahon (The Last American) are throughly lacking in comparison, Mick’s artwork is by no means bad, but just pales in comparison when sitting alongside the ultra crisp and stylish renderings from the other artists.

Judge Dredd: The Day The Law Died is a great read, and an even greater introduction to the world of Judge Dredd. Possibly the biggest compliment I can pay to the book, my first venture into Mega City One, is that it has made me pick up other Judge Dredd stories, I’m hooked!


3.5 / 5

S#!T Talking Central

  • Stewart Perkins

    McMahon is an artistic genius and whilst Bollands work is clean it doesn’t contain gdlf the energy that McMahons does.
    If your an American reader buy the book for Bollands art and fall in love with McMahons fantastic Dredd artwork at the height of his Dredd work.

    • http://unleashthefanboy.com Ciaran

      McMahon’s art isn’t awful by any means but it just feels messy compared to the other artists in this novel – maybe the new manga sized format doesn’t do it any favours. Perhaps the style just isn’t to my taste.