Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Review Tuesday: JUDGE DREDD: The COMPLETE Cursed Earth Saga

I haven't had a Dredd review since MARCH?!?! It's time to fix that!
In a post-apocalyptic world, the US is reduced to two Mega-Cities, containing nearly 500 million citizens each on either coast. To speed up the legal process a policing force of JUDGES enforce the law. One Judge will, on the spot, be Judge, Jury, and if it fits the crime, Executioner. We get to follow the adventures one of the most feared and by-the-book Judges, Joseph Dredd, as he does his job upholding the law and defending Mega-City One.

The Cursed Earth
by Pat Mills (Author), John Wagner (Author), Chris Lowder (Author), Mick McMahon (Illustrator), Brian Bolland (Illustrator)

Product Details directly from 2000AD:
Pages: 208 - hardback
Writer: John Wagner, Pat Mills, Chris Lowder
Artists: Brian Bolland, Mike McMahon

Mega-City One, 2100. This post-apocalyptic city of the future is blighted by overcrowding, poverty and misery. With each of the 400 million citizens a potential criminal, order is maintained by future lawmen known as the Judges who have the power to act as judge, jury and executioner. Toughest of them all is Judge Dredd – he is the law!

A deadly plague developed during the brutal ‘Great Germ War’ has reached the futuristic metropolis of Mega-City Two, located on the West Coast of the USA. Charged with delivering a life-saving vaccine to the citizens of the disease-ridden city, Judge Dredd and a small crew of Judges, war droids and the lawbreaking biker, Spikes Harvey Rotten, must travel a thousand miles across the radioactive wasteland known as ‘the Cursed Earth.’

Experience the complete Cursed Earth saga, collected here for the first time – a sparkling action-packed parody from Pat Mills and John Wagner, complete with sumptuous colour spreads from Brian Bolland and Mick McMahon.

  • Introduction by John Wagner
  • Creator Bios
  • Gallery
When a plague is unleashed on Mega City Two (the West Coast of the USA) the antidote has to be delivered from Mega City One (on the East Coast). Unfortunately, since the airports have been overrun in MC2, the only way to transport the medicine is over land, through the irradiated wasteland known as THE CURSED EARTH.  

The reason why this story has reached legendary status is because of how it was censored. 2000 AD was a very young comic-book company when it decided to create the first epic Judge Dredd story arc. This tale took a year to hash out in the pages, so it required a lot work. In their effort to keep things satirical and fresh, the writers and artists gave the readers characters like The Burger King, Ronald McDonald, The Jolly Green Giant and Colonel Sanders to name a few. 
While the writers and fans found the satire to be very clever, the companies that owned those characters weren't so amused and took 2000 AD. This was a young company that took a huge chance with this story line and could've put them out of business. Luckily it all worked out, but those stories that were considered to be infringing on copyrights were never to be seen again...

The full story arc was re-released in its entirety in various formats. The one the have was the hard-cover edition with new art by the legendary Brian Bolland. 

This story arc had previously been collected in the CURSED EARTH SAGA (pictured below) and collected in the COMPLETE CASE FILES 02 (reviewed HERE). I was happy to finally see the panels that were previously edited out, but it wasn't nearly as much as I expected. 

Still a great story to read and a fun stroll down memory lane.