Judge Dredd: Blaze of Glory

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Pub Date 1 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 7 Mar 2022
Rebellion, 2000 AD

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Description

Fast, furious and hysterically funny stories from the pen of Al Ewing (Marvel's Immortal Hulk), chronicling the highs and lows of Judge Dredd, Lawman of the Future. This action packed collection has an exclusive Liam Sharp (Green Lantern) cover.

"I’d struggle to overstate how much I enjoy and admire Al Ewing’s work [...] A typical Ewing story is technically ambitious, ethically astute, and intellectually playful. In short; great fun." - Sequart 

Go on patrol and see Mega-City One - and beyond - through the eyes of Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk), one of the most original writers in comics, as Judge Dredd dispenses justice to mutants, laidback religious cults, the Sex Olympics and Santa Claus. But when polite ex-stripper Zombo appears in his dimension, has old Stoney Face finally met his match?

Collecting many of Ewing’s outrageous Dredd stories for the first time and featuring an all-star cast of artists, including Liam Sharp (Green Lantern, Wonder Woman), John Higgins (Dreadnoughts: Breaking Ground, Judge Dredd, Watchmen), Simon Fraser (Judge Dredd, Nikolai Dante) and Ben Willsher (Roy of the Rovers, Judge Dredd), this is an essential collection for fans of the Law.
Fast, furious and hysterically funny stories from the pen of Al Ewing (Marvel's Immortal Hulk), chronicling the highs and lows of Judge Dredd, Lawman of the Future. This action packed collection has...

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ISBN 9781786184832
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Featured Reviews

Not since I watched Karl Urban portray Dredd have I been reminded just how much I loved and missed Judge Dredd, this is a very timely reminder to get my act together and buy more Dredd,!!!

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Judge Dredd: Blaze of Glory is a well curated collection of Al Ewing Judge Dredd stories from 2000AD, Judge Dredd, and the 2000AD special, between 2008 and 2020. This collection, due out 1st March 2022 from Rebellion, is 148 pages and will be available in paperback format. The info provided with the early ARC for review is scant on format info, but many of the other Rebellion/2000AD collaborations are available in paperback graphic novel -and- ebook format, so this could be one of them which will be available as an ebook/comiXology format release.

Al Ewing is one of the few writers who consistently hits the right mix of absurd black sarcastic humour and biting social commentary along with a healthy dash of over the top (gratuitous) violence. This makes him an absolute perfect matchup for JD, and this collection is pretty darned good.

The artists in this collection weren't all familiar to me previously, but they're all top shelf and there were no stories which were badly illustrated. The book also includes a bonus gallery with a few bonus pages.

The stories are varied, there were (as always) some which didn't grab me personally, but all were well written and competently plotted. They were mostly in the 4+ star range(ish) with a couple of really standout stories.

This is a good choice for fans of 2000AD and/or JD who don't have all the stories in other formats. For readers unfamiliar with the franchise, it's *full* of extremely graphic violence and sexual content (usually in combination with irreverent, and occasionally profane humour).

Four and a half stars. NSFW.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Rebellion- 2000 AD for an advanced copy of this new science fiction graphic novel collection.

As a reader it is always great to go back and see how a writer you enjoy developed his art and skills. In going back to you can see tricks start to develop, themes that could be fleshed out and ideas that might grow larger and more fleshed out as time goes on. And in reading older collections you can be introduced or reintroduced to characters that you haven't spent time with, or meant to read but just didn't have the time. Judge Dredd: Blaze of Glory features early stories by the writer Al Ewing and host of future well known illustrators, back in the before times before Mr Ewing became known for his American comics including his superb run on Immortal Hulk.

Mr. Ewing is a writer with a gift for both shocking and quiet stories, mixing wit and bitter satire, with stories that also touch the heart and makes liquid form in the eyes. His Dredd stories feature humans changing themselves into mutants, killing other humans and taking hostages in a bid for mutant rights, to another simpler story of just Dredd explaining the world to a young Judge apprentice, during a murder investigation. Hitler and Churchill also make an appearance, as does the Sex Olympics, and many rounds of ammunition are fired. Some of the stories don't work, which is normal in collection like this, but the stories that do show the world of Dredd as a violent world, filled with contradictions, sadness, humor, and a bit of satire. Sort of like this year. The best thing is the the stories are all bottle stories, pretty much done at the end, and you don't need to know years of Dredd stories or mythos to follow along, which is a good way to get into the Judge Dredd stories.

The art is from a collection of British artists who have become famous from Liam Sharp, Simon Fraser and others. All have the look of Mega-City One down, with some beautiful panels on every page. Dredd, the mutants, the Cursed Lands. All is really well done, and again a good introduction for new readers.

A great collection featuring the Judge and his world. A fine jumping on point for new readers who might be drawn by Mr. Ewing's name, and fine themselves at the start of a long fun adventure. Perfect for fans of Mr. Ewing who would like to see his earlier works and for new and old fans of the Judge.

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When I first saw this was coming out, I said:
Before he was one of Marvel's best writers, Al Ewing was 2000AD's most impressive new blood in years. The strips he originated were excellent too (and Damnation Station in particular really deserves a proper collection), but he was an absolutely natural match for Dredd, where he was able to bring the mix of brutality and absurdity which most writers who aren't John Wagner seem to struggle consistently to catch. Not sure exactly which of his stories are in here, but simply for the Dredd/Zombo crossover which the cover strongly suggests is included, this is very much recommended.

But now I've had chance to read it through in this format, thanks to good old Netgalley, and it's even better than I thought of it as being. It's very easy, when talking about what makes Judge Dredd at its best such a great strip, to fixate on the big stories – explodey epics like Apocalype War and Necropolis, or the quieter, more thought-provoking stuff like America and The Small House, which for all the differences in tone to the ostentatious mega-epic, nevertheless builds over multiple issues and is aware of itself as an important story. And Al has worked in that mode too – see the brilliant Trifecta, while also being aware that picking up a collection of Trifecta will never have quite the same impact that the story did if you were reading the weekly and suddenly a boot crashes through the boundary between different strips and your jaw drops on the bus as you realise that you've been reading a crossover for a couple of months without even knowing it. This collection, though, is about the little stories, the ones which run over one or two issues and aren't trying to be a big deal, the ones which can just use the richness of a fictional environment wrought by many hands over several decades to tell stories about pretty much anything and have them fit. It can be a piss-take of a topical issue, like purity ring movements, or of pop-culture – Al's ribbing of the X-Men in the first story here was funny at the time, but is doubly so reread with him about to launch X-Men Red, and given the Boxing Day story here I only wish he had a Bond comic coming up too. Sometimes these overlap with that old Dredd mainstay, the story about a new Mega-City craze, which as per Dredd's exasperated wait for the other shoe to drop when the city falls for an inactivity cult, invariably end disastrously. Equally, it can be a poignant miniature, like A Home For Aldous Mayo – the litfic mainstay of an old, broken man trying to atone for one terrible mistake many years ago, except better, because it also has Judge Dredd. Or some combination of the two, tragedy replayed as farce which ends in tragedy too, like What The Hitler Saw, which is one of those titles you think no story could quite live up to, yet somehow it does. Also included are a few stories I had not in fact read, because I no longer take the Megazine, to which I forgot Al had contributed plenty too. These tend to take advantage of a slightly larger page count to be more formally experimental, as in the wonderfully intricate Koan, and include some fabulous festive tales (for a given value of 'festive') I only wish I'd read last month. Just fabulous stuff all round.

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This was a fantastic entry into the Judge Dredd world as someone who had previously only seen the movie and knew nothing of the source material. It was so much funnier and cerebral than I expected. That John Blaze issue had me laughing I tell you!

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Before Al Ewing was a shining star in the Marvel Universe, with the likes of The Immortal Hulk, he was an up and coming at 2000AD comics.

Blaze of Glory collects a number of his Judge Dredd strips which showcase his biting satire, dark humour and gratuitous violence which were the mainstays of his tenure of the stoical lawman.

The book collects twelve different stories, all standalone tales, each one with different themes and settings. Sometimes Dredd takes the starring role, at others he is on the side-lines and is a mere bystander to the events happening on the page, for instance in the tale The Sex Olympics, which is a show that can be best equated as Strictly Come Shagging!

The stories themselves are full of humour, pathos and irony that very rarely never end well for the perp as Dredd meters out justice, Mega City One style. However, there is always the fair side of Dredd at play here, and at times he can be thoughtful in his decisions.
The artwork by the various artists at work on the stories also has that undertone of poking fun. One prime example where this is showcased is in the Sex Olympics, where the main protagonist has been given a life changing diagnosis of chronic impotence, sits on the sofa, with a very prominent bowl of sex toys replacing a bowl of fruit in the foreground.

There is a hard satirical edge throughout the stories, particularly the lead story ‘Blaze of Glory’ which quips at the great British tradition of having the James Bond films on rotation every Christmas. Blaze of Glory does its level best to have a go at the whole franchise by sniping at the lead character and his different facets

There is a crossover in the book with another of Al Ewing’s characters, Zombo, which he worked on with creator Henry Flint, which in all honesty is just as batshit crazy as the Zombo strip itself.

The artwork itself complements the stories, form the comic strip style of some of the stories, to the sepia-stained tale A Home for Aldous Mayo and the photo realistic panels of Blaze of Glory.

Also of note are the letterers in each of the story. I never once lost the text throughout the books. There were good clear font styles in each of the stories which added to the narrative. I know that these mainstays of the comic industry rarely get mentioned, but they are just as important as the art and the story. And similarly, a shoutout to the colourists who have all added their individual style and vibrancy to the tales that makes the 2000AD comics a joy to read.

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This was so weird and wacky to go through and I loved every moment of it. I never knew one could poke fun at the Dredd universe bur clearly it can be done.

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An excellent collection of Ewing-penned Dredd stories. Writing Judge Dredd isn't easy - you see this particularly with Dredd written by US writers. The dark humour and satire sort of goes out of the window, it becomes slightly cheesy sci-fi, which certainly is the base, but only the base.

Ewing nails the particular tone of Judge Dredd. The stories are witty, the art is fantastic. This book is an excellent introduction to Dredd and the world of Mega City One.

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