Sunday, February 3, 2013

Review: Batman/Judge Dredd Collection

Cover
Batman and Judge Dredd team up in this book to fight crime and evildoers. There is no hiding from them, not in Gotham, not in Mega-City One. The Main Man Lobo also gets to dance the crossover tango with Mega-City One's favorite street Judge.

DC Comics and 2000AD presents us with this fantastic collection where heroes and villain cross Universes and star in these five stories

This book collects the following stories Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham, Vendetta in Gotham, The Ultimate Riddle and Die Laughing. It also collects Lobo/Judge Dredd: Psycho Bikers vs. The Mutants from Hell.

How is it?

If, like me, you never read any of these crossover stories before it is hard to imagine that a brutal judge, juri and executioner character like Judge Dredd and the vigilante, system trusting, never killing, Batman would ever make for good, fun entertainment together. But in all honesty they do. In fact, not only that, but most of the guest villains also fit in very well.

Alan Grant and John Wagner are in charge of the writing on all the stories. They do a really good job at it. They create guiding line that connects all the Batman/Dredd stories. Its presence serves only as a connection between the stories but its thin enough to be troublesome or annoying.

That's 10 years for hitting a judge!


In Judgment on Gotham, Gotham gets a visit from Judge Death. Batman encounters Judges Dredd and Anderson for the first time. Batman visits Mega-City and there finds Mean Machine and gets a taste for the justice system. For the first time Batman is capture and unmasked, but of course this being Mega-city One no harm was done in the DC Universe.



That's 2 months for stating the obvious! 
Dark Judge Joker













Vendetta in Gotham brings Dredd back to Gotham to pick a fight with Batman. Dredd has an ulterior motive that brings something very interesting to the story.

Rumble
The Riddler does an appearance in The Ultimate Riddle. This one probably is the weakest story of this collection. Not that it isn't entertaining, but its little more than an arena setting with Dredd and Batman.

Die Laughing starts the clown of crime himself. The Joker manages to escape to Mega-City One were he joins the Dark Judges. Together they terrorize what passes for hippies there. Its up to Dredd and Batman to try to save the day.

Lobo also gets a chance to meet Judge Dredd and Mega-City One's Undercity in Psycho Bikers vs. The Mutants from Hell. This is a straight up macho action story, much like the 80's Schwarzenegger movies.

The art is consistently good. Vendetta in Gotham presents a different art style than the rest of the stories, but maintains a high level of quality. There are many artists involved in this book (over 12), but the overhaul result is oddly consistent.


Verdict?

This is a very good collection. Two great icons of two charismatic publishers come together to create four very entertaining stories. The action is what's to be expected. Dredd wasn't dimmed down to Batman's level and Batman wasn't ramped up to Dredd's level. The retain their most defining traits and the stories are built upon that.

I enjoyed this very much. Highly recommend to anyone that either already loves these characters or is just curious.


Publisher: DC Comics
Year: 2012
Pages: 304
Authors: Alan Grant, John Wagner
ISBN1401236766

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4 comments:

  1. Fantastic! I've been wondering about this but wasn't sure about DC having the reins. I'm definitely going to add this to the collection. Great review!

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  2. Thanks Nicola.

    Both Universes were well taken care of. 2000AD and DC found very imaginative and cool ways to respect each others property, while at the same time telling fun and interesting stories.

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  3. É um bom e divertido crossover, aliás, são bons e divertidos crossovers!
    O Batman sempre bons crossovers, e aqueles que eu mais gosto estão aqui e no crossover com Planetary! Estes, impagáveis como a luta entre os vários Batman e Jakita Wagner...
    :D

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    1. Viva Nuno,

      Concordo. Este e o do Planetary são dos melhores crossovers que já li. E são-no porque contam uma história sem comprometer a essencia das personagens.

      Abraço

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