Essential Judge Dredd: Origins- John Wagner

Published: Set for 31 August 2021
Publisher: 2000 AD
Pages: 192
Format Read: Online PDF


The essential Judge Dredd graphic novel series – the ultimate introduction to the Lawman of the Future! The origin of Judge Dredd, and the Mega-City One Justice system – This is Judge Dredd: Year One.

An unusual delivery is made to the Grand Hall of Justice, a package that will force Dredd to lead a mission into the Cursed Earth and into the darkest recesses of the history of the Judges and Mega-City One. 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 (ABC Warriors: Khronicles of Khaos).


This was an E Arc I got from NetGalley. The fact that I got it for free for an honest review did not influence my review of the contents in any way.

For those of you who missed it, I am a fan of the Dredd universe, future America gone haywire and post apocalyptic, where the state is run by the Police and as an extention of their peace keeping they have Judges, who also have the right to be jury and executioner all in one package. There is a lot of civil unrest still as not all have accepted the intigration of the Judges, but there is nothing a few broken teeth and a spent bullet or two cannot do to sway people to think twice about standing in the way of The LAW(yes I totally Sylvester Staloned that law just now). Among the Judges the most well known is Dredd, a clone from a legend of a man called Fargo, the person responsible for the idea of the Judge system that died many years ago while on duty. Or that is as much as the story is being told and has been since the death of Fargo. One day a finger turns up with a ransom note and it is up to Dredd and fellow Judges to venture into the wastelands outside Mega City One to locate the owner of said finger, insert suspensful tun tun daaaah, none other than Fargo, the legend himself…

I quite liked this comic. While I thought it was going to be a collection of some of the first Judge Dredd comics I got some thing completely else. A Dredd case, mixed with references to comics that came before. Now, I have to admit, I was not aware that Dredd was ever a clone and as far as Rico, his “twin” clone brother’s history is also quite a mystery to me still, but I can guess at what went down. These revelations as well as Dredd sitting down at a camp fire while waiting on the rondevous time to arrive with the ransom holders, telling his own little story to fellow Judges was done quite well in my opinion. I was afraid that I needed knowledge of the comics that are referenced in some parts of the comic, but I think it was more as a guideline, should some one be interested in reading more. I for one would love to read more Dredd, but availability of these comics are quite scarce and expensive. Origins was the perfect fit for me as I did not feel I needed more knowledge of what went before as well as entertain me. Where it lacked in action, as I remember the Dredds of before were quite violent, this made up in world building and getting possible people new to the franchise eased into the setting. Not a lot of character building to go on, but it’s Dredd after all, where the man cannot make his voice heard, he speaks through his actions, always trying to uphold the LAW!

Art wise this was decent. Not too violent and one can see there was a lot of care that went into getting all to fit nicely in digital format. I had no problems reading this on my phone, although having to zoom in and out everytime I had to turn a page was a bit of a slog, this was a chunky comic to go through with just under 200 pages. By the time I was done I wanted some more and lucky for me, NG gave me another two Dredd books, one I have already reviewed, that takes place even earlier in the Dredd setting before Dredd was even a thing and a Judge Death comic that I would like to look into over the weekend.

I gave Dread Origins a 4 out of 5 on GR. Recommended for the fans, also an easy one for those that have no idea what I was just on about and would like to see for themselves.

Have a good weekend everyone.

11 thoughts on “Essential Judge Dredd: Origins- John Wagner

  1. Awesome! I had this graphic novel back in the day, but either lost or sold it between house moves. If it’s finally getting reprinted though, I might have to pick it up again!! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, I’ve already been seeing the new magazine in the shops – I’m not trying to brag, of course! Hopefully you’ll have the same temptations across the Channel soon 😃


      2. Ive sent them an email to ask and they seem to not consider us important enough. I just had Fear to Tread in the 40K legends drop today thanks to ebay, but man, is it going to be a costly endeavour if i choose to pursue completing my collection this way…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. How many do you have left to collect? It’s probably going to be a lot cheaper to just get the regular books, I would think, yeah! 😬 Fear to Tread is pretty intense, I’m not sure I loved it when I first read it, but when I look back – oh, boy…

        Liked by 1 person

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