Essential Judge Dredd Necropolis – Wagner / Esquerra

Published: 30 August 2022
Publisher: 2000 AD
Pages: 224
Forma Read: NetGalley Shelf App


Mega-City One is under siege from the Dark Judges, Dredd has been exiled to the harsh wastelands of the Cursed Earth and time is running out for the citizens he once swore to protect. With the body-count rising and hope running out, will the Judges be able to turn back the tide of death?

Essential Judge Dredd: Necropolis is the ultimate Judge Dredd Vs The Dark Judges storyline. A comic book ‘summer blockbuster’, written and drawn by Dredd’s co-creators John Wagner (A History of Violence) and Carlos Ezquerra (Strontium Dog), where Dredd must reclaim his badge from the imposter Judge Kraken and retake Mega-City One from the grip of the Dark Judges; Death, Fear, Fire and Mortis.


I received this through NetGalley. The fact that it was free did not influence my views and thoughts in any way. I thank 20000AD and NetGalley who have made it possible to read this ARC.

Confession time: I read this so long ago that I might have forgotten what happened and seeing as NetGalley already archived the pdf, I cannot go back to try re read this one. I was clever enough to have written a small review on GR for it at least which justified my score for it. It read as follows: ”A collection of comics all put together to tell the story of Necropolis. I can’t say I was a big fan of The Sistersss, but I understand more now of the Dark Judges which is the reason I picked this up.”

Reading that just made me realize I do remember some of it. Dredd takes the Long Walk after events from other comics I may or may not have previously read, it is difficult to remember with reading them so far apart from one another. He ends up in the desert on his own little adventure, while in Mega City One all hell breaks loose. Some how the dark  judges come to town and this was the first time I sort of understood how they work or how they come to be. It works nearly very much like the Chaos element in some 40K novles, which I also thought it funny as I believe some of Dredd’s appearance inspired the Adeptus Arbites in that franchise one just needs to look up some pictures and put them side by side to see it. Maybe I am wrong, maybe 40K inspired Dredd’s look? Can’t say for sure.

Anyhow. The Sistersssss ( I spell them that way as that is how they would write anything that ended in S like that. It got a bit annoying real fast). The Dark Judges are in some sort of dream world I see as the 40K’s Warp. For them to manifest they have to confuckulate a human to somehow sacrifice a life or lives for them to be able to pierce the thin veil between the Dredd reality and their dimension/realm. Luckily any human that is not Dredd is easy game and so the Sisterssss find a way to bring the Dark Judges to the current reality. The humans have no way of fighting mental manifestations so the world is quickly turned topsy turvey. Dredd gets a whiff of that and decides to take the Long Walk back to Mega One to sort things out. Only to find out that corruption has reached even the higher ups in the Judges conclave. The rest is mostly a blur for me from there. It needs to be said that even though this was printed this year, it is a bind up of older comics from the 90’s era if I am not mistaken.

I did give this a 4 out of 5 on GR so I must have liked it more than the average comic or graphic novel. My mind has just been all over the place of late so pinning stuff down in my brain is a bit of a mess. I cannot fault Esquerra for his art and Wagner was good at the stories he told with Dredd. There is a reason I still see Stallone’s Judge Dredd as a classic masterpiece as well as Karl Urban’s Dredd as a decent adaptation. At least Urban refused to take the helmet of throughout the whole film, where Stallone’s Dredd was forced to back in the day. I like Dredd enough to continue trying to track down more comics, but so far I have been hitting it well with Netgalley as I recieved another Dredd book this week. Life is good…


7 thoughts on “Essential Judge Dredd Necropolis – Wagner / Esquerra

    1. I do enjoy Dredd. The humour is so dry and deadpan in some of them. I rarely give 4 stars to comics in general. So a fourstar means it was more liked than the avarage 3 star i normally go with.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I keep meaning to get into Judge Dredd and see what I’ve been missing all these years. I remember my brother was a big fan in the 90s with the usual dystopian stuff like Terminator, and as I’m now into that stuff myself, I think it’d be cool. I’ve got an omnibus of short stories up in the loft, but I don’t know where to start with the comics 🤪 Would this be a good start, do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This particular one? I do not think so. 2000AD have done other Essential Judge Dredd bindups. That give a better introduction tk the character. Id look for that one first then go necropolis later.


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