Lets start at the beginning. Me and Judge Child have definitely started on wrong foot. Since it is one of the longest Dredd storylines and was originally published back in the 80s (in issues 156 to 181), until now, I never managed to track down all progs. And due to the nature of the story, this is not a story where you can afford to miss progs. You can imagine how frustrated I was. Judge Child is often described as one of the most important storylines in long Judge Dredd comic series so I happily jumped at the chance to finally read it in it's complete form. The latest edition of The Judge Child Saga is collected in one smallish handy paperback that is coming out on 14th March by 2000AD.
The premise of The Judge Child is quite simple. Laying on his deathbed, one member of the psy division has a vision that Mega-City One will be destroyed unless a certain Judge Child can be found. The Judge Child in question is Owen Krysler, a boy with an eagle birthmark on his forehead. So Judge Dredd embarks on the quest to find Judge Child and ends up in tracking him across the wasteland to Texas City where Angel Gang kidnaps Judge Child. This is the place where story turns quite bizarre. In an attempt to find Oracle Spice which is supposed to reveal the current location of Judge Child, Judge Dredd, using spaceship Justice One, ends up traveling across the galaxy. Judge Dredd visits some truly bizarre and hallucinogenic locations including a planet that eats spaceships, a planet where the war itself is a competitive sport, and a place hunted by seriously creepy and brilliant jigsaw disease.
Once the spice is found, Dredd basically sacrifices a crew member to locate the Judge Child. This is the point when Judge Child saga truly shines and defines the way Judge Dredd series will be in the future - one big overarching story exploring the grey areas of morality. I won't spoil the ending here but let me assure you that it is very surprising.
All in all, "Judge Child", even after 30 years, definitely stands the test of time and this re-issue is quite a necessary buy for anyone exploring the beginnings of truly momentous Judge Dredd series.
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