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Judge Dredd: America

(Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  610 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The classic Judge Dredd story in a US edition for the first time!

IN MEGA-CITY ONE, THE JUDGES ARE THE LAW - acting as judge, jury, and executioner. But how do the citizens really feel about a system where they are powerless? America Jara and Bennett Beeny grow up as best friends, living a fairly trouble-free life in a dangerous city... bar the odd encounter with a Judge. T
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 15th 2008 by 2000 AD Books
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  610 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
'Justice has a price. The price is freedom.' As far as I know, this story is among the few that present the Judges in a bad light. There is less focus on shooting and punishing than on describing the oppressive regime enforced by the Judges. A strong democratic response develops, but the Judges have the power and jurisdiction to stifle it. Democracy is also criticized harshly, but ultimately there are some aspects of it that are desirable, like the way law is applied.

The USA's Judges have replac
This book is trying to be deep, but it's really stupid. ...more
Juho Pohjalainen
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
A lot of people praise this story as one of the best in Judge Dredd's history, citing its dark tone and realistic writing. And that's all very well, but it's not really what I read the comic for. It's all the satire and black comedy I like, or failing that, the gonzo scifi action.

So this one just kind of feels mundane. Like most of the Democracy storyline starting from the late eighties, America feels like ditching away the good stuff and instead taking the old joke too seriously. It's not my cu
Pablo Martinez
One of the best stories published on the Judge Dredd universe, although I can't help but feel "America" is Dredd for people who couldn't get into Dredd or who flat out dislike the character/book. It's nice to see a side story of people living throught key events in the life of Mega City One, but the main story gets fare more credit than it should as a lot of it's themes had already been covered in the pages of 2000AD (In the classic dark comedy of Dredd as oppoused to the tragic tone presented h ...more
Ken Hardin
Sep 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
I absolutely despise this story arc. To me (and I realize this puts me in the decided minority), it not only marks the end of one of the great creative periods on any title, it also embodies everything that went wrong in comics in the early ‘90s. Gone is the black comedy and irony that made Judge Dredd not only an enjoyable read, but also a thought-provoking exploration of societal pragmatism and authoritarianism. Left in its place is a preachy, shrill (seriously, her name is “America”?) and sel ...more
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Reads as an unfortunate defence of fascism, lacking the irony that makes Dredd stand apart.
Tom Brennan
I read this the day it was announced that capital punishment for federal offenses had been reinstated. To therefore say that this novel is timely is, I think, an understatement. It looks at freedom and safety and what people (and The People) are willing to do secure one or the other. While the first part went as I expected, the next two held some surprises. All in all, I thought it was a great book for bringing up food for thought, especially the way America is today.

4.5 stars rounded to 5.
Doctor Alpha
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The definitive Judge Dredd Story. What else do I need to say?
Kam Yung Soh
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Told in flashback, the first story, "America", tells the tale of the narrator, Benny, and a girl who gets named America by her immigrant parents. But from young, they are already monitored by the Judges as troublemakers, especially the assertive America. While Benny stays quietly in the background, America grows up yearning for the democratic freedom of the US from before the time of the Judges. Benny and America drift apart; Benny becoming a rich entertainer, while America aligns with radical d ...more
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My rating is just for the first story, America.
Oliver Clarke
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was a massive fan of ‘2000 AD’, the comic that Judge Dredd first appeared in, as a kid. Every Friday I’d pick up my reserved copy from the newsagents and devour the often violent, always inventive tales within it. Unlike US comics, which tend to focus on one character or team, British titles like ‘2000 AD’ feature a number of different stories, told episodically each week. Of all the characters that appear in ‘2000 AD’, Dredd is the only constant, turning up each week to dispense ruthless just ...more
Ed Dinnermonkey
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
The world of Mega City One and the judges is fertile ground for comic stories. You’ve got millions of citizens, future tech, authoritarian cops - the perfect setup for everything from police procedural whodunnits to wacky sci-fi monster of the week romps. Add to that the idea that the judges are fascist stormtroopers who rule with absolute authority and you’ve got a blackly satirical swipe at contemporary politics that mischievously exaggerates our worst elements.

Every now and then writers will
Nick Coleman
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Judge Dredd was always meant to be a mocking satire of the American justice system. In lesser storylines he comes across as a right-wing fantasy. But in the best of them, the satire is obvious. The thing about Judge Dredd: America is it was written in 1990 and it is so relevant to what's going on today.

The judges are legalized judge-jury-executioners and we see their brutalizing effect on Mega City One through the eyes of a young girl named America (a bit on the nose, but it works) who grows up
James Donald
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Judge Dredd is the good guy. He is the hero, right?

Wagner and Grant made it clear from day one that we really shouldn't be under any illusions as to what Dredd was. Yes, he would sacrifice his life to save a citizen. Yes he fought crime. Yes he saved the day... but this was a man who thought nothing of wiping out an entire city in nuclear fire.

Dredd is a fascist.

That is, frankly, that.

Whilst there has been a gradual softening of Dredd over the years this is not part of that process. This is W
Josh Keam
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
America is a great read. I'm not a huge Dredd fan myself and don't really know the universe to some massive degree but this story is well written with a great message and interesting characters. It tells the story of Bennet Beeny and a lady named America, childhood friends who drift apart later in life. Bennet tolerates the justice system and makes an honest living while America becomes part of the Democrats, a faction who want to tear the Justice down and start anew, no more totalitarianism. Th ...more
Andy Luke
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wagner and McNeill's 'America', an instant classic when published, still holds up today as one of the key Dredd tales, exploring issues of power and control and civil disobedience as a manifesto - something Wagner rarely does. It goes to the heart of the Judges concept, it's jammed with iconic imagery and it's effective with a series of emotional gut punches too.

The sequel, 'Dying of the Light' invokes the same world and evokes a lot of the same language, and is beautifully painted, but didn't
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Just dream on creep, but just remember - that's all it is, a dream...
America is dead.
This is the real world."

A series of stories confronting America the ideal (land of the free etc.) with Mega City One and the Justice system. The art of the first story is quite different from the other Judge Dredd comics, but the stories in the comic are good. I liked how the first stories switched perspectives between Dredd and Benny making it like a dialogue between the two about liberty, justice and America.
For my second Dredd book, this one was pretty good. It's a bit rocky at the start, which might be either my needing to get reacquainted with the world he operates in or the design of comics from the era when it was created. Whichever it is, once the story really gets rolling it works pretty well. There are three shorts in this volume that are connected by a single "family". It takes a different approach by not being centered around the judges, though they are certainly ever present. I thought it ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Before reading this, I'd never read any Judge Dredd, and had no desire to (thanks, IRCB Challenge!). There were a few slow spots and despite it being really quite weird I found myself drawn back to it when I wasn't reading because I really wanted to know how it all would shake out. Robert the Robot is the best and would 1000% read a cutesy spinoff of him having fun and enjoying life. ...more
Elliot Huxtable
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This is simply a fantastic book. All three stories are beautifully illustrated and the tale they tell is brilliant. It's emotional and thought-provoking, as well as being an intelligent commentary on the world, both real, and Mega. ...more
Neal Dench
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best, if not the best, Dredd storylines I have read. Mature, well-written, and completely devoid of that silly "I am the law" jingoistic nonsense that can in equal measure define and plague the Dredd universe. ...more
Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Cain
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Good looking but marginal Dredd story about hopeless individuals who can't get the things they want: one wants love, the other democracy. ...more
Mason Masters
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Kinda boring storyline. Pussy male lead who first rapes his comatose crush, then inhabits her body and raises 'their' child. On the nose and not macro enough. ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the first half, but the second half not so much. 3/5.
Marco Silva
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bd
just read the first story... the book is comprised of three. Art and narrative are great.
Paul Griggs
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the true classic stories from 2000ad/Dredd history packaged with the sequels that I haven’t read before. A must read alongside Watchmen, Crisis on Infinite Earths and The Dark Knight Returns!
Bob Solanovicz
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The first part of the three stories in this album was published way back in 1990 but you could never tell because it deals with themes that are still relevant today and probably will be relevant as long as there's people. And although it has some minor ups and downs, its downright bizarre but bold story developments make it a masterpiece. A very unique Judge Dredd strip that actually benefits the less he's in it. The story itself deals a lot with the world he inhabits and through various main pr ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
America is a complicated work. In many ways, by ignoring the greater scope of the social issues presented, and zooming in on this one couple and the ripples they create, Wagner walks a dangerous line that some might even consider an overt defense of totalitarianism, by means of a vicious skewering of the modern political climate. But America is less of a satire, and more of an authentic literary work stemming from the inherently satirical and absurd environment of Judge Dredd. It's thought provo ...more
Rue Lumbroso
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was my introduction to Judge Dredd, a series I had no real interest in previously for a number of reasons but what John Wagner and Colin MacNeill achieve with their stand-alone volume 'America' is a deeply atmospheric and - for me - surprisingly poignant story with memorable characters, mature storytelling and a scathing critique of the police force that is as relevant as ever today.
I'm giving it such high stars just based off the first story included in the volume, though the following two
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John Wagner is a comics writer who was born in Pennsylvania in 1949 and moved to Scotland as a boy. Alongside Pat Mills, Wagner was responsible for revitalising British boys' comics in the 1970s, and has continued to be a leading light in British comics ever since. He is best known for his work on 2000 AD, for which he created Judge Dredd. He is noted for his taut, violent thrillers and his black ...more

Other books in the series

Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection (1 - 10 of 90 books)
  • Judge Dredd: Mechanismo (Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection, #24)
  • Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War (Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection, #36)
  • Judge Dredd: Origins (Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection, #45)
  • Judge Anderson: Shamballa
  • Judge Dredd: Mandroid (Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection, #25)
  • Judge Dredd: The Heavy Mob (Judge Dredd : The Mega Collection, #55)
  • Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth (2000AD Presents)
  • Devlin Waugh: Swimming in Blood
  • Shimura (Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection, #10)
  • Judge Dredd: Day Of Chaos: The Fourth Faction (Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection, #11)

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