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Complete Case Files 07 [progs 322 - 375]]
Hmm. Volume 7.

Not really a lot to recommend about this one.

By that, I don't mean the stories in here are bad. They do what they set out to do pretty well, but nothing really stands out and makes me go "Hell yeah! That's awesome!"

This volume is an inch thick, like the full-length prior volumes, but there is not grand epic within it. The longest story it contains is "Cry of the Werewolf", which clocks in at just eight instalments and features Dredd becoming a werewolf. This story is notable for being the first appearance of Judge Prager, a retired judge to took the Long Walk into the Undercity instead of the Cursed Earth, and who will be an important supporting character in future instalments. I believe this also marks the first appearance of the Undercity itself, but I might be wrong.

The most interesting story to me is "The Graveyard Shift." Where most stories focus on Dredd investigating a single case, this follows him through a single night in Mega-City One as he interacts with other judges and deals with crimes as they come up. Plot threads weave in and out of the narrative, waxing and waning in importance as time goes one. It's an interesting approach to storytelling, and pays off well, with a differently-paced plot that shows what the life of a judge is really like by taking it in its totality, rather than just the investigation of a single crime at a time.

Also of note in "The Graveyard Shift" is that we see Anderson carrying out normal Psi-Div duties, in this case probing a corpse for the victim's last memories. This is something we rarely see; normally, Anderson is called in to deal with some epic supernatural threat, so it's refreshing to see her performing everyday tasks. This, again, feeds into the fact that we are seeing an everynight sequence of events, and not just an edited highlight.

Other than those, however, I struggle to remember any other stories. There is certainly fine storytelling throughout this volume, but little of it is truly memorable. Really, this is one for the fans. Get it if you like Dredd, and you will enjoy it. If you're not a fan, you probably won't get much out of this.
Acknowledgment of the Undercity beneath Mega-City One could, at least, be traced as far back as far as "The Day The Law Died", where Dredd meets Fergie, King of the Big Smelly. However, in those strips it's more commonly referred to as the "underworld" and "the old city".
comment #8663 SeanMurrayI 15th Jul 11
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