The feature story, with Mega-City One under attack from mutants from the Cursed Earth, is fairly strong. Wagner foreshadows throughout the story, but gently enough it just looks like he’s doing a lot of texture. He’s enthusiastic about describing the various settings; even when connections seem obvious later, when he’s introducing them, Wagner never draws too much attention.
There’s a weird bigotry against the mutants. It’s very matter of fact and institutionalized. While Dredd is harsh, Wagner–and the comic–subtly work to make sure it isn’t glib. In the second story, a short one about a judge getting killed, Wagner has an unsurprising plot twist at the finish. But Dredd’s reaction to the twist and the story’s resolution are where Wagner most visibly gets to show the sincerity.
Some excellent Bolland art at the beginning–and for the disaster scene; Ron Smith does okay enough on the rest.
Writer, John Wagner; artists, Brian Bolland and Ron Smith; colorist, John Burns; letterer, Tom Frame; editor, Nick Landau; publisher, Eagle Comics.
These came out long ago when I was in high school, and you’re fortunate to read them digitally. Eagle was an incredibly cheap company and printed them on perhaps the worst paper ever manufactured. Luckily, they start out with the best stuff, and work their way down from there. I think you got a couple dozen issues before burn out occurs.