5 out of 5
While the individual Regeneds occasionally miss the mark for me, I think the concept – quarterly youth-geared progs – is great, and collecting the material into trades not only proves the strength of the material, but helps with the slight learning curve that’s been building up already from having some continued storylines. Bundling appearances of characters / strips (Cadet Dredd; Finder & Keeper) together also gives a reader more time to feel out the vibe of the thrills, as some of them – in the individual Regeneds – can hit an odd middleground between needing to somewhat be familiar with the character already, while also being a “new” story.
But since I’ve already reviewed the content in the above links, the focus here is more on presentation, and value. As mentioned, I think the general setup here is more conducive to enjoying these tales, but the way things were sequenced is also quite perfect, starting – as always – with Dredd – and then sort of juggling slightly more serious stories with jokey ones, eventually leading up to three one-shot Future Shocks to close the book out. I found this to be a good way to end the trade on a strong concluding note – while some of the featured strips such as Anderson have a To Be Continued vibe (hopefully to be followed up in a volume 3!), the Future Shocks guarantee you’ll close the cover with a narrative and literal punctuation at the book’s end.
The yellow / blue color scheme of the end pages is pleasing and, in general, the book’s design is rather perfect: it strikes a youthier tone (with a great, bright cover from Neil Googe and Gary Caldwell, and an energetic intro from Joko Jargo), but has the extras and a well-written / lain out table of contents that make it feel like a proper trade, and not just something churned out for profits.
I’d skipped volume 1 as it hadn’t had any writers I follow (whereas this volume has Mike Carroll; Rory McConville), but this was a lot of fun to reexperience the Regeneds this way, and I’m thinking I’d like to have a whole set of these trades on my shelf.