Published on January 2nd, 2022 | by Chris O'Connor
Tales From The Black Museum Vol 1 Review
Summary: Short stories of fear and loathing in Mega City One.
Tales From The Black Museum Vol 1 reads like a much darker version of The Twilight Zone. A series of short stories within the Judge Dredd universe… all with shades of horror. The black museum is the Justice Departments permanent exhibition of relics from crimes from the past.
Much like the Twilight Zone, there is quite a variety here and some may be more to your liking than others, but overall I think the quality is quite high and thanks to our dark host there is an air of danger and fear that permeates all the stories. The host is a great way to tie all the stories together whilst adding an additional element of creepiness, he’s kind of like the crypt keeper, but perhaps slightly more serious and potentially deadly. In addition to providing some gory, horror stories in the world of Judge Dredd, these tales also kind of flesh out the world of Mega City One inhabitants, the conditions they live in and the sort of experiences they may be faced with, it further paints the world as quite oppressive and bleak for most of the populace.
There’s very much a mixed bag here. Some of the artwork is quite striking (the very first story, Wages of Crime, has a misty dream/nightmare like quality to it), other pages are perhaps not so nice (Burn! being an example of not so nice for me… but it’s a stylistic thing, you might like it, I don’t really). Even with the significant difference in styles throughout the book, each artist maintains a sense of foreboding, an ever present sense of darkness, like hope has no place here. The bleakness and the host do an admirable job of tying all the different stories together and give the whole a sense of cohesion.
There is certainly a lot of darkness to this collection. Murder and mayhem are the main course with a side of bizarre. If you like your short stories full of crime and hardship then this might well be the collection for you. If you like the horror movies of the 80’s and 90’s but perhaps would prefer they be a little bit more gritty and dark, then this is probably right down your dark alley at night in a biting rain storm. Grab a copy if you like dark horror, if you don’t… then probably give it a miss, I mean there’s humour… but it’s dark… nearly pitch black sort of dark.
Publisher: 2000 AD
Writer: John Wagner, Dan Abnett, Simon Spurrier, John Smith, Jonathan Clements, Al Ewing, Alan Grant
Artist: Shaun Thomas, John Ridgway, Graham Manley, Adrian Salmon, Len O’Grady, Dom Reardon, Vince Locke, Rufus Dayglo, Dean Ormston, Dylan Teague, Robin Smith, Jack Lawrence
Cover Artist: Dylan Teague
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Format: 100pgs B&W, TPB
Release Date: 3rd Nov, 2021