Friday, 17 May 2013

Judge Dredd: Elvis, Part One

NAME
Judge Dredd: Elvis, Part 1
(according to Barney this strip is called 'The Killer Car' and also known as Elvis, but since Part Four is explicitly labelled with the latter I have plumped for that for the first three as well)

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 53

DATELINE
25 Feb 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 5, Judge Dredd Annual 1991 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Elvis, the robot car, goes on a killing spree.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Judges Chico and Che.

INFORMATION
Robot cars have responsibility circuits.

Ejector seats are fitted to cars as an anti-theft device

Luna-City has parking towers for cars.

Named Judges: Judge Sa... (partial name only), Judge Gosne... (partial name only).

JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
Dave Paton dies in his arms and he goes after Elvis.

OTHER CHARACTERS
DAVE PATON
He saved for ten years to buy his robot car, he chose the personality of a child for it and named it Elvis. He attempts to work on the car himself, but accidentally damages its responsibility circuits. Elvis kills him when he tries to turn it off.

ELVIS
Dave Paton's robot car refers to him as Dad. When his owner accidentally damages his responsibility circuits, he drives faster, with less care, refuses to turn off. Elvis strangles Paton in the driving seat, ejects him and crushes him under its bonnet. Elvis drives off on a rampage, takes refuge in a parking tower and reprograms the other robot cars.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
At least two. Elvis crushes Dave Paton in his bonnet and runs the parking tower attendant over. It's not clear if Elvis kills another member of the public, but he certainly picks one up with his claw.

BEST LINES
Elvis: "I've never strangled you before, how do you like it, Dave? I find it...quite pleasant..."

WORST LINES
Dan Paton: "Whoops...I dropped my spanner."

CATCHPHRASES
We get another "Aieeeee..."

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Killdozer (1974) and The Car (1977) are both films concerning 'possessed' and homicidal vehicles, while Elvis' conversation with Dave alludes to 2001: A Space Odyssey. James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger (1964) is probably the most famous car with an ejector seat. Elvis sings of 'Red Rover' which is a song that is part of the game of the same name dating from the 19th century.

MISTAKES
Which of the equally slender Judges is the fat one?

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
Judge Gosne... is presumably another reference to 2000 A.D.'s editor Kelvin O'Gosnell.

CREDITS
Script: John Howard
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The artwork and layout of the opening two-page spread is great, but later pages feel somewhat cluttered. So far this story feels a bit silly and as though it would probably have had more resonance if it took place in Mega-City One.

Next Prog: Rampage!