Sunday, 31 March 2013

Inferno, Part 18

NAME
Inferno, Part 18

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 53

DATELINE
25 Feb 78

2000 A.D. celebrated its first birthday with this prog, which also featured Colony Earth, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks, M.A.C.H.1 and Walter The Wobot strips behind another Dan Dare cover by Dave Gibbons.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Louis Meyer goes in search of the Syndicate, while the Harlem Hellcats find themselves hanging over a cliff.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Pearly.

INFORMATION
There is a Royal Society of Engineers that serves as trade organisation for servo-electro engineers.

A converter cap is a device that can project images from the memory cells of androids.

The Harlem Hellcats are playing a sudden-death knock-out cup match against the Long Island Sharks. The prize for the winner is an Inferno roadliner, with Inferno bikes and a six-day guarantee. The Harlem Hellcats' roadliner's pressure-apron blows and threatens to send them falling into the sea.

The Long Island Sharks' Firebowl is shaped like a giant shark.

The Global Dynamics Corporation make Inferno roadliners.

GIANT
He assigns Louis Meyer to investigate the Syndicate.


SLIM
He is still sick-listed.

LOUIS MEYER
He rebuilds Pearly to discover whether there is any information contained in her memory cells. He finds a link to A.D. Kalman and goes on assignment in search of him.

MARVIN
He has joined the Harlem Hellcats as a flyer and his jet-pack training isn't going very well, but in the absence of Slim and Louis he will be required to play in the Harlem Hellcats next match.

OTHER CHARACTERS
A. D. KALMAN
He is the qualified servo-electro engineer that constructed Pearly for the Syndicate.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Louis: "See...impressions of Pearly's 'childhood' are already forming!"

WORST LINES
Unidentified Harlem Hellcat: "Weeowww! Look at that Firebowl...L-like it's waitin' to swallow us!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Louis Meyer's jacket would suit Two-Face from Batman (1942) and the cliffhanger of the roadliner hanging over the edge of the cliff is very reminiscent of The Italian Job (1969).

MISTAKES
Pearly's demise is stated as the result of being crushed by an Inferno bike, which it wasn't.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
A six-day guarantee is pretty pathetic, but showing off about a six-day guarantee is astonishing.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
Another part of Inferno that is largely empty of Inferno, but this time it's made up of bits and pieces: Louis Meyer's investigation, Marvin's training, setting up the Sharks for the next match, the roadliner competition and the final precipice. It sounds like too much, but the syndicate conspiracy moves along nicely and the literal cliffhanger is a nice note to end on.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Inferno, Part 17

NAME
Inferno, Part 17

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 52

DATELINE
18 Feb 78

This prog also had Colony Earth, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks, The Visible Man and Walter The Wobot strips and had another Dan Dare cover by Dave Gibbons.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Regal Eegle and Marvin join the Harlem Hellcats.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Marvin, first part not to feature Slim.

INFORMATION
The Harlem Hellcats stadium has a repair shop.

GIANT
He hires Regal Eegle.

ZACK
Regal Eegle foils his ground-attack in the trial.

LOUIS MAYER
He has rebuilt Pearly and thinks he has a lead on the Syndicate.

MOODY BLOO
He takes an instant dislike to Regal Eegle.

OTHER CHARACTERS
REGAL EEGLE
Retired from stunt work six month ago, but is planning a comeback. He has blue eyes. He first rode around a death-wall when he was eleven. He takes a dislike to Moody Bloo, but joins the Harlem Hellcats.

MARVIN
Moody Bloo's cousin. He wants to train to be a flier.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Regal Eegle: "Get back on the walk-way, you ridiculous little anthropoid!"

It does beg the question about the genetics of cave-men.

WORST LINES
Regal Eegle: "Clay, have I really got to listen to this garbage?"

Yep.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
Another Infernoless part of Inferno and all the better for it. The pompous Regal Eegle and Moody Bloo's cousin Marvin both get good introductions and the reconstructed Pearly is brilliantly horrific.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Inferno, Part 16

NAME
Inferno, Part 16

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 51

DATELINE
11 Feb 78

After another Dan Dare cover by Dave Gibbons and another batch of Supernova game cards, this prog also had Invasion, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks, The Visible Man and Walter The Wobot strips.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.



SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Hellcats risk-taking gets the better of them.

FIRSTS & LASTS
The first time the Harlem Hellcats have lost a match and the first appearance of Regal Eegle.

INFORMATION
Medical technologies include pain-killing plasma and apparently very routine skin-grafts.

It is possible to advertise on the public video.

The final score: Firbank Fiends 3 cave-ins (9 points) to the Harlem Hellcats 2 (6 points).

GIANT
He admonishes the Harlem Hellcats for taking too many risks.

SLIM
His jet-pack explodes and he receives third-degree burns. The medics get to him just in time. Slim is placed in pain-killing plasma and will need a couple of skin-grafts over the next few weeks. He will be absent from the next match.


ZACK
He fears that Slim may have been killed.

LOUIS MAYER
He resigns as a Harlem Hellcat player, electing to be the team's manager instead. His first task as manager is to advertise for replacement players with an ad on the public video.

MOODY BLOO
He spends two minutes in the cage for hitting a Firbank Fiend with his power-bat.

JUNK
He is the Harlem Hellcats most experienced player. Junk takes over as cave-man whilst Moody Bloo is in the cage, but concedes two cave-ins.

OTHER CHARACTERS
REGAL EEGLE
Apparently, he calls himself the greatest biker in the world. Regal Eegle has chosen to try out for the Harlem Hellcats.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Giant: "...Most of you injured. Slim almost burned alive! Who needs 'droid killers to waste us, when we can do the job ourselves?"

WORST LINES
Fan: "His jet-pack's exploded...Inferno!"

Let's get the name in.

CATCHPHRASES
Infernomania got a mention a few parts ago and now we see that taken to a logical conclusion: Infernomaniacs.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Regal Eegle's name is obviously a reference to Evel Knievel (1938–2007), the daredevil stunt biker who attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps and gained an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for "most bones broken in a lifetime".

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
Inferno has limped from cliffhanger to cliffhanger and so it's refreshing to see what's at stake here. Slim pays a price and rather than having peril pour on at the last moment to be undone as quickly as possible by the beginning of the next part, he pays it in consecutive panels in the middle of the strip. Sadly this does rob the inevitable cliffhanger of any strength. It's essentially no more than: man rides bike.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Inferno, Part 15

NAME
Inferno, Part 15

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 50

DATELINE
4 Feb 78

This prog had yet another Dan Dare cover by Dave Gibbons, another six Supernova cards and Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks, The Visible Man and Walter The Wobot strips.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.


SYNOPSIS
Louis saves Giant from Pearly.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of pre-mashed Pearly.

INFORMATION
Inferno games are refereed by a match controller who is not in the Firebowl itself, but can project a hologram to talk to players directly.

Inferno Flick-Picks can be used to divert energy blasts.

The use of power-gloves for fisticuffs is prohibited and results in a half-way penalty: a straight duel between a biker and a cave-man.

GIANT
He has recovered from his injuries. He returns to play, but worries that the Harlem Hellcats have become angry and violent.


SLIM
He seems unsympathetic about Zack's plight.

ZACK
He is distraught to discover that Pearly was an android.

LOUIS MEYER
He prevents Pearly from killing Giant. He and Pearly had the same body and photoreceptors. He was aware of the transmissions that she was receiving.

RIP VENNER
He punches a Firbank Fiend with his power-glove.

MOODY BLOO
He saves a half-way penalty and prevents a cave-in with the side of his head, but almost fractures his skull.

OTHER CHARACTERS
PEARLY
She is destroyed by an Inferno ball to the back of the head. Her body was a Mark 4 GS and may have been nuclear powered.

DEATHS
One. A Firbank Fiend accidentally throws an Inferno ball at the back of Pearly's head and damages it beyond repair.

BEST LINES
Match Controller: "I'm not sure what's going on, gentlemen, but pehaps a ten-minute 'time-out' will produce a few explanations."
Official (of Pearly): "You heard him, boys. Let's get this mess off the pitch."

WORST LINES
Rip: "I can't abide law-breakers at any price...'specially punks that hide behind 'droids'!"

CATCHPHRASES
It's good to see the return of "Aieeeee!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The sight of Pearly in pieces is very nicely depicted, but once again it's the Inferno that lets Inferno down. The Firbank Fiends still have no identity, Louis Meyer's mini-flashback is very odd, Moody Bloo's big save is very underwhelming and the cliffhanger could have done with more set up.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Inferno, Part 14

NAME
Inferno, Part 14

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 49

DATELINE
28 Jan 78

This prog featured another Dan Dare cover by Dave Gibbons, six more Supernova game cards to cut out and Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks and The Visible Man strips.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.


SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Hellcats play on while someone tries to kill a sleeping Giant.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First part with no dialogue for Giant.

INFORMATION
The Harlem Hellcats and the Firbank Fiends both play in the 4th Division of Inferno's East Coast League.

The score so far: Harlem Hellcats 2 cave-ins (6 points) to the Firbank Fiends 0 (0 points).

GIANT
He's unconscious as Moody Bloo catches him. A medic tends to him, but Pearly attempts to kill Giant again. The Harlem Hellcats play on without him.

ZACK
He scores a cave-in.

LOUIS MAYER
He can sense the energy build-up as Pearly attempts to kill Giant.

MOODY BLOO
He catches the falling Giant saving his life.

OTHER CHARACTERS
PEARLY
She is an android. Her eyes transmit everything she can see to Mr. Chubb and Mr. Torso. She hasn't been programmed to deal with failure and registers bewilderment and confusion.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Commentator: "Cave-in! Zoweeee! Even a man short, there's no holding these Hellcats!"

WORST LINES
Hell-Kitten L: "Sure hope he's gonna be okay! Say, did anyone see that zany flash of light just now?"
Hell-Kitten C: "Not me! How about you, Pearly?"
Pearly: "Uuh, nope! I...didn't see a thing, Kittens!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
An essentially Giantless Inferno strip is an oddity, but the artwork is wonderful throughout. From the underside of Moody Bloo's boot to Zack's acrobatics, it provides a real sense of pace. There is a good balance between the sport and the conspiracy.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Inferno, Part 13


NAME
Inferno, Part 13

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 48

DATELINE
21 Jan 78

This prog had the third Dan Dare cover in a row by Dave Gibbons, another six Supernova Cards and Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks and The Visible Man strips.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.


SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Hellcats recruit some cheerleaders and get more than they bargained for.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of the Hell-Kittens and Pearly who has the honour of being the first female character in Inferno to speak.

INFORMATION
The Harlem Hellcats' Firebowl is ready for their first home game, against the Firbank Fiends. They have been advertising for cheerleaders: the Hell-Kittens. During play the cheerleaders shelter in a pod.

Score so far: Harlem Hellcats 1 cave-in (3 points) to the Firbank Fiends nil.


GIANT
He is disorientated by Pearly's H and begins to fall.

SLIM
He's not worried about the Syndicate.

ZACK
He has taken it upon himself to interview the potential Harlem Hellcats' cheerleaders personally.

MOODY BLOO
He rebounds the ball off the far wall of the Firebowl, deflects it off one of the Firbank Fiends' bikers and is responsible for scoring a cave-in.

OTHER CHARACTERS
PEARLY
She is recruited as a Hell-Kitten, a cheerleader for the Harlem Hellcats. Pearly carries the H in their Hellcats display, but she uses it to transmit some form of invisible energy to disorientate Giant.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Giant: "Need any help, Zack?"
Zack: "Uuh? N-no thanks, Giant. I was...j-just selecting a cheer-leader. Pearly, here, seems to have the...uuh...right qualifications!"

WORST LINES
Pearly: "Did ya see how Giant made that score, girls...?...It was feed-back in a million!"

What?

CATCHPHRASES
The Hell-Kittens bring back a feature of Harlem Heroes I didn't realise I'd missed: the rhyming chant. In this case it's "Ridin' hard and flying high. That's the Hellcats, score or die!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Giant calls Zack Casanova, a reference to Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt (1725-1798) who became so famous for his affairs with women that his name is now synonymous with womaniser.

The Hell-Kittens costumes resemble Catwoman, a character first appearing in the first issue of Batman (1940).

MISTAKES
The caption reads 'The rest of the Hellcats were putting Moody Bloo, the Harlem Cave-Man, through his paces...', but the three successive panels just show him with Junk.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
It's odd to read about an Inferno match and have the focus not be on the opposition, but between the fire, the Hell-Kittens, the cave-in and the fall this part isn't particularly focussed. It has a solid cliffhanger, but one that we've already seen more than once in Harlem Heroes.

To Be Continued.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Inferno, Part 12

NAME
Inferno, Part 12

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 47

DATELINE
14 Jan 78

This prog featured another Dan Dare cover by Dave Gibbons, Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks and The Visible Man strips, as well as more six Supernova Card Game to cut out.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.


SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Hellcats take on Cullen's androids.

FIRSTS & LASTS
The last appearance of Cullen.

INFORMATION
Androids are susceptable to electrocution.

GIANT
He and the other Harlrm Hellcats fight off Cullen's androids and escape the Crystal Maze unscathed.

OTHER CHARACTERS
NAT CULLEN
He is killed in the Crystal Maze fire.

MR. CHUBB & MR. TORSO
They observe the Harlem Hellcats escape from the Crystal Maze fire and resolve to have Giant killed.

DEATHS
One. Cullen burns to death and Moody Bloo sees it on a TV screen.

BEST LINES
Cowboy android: "Next stop...Boot Hill, ya ornery, wet-eared polecats!"

Boot Hill was a common name for the burial grounds of gunfighters who "died with their boots on" in the Wild West.

WORST LINES
Moody Bloo: "How dat for an Inferno body-check, you Hellcats?"

Have a gold star.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The cowboy androids recall Westworld (1973).

MISTAKES
Giant looks to be about to pick up the power-lead by the business end.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The opening splash page is impressive, but the ensuing fight less so. The trapped Cullen seems surprisingly sympathetic as he burns to death and it's a nice touch that the Harlem Hellcats have lost their only link to the Syndicate and their investigation could well be at an end, while the last panel implies that the Syndicate itself will unwittingly provide their next clue.

Next Prog: Introducing The Hell Kittens!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Inferno, Part 11

NAME
Inferno, Part 11

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 46

DATELINE
7 Jan 78

The first Prog of 1978 had a Dan Dare cover by Dave Gibbons, featured Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks and M.A.C.H.1 strips and came with a Supernova Card Game to cut-out-and-keep.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.


SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Hellcats face a meteor shower and then find themselves up against a new adversary.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First four page Inferno strip.

INFORMATION
Holograms can pass-through solid objects and be solid themselves.

Boron-bullets have highly penetrative properties.

Androids can be programmed to home in on body-heat.

GIANT
He is more interested in following Cullen than in the meteors.

ZACK
He has a moment of intuition that the meteors are no longer safe. He is not wrong.

JUNK
He is hit in the back of the neck by a hologramatic meteor.

MOODY BLOO
He is hit on the top of the head by a hologramatic meteor, catches another and hurls it into the wall, destroying the power source and freeing the Harlem Hellcats.

OTHER CHARACTERS
NAT CULLEN
He trapped the Harlem Hellcats in the meteor shower, solidified the meteors, closed the Crystal Maze to public and set a group of heat-sensitive androids on them.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Moody Bloo: "Say what ya like, fellers, but this is good trainin' for Inferno."
Junk: "You always did have a lousy sense of humour, Moody."

WORST LINES
Slim: "Ricochet off the wall - It's caught Junk..."

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
There is an X-Wing from Star Wars (1977) in the last panel, which may well be connected to the competition mentioned on the cover of the prog.

MISTAKES
The 'hologramatic' meteor shower has gained an extra dimension since the last part.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
This is a runaround, but an engaging one. The use of Inferno skills in other contexts doesn't seem forced. I think if anything the reduction to four pages has helped focus the strip around one set piece rather than attempting more.

Next Prog: And One Must Die!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Inferno, Part 10

NAME
Inferno, Part 10

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 45

DATELINE
31 Dec 77

The last Prog of 1977 bore a Dan Dare cover by Brian Bolland (with a face apparently by an unknown different artist) and Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks and M.A.C.H.1 strips.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.


SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Hellcats investigate the Crystal Maze.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Keith Cullen.

INFORMATION
Crystal Maze is a casino in downtown Brooklyn. It also offers simulations of shoot-outs with android cowboys, space-walks, meteor showers and Inferno.

Photographic portraits can be developed into a three dimensional hologram.

The groat is either a nickname for the dollar or another form of currency entirely.

GIANT
He investigates the Crystal Maze, prevents a gambler from commiting suicide and discovers the managers link to Charlie Vance.

SLIM
He accompanies Giant, Zack, Junk and Moody Bloo to the Crystal Maze.

ZACK
He accompanies Giant, Slim, Junk and Moody Bloo to the Crystal Maze.

OTHER CHARACTERS
MOODY BLOO
He accompanies Giant, Slim, Zack and Junk to the Crystal Maze and plays simulated Inferno. He scores a cave-in, but hits the ball so hard he over-energises the circuits. The staff attempt to throw him out and he punches an android bouncers head clean off.

JUNK
He accompanies Giant, Slim, Zack and Moody Bloo to the Crystal Maze.

NAT CULLEN
The manager of the Crystal Maze. He has had dealings with Charlie Vance, but denies them and flees.

DEATHS
None, but it's worth pointing out that Giant prevents a suicide.

BEST LINES
Cullen: "Man, this place is so crazy, I sometimes forget my own name! Sorry, Pal, I can't help ya!"

WORST LINES
Zack: "Wow! Freakin' far out, man!"
Slim: "Yeah! The maze ain't just a palace of thrills, Zack..."

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The holographic technology on show at the Crystal Maze would seem to be the midpoint between the grand scale seen at the Museum of Sport in Harlem Heroes, Part 12 and the home entertainment use seen in Judge Dredd: 'Krong'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
The use of the word Groat is odd here. Earlier in Inferno we've had mentions of Dollars, the "suicide freak" here says he has lost every cent and the currency of choice in Judge Dredd is Credits. Maybe the Groat is some sort of intermediate step.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
It doesn't feel much like Inferno, but it makes for an interesting diversion.

Next Prog: Murder By Meteor!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Inferno, Part 9

NAME
Inferno, Part 9

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 44

DATELINE
24 Dec 77

This strip lay behind a Dredd cover by Kevin O'Neill and Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd and M.A.C.H.1 strips.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Giant inspires the Harlem Hellcats to turn the game around.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First win for the Harlem Hellcats.

INFORMATION
Inferno Cave-men carry power-bats. It is legal to use a biker's flick-pick as a trip-wire.

Final score, the Harlem Hellcats have 3 cave-ins (9 points) to Shafer's Sickles 1 (3).

GIANT
He inspires the Harlem Hellcats to play with teamwork. Despite the new team, he is still connected by some fans with the salt-gum and bribery incidents.

SLIM
He scores a cave-in.

ZACK
He and Giant appear to do a mid-air switch with the ball, but actually they do a double-dummy instead and Giant retains it.

LOUIS MAYER
He proposes tracking down the organisation that Vance worked for.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RIP VENNER
He and Teejay both go for the same ball, until Giant grabs it from between them. He and Junk use their flick-picks as a trip-wire to get the ball from Ernie Shafer.

JUNK JACKSON
He and Rip use their flick-picks as a trip-wire to get the ball from Ernie Shafer. Junk found a gambling chip from the Crystal Maze in Vance's office before the last Washington Wolves game.

TEEJAY
He scores a cave-in.

ERNIE SHAFER
His refusal to pass to his team mates leaves him isolated and the victim of a trip-wire suspended between 'Junk' Jackson and Rip Venner's bikes. He loses possession of the ball to Teejay.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Shafer's Sickles Fan #1: "Another cave-in...I never thought they were this good!"
Shafer's Sickles Fan #2: "They ain't! They must've fouled up our guys in some way."

WORST LINES
Rip Venner: "Oh no, we missed the interception!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Giant refers to the death of the Harlem Heroes in Harlem Heroes.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
The panel of Giant talking to Louis Meyer on the last page borders on the bewilderingly pornographic.

RETROSPECT
Junk found a gambling chip from a freaky arcade called the Crystal Maze. The Crystal Maze would later be the name of a British TV game show broadcast between 1990 and 1995, initially presented by Richard O'Brien and later by Ed Tudor-Pole.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tomas Frame

Tomas Frame is of course Tom Frame.

REVIEW
This is more fun and the art is an improvement on the last part. It's odd that Louis Meyer is quite literally being sidelined and that the Sickles' fans wait until they are losing to accuse Giant of cheating.

Next Prog! The Maze Of Terror!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Inferno, Part 8

NAME
Inferno, Part 8

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 43

DATELINE
17 Dec 77

This prog also contained Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd and M.A.C.H.1 strips and the last of the supercovers, this one by John Higgins.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Hellcats take on Shafer's Sickles.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time that the Harlem Hellcats have played as a team.

INFORMATION
A hitch-hike involves an airman with the ball riding on the back of a biker's bike toward the opponent's cave.

Score so far Shafer's Sickles 1 Cave-In (3 points) to the Harlem Hellcats 0

GIANT
He rescues Teejay from being crushed by Ernie Shafer's bike.

SLIM
He is frustrated by the new mascot of Shafer's Sickles.

ZACK
He finds himself hooked by Rip Venner's flick-pick.

OTHER CHARACTERS
TEEJAY CASH
Knocked unconcious by an inferno ball, Giant saves him from being run over by Ernie Shafer.

ERNIE SHAFER
Biker for Shafer's Sickles. He was attempting to run over an unconcious Teejay Cash.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Teejay (of a crashing Giant): "He couldn't correct his trim in time - he's crashed!"

WORST LINES
Shafer's Sickles Fan: "Dat's great! Trust Ernie Shafer to come up wid a gas like that!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
None.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The artwork undersells the action at almost every point: things happen either in the distance or are depicted at the wrong angle to be dramatic. The set pieces are dealt with too quickly and we aren't party to the Hellcats' arguments. Overall, this is a disappointment.

Is This The End Of The Harlem Hellcats? Don't Miss Next Prog.
Is This The End Of The Harlem Hellcats? Don't Miss Next Prog Post.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Inferno, Part 7

NAME
Inferno, Part 7

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 42

DATELINE
10 Dec 77

This Prog featured Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks and M.A.C.H.1 strips and a supercover by an unknown artist.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Giant forms his own Inferno team.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of TJ and the Harlem Hellcats

INFORMATION
Beddlam village is a rundown suburb of Long Island set aside for social outcasts and undesirables.

The recently founded Harlem Hellcats are accepted into the fourth division of the Inferno league. Their first fixture is playing away against Shafer's Sickles.

The Shafer's Sickles Firebowl is shaped like a giant dented crash helmet. The team offer a pre-match spectator-prize to the fan who can ride their bike around their Firebowl three times without hitting the cinders.

GIANT
He recruits seven other players for his new Inferno team, the Harlem Hellcats. He has a helicar.

SLIM
He joins the Harlem Hellcats.

ZACK
He joins the Harlem Hellcats.

LOUIS MEYER
His new body is a general purpose model android mark IV built to his own specifications and his brain is housed in a transparent cranium. The procedure was undertaken at the New York Medi-Science Institute. He has learned to harness his mental energy to a very high degree that he can move his nu-shape at will without the need for an expensive power cell. He joins the Harlem Hellcats.

OTHER CHARACTERS
'JUNK' JACKSON
He is no longer the squad leader of Washington Wolves and joins the Harlem Hellcats as a biker.

T.J. CASH
Junk's mechanic, Teejay is seventeen years old. He volunteers to be a biker for Harlem Hellcats.

MOODY BLOO
Since the Charlie Vance incident he has been trying to join another Inferno team without success and living in Beddlam village. He joins the Harlem Hellcats as Cave-man.

RIP VENNER
He joins the Harlem Hellcats.

DEATHS
Probably some Sickles fans on bikes, but it's not explicitly stated.

BEST LINES
Louis: "I shall not rest until the innocence of the Heroes has been established beyond all doubt!"

WORST LINES
Giant: "'Beddlam village'! Say, isn't that the area which has been set aside for social outcasts and undesirables?"
Junk: "Yeah. It's for people who just can't get on with their neighbours..."

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Louis Mayer's surname is now spelt Meyer.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
Another enjoyable instalment with practically no Inferno in it. The dismissal of the plight of those in Beddlam, the depiction of the Sickle's fans and Louis Meyer's new appearance are fascinating, but it's a shame that it builds to a cliffhanger that is little more than Caution: Top Hat.

Harlem Hellcats would have been a much better name for this strip and even at this early stage the new dynamic is presenting itself.

Continued Next Prog.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Inferno, Part 6

NAME
Inferno, Part 6

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 41

DATELINE
3 Dec 77

This prog also featured a supercover by Brett Ewins and Brendan McCarthy as well as Invasion, Bonjo From Beyond The Stars, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks and M.A.C.H.1 strips.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The former Harlem Heroes attempt to clear their name and recruit a new Inferno team.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Rip Venner.

INFORMATION
Match fixing allegations are investigated by an Inferno Association Enquiry, lead by a controller.

The Justice Judges have recently entered a team in the Inferno League.

The old Harlem Aerobowl is still standing and the right size for an Inferno Firebowl. with the addition of a death-wall and some cinders it would be ready.

Scrambling through the condemned sky-flats on a bike is the latest thrill-craze. Rule number one is that you do not deliberately injure another player.


GIANT
His guilt or innocence is not proven by the evidence submitted to the Inferno Association Enquiry.

SLIM
His guilt or innocence is not proven by the evidence submitted to the Inferno Association Enquiry.

ZACK
His guilt or innocence is not proven by the evidence submitted to the Inferno Association Enquiry.

LOUIS MAYER
He has a new body with a transparant skull. He had a feeling that the other former Harlem Heroes would visit the Harlem Aerobowl today.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RIP VENNER
A former justice Judge who "leaned on one or two law-breakers too hard", he turned to sky-scrambling when they threw him out. He indicates that he might be interrested in joining Giant's Inferno team.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Sky-scrambling Fan #1: "Thank Baroom, he's okay! But if he'd missed that grab net..."
Sky-scrambling Fan #2: "Pulpsville! It's a thousand feet down!"

WORST LINES
Slim: "We told you we were innocent, man! That should have been good enough for you!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Louis Mayer and the Harlem Aerobowl both previously featured in Harlem Heroes, while the Justice Judges would presumably be forebears of those seen in Judge Dredd. The Harlem Aerobowl will return to its Aeroball roots by the time of Judge Dredd: The Academy Of Law.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
The use of the word Enquiry rather than Inquiry would be incorrect in British English, but not in American English and so it seems churlish to call it a mistake.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The courtroom scene, the Sky-scrambling sequence and the return of Louis Mayer are all great. The getting the band back together nature of this part is very appealing and I'm all too aware that this is the second Infernoless part of Inferno in a row that I've enjoyed more than its sporting predecessors.

Continued Next Prog.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Inferno, Part 5

NAME
Inferno, Part 5

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 40

DATELINE
26 Nov 77

This prog bore a Supercover by Kevin O'Neill and contained Invasion, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks and M.A.C.H.1 strips.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
Giant confronts Vance.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Charlie Vance.

INFORMATION
An Inferno team reduced to only three players must concede the game.

The Washington Wolves Firebowl has a Buggy park, a copter-park and an emergency tunnel which allows access to and from the team-pits, nicknamed the Drain.

Tracer guns fire bullets at a very high temperature.

Amydol is a drug that unbalances an individual taking it, causing hallucinations and violent sickness.

GIANT
His middle initial is C. The $5,000 in his locker is discovered and he is accused of receiving a payoff for helping Vance to destroy the Washington Wolves.

SLIM
The $5,000 in his locker is discovered and he is accused of receiving a payoff for helping Vance to destroy the Washington Wolves.

ZACK
The $5,000 in his locker is discovered and he is accused of receiving a payoff for helping Vance to destroy the Washington Wolves.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CHARLIE VANCE
When Giants confronts him about the drugged salt-gum he flees and threatens him with a tracer gun. He reaches his heli-car only to be killed in an explosion. Later it is revealed that a bomb had been planted.

DEATHS
One. Charlie Vance is killed in a bomb explosion aboard his heli-car. It's not clear if the crash between two Washington Wolves bikers on the first page is fatal or not.

BEST LINES
Giant (whilst flying over the burning wreck of Charlie Vance's heli-car): "Seems it ain't only salt-gum that gets sabotaged around here!"

WORST LINES
Giant (regarding salt-gum): "In that case, Charlie, you won't object if we pass it over to the lab boys...for analysis!"
Charlie Vance (whilst holding Slim at gunpoint): "I'll analyse your brains, first!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The armour worn by the Chief and his men could be seen as a sort of forebear of that worn by Judge Dredd.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Bill Nuttall

REVIEW
This is more like it. The pieces set in motion in Part 4 give Part 5 the opportunity for an exciting chase sequence, little or no actual Inferno play and this cliffhanger delivers on its predecessor.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Inferno, Part 4

NAME
Inferno, Part 4

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 39

DATELINE
19 Nov 77

This prog bore a supercover that was also potentially a self-portrait by Brett Ewins and Brendan McCarthy alongside Invasion, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd and M.A.C.H.1 strips.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Washington Wolves discover that hallucinations don't help in Inferno.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Moody Bloo is named for the first time.

INFORMATION
In Inferno, play continues despite the death of a player.

The score so far is 4 cave-ins (12 points) to the Rochville Rockets to the Washington Wolves 0 (0 points).

GIANT
He doesn't suffer from the hallucinations affecting the rest of the team. He and Slim rescue a comatose Junk from crashing. Charlie Vance has planted $5,000 in his locker.

SLIM
He doesn't suffer from the hallucinations affecting the rest of the team. He and Giant rescue a comatose Junk from crashing. Charlie Vance has planted $5,000 in his locker.

ZACK
He doesn't suffer from the hallucinations affecting the rest of the team. Charlie Vance has planted $5,000 in his locker.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CHARLIE VANCE
He has "fixed" the team's salt-gum somehow and planted $5,000 in the lockers of the three former Harlem Heroes.

MOODY BLOO
Cave-Man for the Washington Wolves. He hallucinates, scores a cave-in at his own cave and collapses.

'JUNK' JACKSON
Squad leader for the Washington Wolves. He collapses at the controls of his bike and Giant and Slim lift him off just in time to avoid a crash.

ROBINSON
A biker for the Washington Wolves. He skids into the Judge-Pod and out of play.

ARTIE GROAT
Flyer for the Rochville Rockets. He scores a cave-in.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Fan: "Moody Bloo is gnawing at the cinders with rage."

WORST LINES
Fan: "Hey, what a turnabout!"

CATCHPHRASES
"By Zragg..."

I'm glad to see this back, albeit now with two G's. The combined effect of "What on Saturn's rings", "Jupiter's moons" and "For Zlot's sake" has made the Harlem Heroes dialogue a bit more space age.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Moody Bloo almost shares his name with Moody Blue (1977), the final studio album by Elvis Presley, and also in a plural sense the sixties rock band from Birmingham, The Moody Blues.

MISTAKES
Moody Bloo says "Duuuh? I can see three of 'em.". Well I can see fourteen of 'em. He then scores an own-goal and concedes 6 points, but that was worth 3 points in Part 2.

RETROSPECT
Narcotic chewing gum would indeed become a reality, either with sedative or
hallucinogenic effects.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Bill Nuttall

REVIEW
"It's Infernomania! He's flipped his lid!"

All the right pieces are here: the hallucinations, the peril, the rescue, the realisation that the gum is "fixed" and the planting of suspicious cash, not to mention the unfavourable scoreline. Yet somehow it seems less than the sum of its parts.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Inferno, Part 3

NAME
Inferno, Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 38

DATELINE
12 Nov 77

This prog also featured a supercover by Trevor Goring and Invasion, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future Shocks and M.A.C.H.1 strips.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Washington Wolves play the Rochville Rockets, but a spot of blackmail might harm their chances.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First use of Giant's real name, probably the first use of the word "Zrag" in 2000 AD.

INFORMATION
Inferno stadiums are known as Firebowls and some have testing ranges. A double hitch-hike involves a flyer sat on the back of a bike and another sat on his shoulders.

Since the former Harlem Heroes joined the Washington Wolves, the bookmakers are offering odds of twenty-to-one in their favour.


In many sports players chew salt-gum to replenish minerals lost in perspiration. The Harlem Heroes had their own brand of salt-gum when they played Aeroball.

Washington Wolves versus Rochville Rockets, the score so far nil - nil.

GIANT
His real name is John Clay. He has kept some Harlem Heroes Salt-Gum from the Aeroball days which he shares with Slim and Zack.

SLIM
His surname is Shafto.

ZACK
He sits on Slim's shoulders for his double hitch-hike manouevre.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CHARLIE VANCE (formerly DON WEPNER)
The manager of the Washington Wolves. Mr. Grubb and Mr. Torso lock him in the Firebowl's testing range and threaten to fire Inferno balls at him unless the team loses its next game.

MR GRUBB & MR TORSO
They threaten Vance in an attempt to convince him to throw the next match.

LANNIE MORRIS
Described as the "best Bikeman" for the Washington Wolves. He climbs the firebowl's death-wall on his bike and inexplicably sees a nightmarish monster when reaches the top. He loses control of his bike and falls. He is killed.

DEATHS
One. Lannie Morris killed either by the fall or the resulting bike explosion as he loses control of his bike and they both fall to the floor of the Firebowl.

BEST LINES
Slim: "Hey Man - I didn't realise we had so many supporters!"
Zack: "They haven't come to support us, they've come to watch us die!"

WORST LINES
Charlie Vance: "Uuuh? Someone calling to me from the testing range..!"

CATCHPHRASES
Washington Wolves fan: "By Zrag!"

If it's not already a catchphrase, it should be...

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
John Clay's son goes by Judge Giant in Judge Dredd: The Academy Of Law, which presumably means Clay legally changed his actual surname to Giant.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Don Wepner has been unceremoniously renamed Charlie Vance.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Bill Nuttall

REVIEW
For some reason this part is obsessed with names as Giant, Slim and Don Wepner become John Clay, Shafto and Charlie Vance respectively. The Salt-Gum is an obvious plot point, but Lannie's hallucination is still a definite highlight.

Next Prog: As What He Sees, Goes Weird And Hazy, Watch The Cave Man Going Crazy!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Inferno, Part 2

NAME
Inferno, Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 37

DATELINE
5 Nov 77

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes play to their advantage.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Giant, Slim and Zack all score their first cave-ins, first appearances of Mr. Chubb and Mr. Torso.

INFORMATION
Strike-Biker is another position in Inferno. A Death-Wall Attack involves riding up the walls of the playing area like a velodrome and attempting to score from behind the opposition's cave.

Terry Murphy plays for the Baltimore Bullets.

Final score Washington Wolves 3 cave-ins (9 points), Baltimore Bullets 1 cave-in (3 points).

GIANT
He scores a cave-in.

SLIM
He scores a cave-in.

ZACK
He scores a cave-in.

OTHER CHARACTERS
MR CHUBB & MR TORSO
They watch the Washington Wolves versus Baltimore Bullets game and discuss gambling on the next fixture and fixing the result.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Fan: "Giant's scored again!"

I love how this omits "And this time for right team!"

WORST LINES
Baltimore Bullets Caveman: "Bullets? Bullets? Ya more like a bunch o' used tin-tacks! I got about as much protection as a worm on a motorway!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Mr. Chubb and Mr. Torso have something of Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd from Diamonds Are Forever (1971) about them.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Bill Nuttall

REVIEW
I'm still not sold on the new sport, but it's good to see the Harlem Heroes quite literally beating them at their own game and the hints at another conspiracy are very welcome.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Inferno, Part 1

NAME
Inferno, Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 36

DATELINE
29 Oct 77

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Complete Harlem Heroes.

SYNOPSIS
The former Harlem Heroes turn their hand to a new game.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Inferno as a sport, first appearance of Don Wepner.


INFORMATION
Inferno is a sport sweeping the board in popularity. It is regarded as "faster than Speedway, crazier than Ice Hockey, tougher than American Football and deadlier than Aeroball". Positions include Flyers and Block Fliers who wear jet-packs, while Bikers and strike-men ride motorbikes and are equipped with a massive power-glove containing a gas-fired 'pick hook' which when launched and aimed correctly connects with a flyer's belt, ropes and tackles them. Finally there are the Cavemen who are situated in the semi-circle and guard the goal or cave. The players wear fibre-glass armour.

The playing area has a series of lights that flash and when one turns green that is where the ball will enter play. Flyers must touchdown inside the semi-circle (or score-semi) before they can shoot to score a 'cave in'. The only way a biker can score is to bounce the ball off an airman into the cave. A wheel-swipe is a manouevre which involves passing the ball under the motorbike whilst in motion. The game is ended by the sounding of a peace-buzzer.


The New York Aces and the Washington Wolves are Inferno teams that play in the Premier Division of the American East-Coast Inferno League.

Maclean and Benny Meyer play for the New York Aces as Flyer and Biker respectively, while Hammond is a biker for the Washington Wolves and Rastu is one of their flyers. The New York Aces beat the Washington Wolves by nineteen points to eighteen.

The Baltimore Bullets are another Inferno team.

Aeroball fell from favour not long after the Harlem Heroes became world champions.

GIANT
He doesn't regard Inferno as a game requiring skill. He and the other former Harlem Heroes play for the Washington Wolves as guests. The Baltimore Bullets score a Cave-in as the ball bounces off him and into the cave.

SLIM
He is an Inferno fan.

ZACK HARPER
He is an Inferno fan. He is struck in the chest by the ball during the game against the Baltimore Bullets.

OTHER CHARACTERS
DON WEPNER
The manager of the Washington Wolves. He convinces the Harlem Heroes to play as guest flyers in the match against Baltimore Bullets.




DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Washington Wolves Fan: "Aeroball is washed up... and so are the Harlem Heroes!"

WORST LINES
Aces Cave-Man: "Go find somewhere else t'dump ya super-balls, Butterfly!"

CATCHPHRASES
No catchphrases as such, just several examples of Inferno's terminology like cave-in, block flier etc.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Giant, Slim and Zack were previously seen in Harlem Heroes, while Giant has appeared in Judge Dredd: The Academy Of Law, Part 2 although that strip is set years after Inferno.

INFLUENCES
Rollerball (1975), and Harlem Heroes...

MISTAKES
The spellings Flier and Flyer are both used.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Tom Tully
Artist: Massimo Belardinelli
Letters: Bill Nuttall

Belardinelli is, of course, Massimo Belardinelli.

REVIEW
Bring back Aeroball. It's nice to see the Harlem Heroes back, but their new game is not as exciting as it thinks it is. Excessive rules require excessive exposition, which slows the whole thing down. Where Part 1 of Harlem Heroes gave us Aeroball, a fatal crash and a disembodied brain, Part 1 of Inferno's peril is that Harlem Heroes might not be very good at a sport they aren't used to playing. On the plus side, the artwork is very nice and the commentator is established confidently without wasting a panel on seeing them.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Judge Dredd: 'The Troggies', Part 2

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'The Troggies', Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 37

DATELINE
5 Nov 77

This strip appeared alongside Invasion, Dan Dare, Tharg's Future Shocks, Inferno and M.A.C.H.1 strips and a supercover by Brett Ewins and Brendan McCarthy.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Annual 1985, Judge Dredd: The Early Cases 4 13, The Complete Judge Dredd 3 and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.


SYNOPSIS
Dredd has to escape and try to prevent the Troggies from destroying Mega-City One.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First use of the words "Gronk" and "Grudd" in 2000 A.D.

INFORMATION
New York Grand Central Station is still standing and the old Lexington Avenue Subway still has power

Lasers can be used for drilling.

JUDGE DREDD
He can drive a twentieth century subway train and use a laser drill. He blinds the Troggies with the train light, uses an electric whip on Slick Willy and catches the detonator.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SLICK WILLY
He describes himself as the Prime Cat of the Troggies. Dredd stops him from detonating the bombs under Mega-City One.


ARRESTS
An unknown number of Troggies are marched away and presumably arrested.

DEATHS
Dredd kills at least one Troggy with a laser drill.

BEST LINES
Troggy: "A gronk of electric whip will sprugg him!"

WORST LINES
Troggy: "Go it, Normal! Bludge him stronky!"

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Drokk", his captor says "Grudd". Slick Willy's dialogue may be Daddy-O-less, but he makes up for with a "whing-a-ding", a "Slay you later, alligator!",

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Dredd used the same ploy against 'The Brotherhood Of Darkness'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The Pelham 456 train is obviously a reference to The Taking Of Pelham 123 (1974), Slick Willy mentions Elvis as in Presley who would have died very recently (1935-1977) and one of the Troggies is wearing an Arsenal Football Club shirt.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
Unknown.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: John Wagner
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
So not only were the Troggies, Muties in all-but-name, but the story has the same denouement as 'The Brotherhood Of Darkness'. Part 2 fails to live up to the promise of Part 1.

The End.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Judge Dredd: 'The Troggies', Part 1

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'The Troggies', Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 36

DATELINE
29 Oct 77

This prog has a supercover by Lopez as well as Invasion, Dan Dare, Tharg's Future Shocks, Inferno and M.A.C.H.1 strips.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd: The Early Cases 4, Judge Dredd Annual 1985, The Complete Judge Dredd 3 and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.


SYNOPSIS
Dredd investigates a series of disappearances, but becomes a victim himself.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of the Undercity, but not yet named as such.

INFORMATION
The old New York subway system is disused and was closed down more than hundred years ago. The East Street Subway Station has survived largely intact.

In the 20th Century, the Troggies were a group that struggled to adjust to the pace of modern life and sought refuge underground. As time passed their bodies adapted and now they can see in the dark.

An electric whip immobilises its victim.

A Judge's Lawmaster has an Infra-Red Headlamp which can show up heat sources, including footsteps.

JUDGE DREDD
Whilst investigating a spate of disappearances, he is kidnapped by the Troggies and put to work.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SLICK WILLY
The Prime Cat of the Troggies. He plans to destroy Mega-City One and has kidnapped several citizens to act as a slave workforce and placed explosives at key points underneath the city. They are currently digging the last tunnel they require.


ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Troggy: "Stand to attention, Normal. You are in the presence of Slick Willy, Prime Cat of the Troggies."

WORST LINES
Dredd: "Too many people have been disappearing lately."

Surely one is too many?

CATCHPHRASES
Between them the Troggies end three sentences with Daddy-O which implies they are descended from 1950's or 1960's beatniks.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Mutants living in the New York Subway System brings to mind Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970) again.

One of the Troggies paraphrases The Bible passage 1 Corinthians 15:32 "What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

MISTAKES
The L and the I in Slick are very close together and at a glance the word resembles Suck.

RETROSPECT
The Undercity will go on to become an important part of Mega-City One.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: John Wagner
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
I like this strip a lot. The Troggies may perform the same function as Mutants, but their design, the Daddy-Os and the Slick Willy's first panel are great.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Futuregraph: Judge Dredd's Law-giver

NAME
Judge Dredd's Law-giver, The Justice Gun

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 34

DATELINE
15 Oct 77

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Unknown.

SYNOPSIS
Here's a schematic of a Judge's Law-giver.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time Law-giver has a hyphen in it.

INFORMATION
The nose of the Lawgiver has an electro-magnetic ring, which Heat Seeker shells may be coupled to.

The barrel is diactinic, made of a neoform light-transmitting pexalt alloy and contains compression jaws and tongues for velocity boost. Incendiary shells are electro-ignited as they leave the gun.

The Law-giver takes both standard and auxilliary magazines, ahead of these are frontal exhaust ducts to prevent excess compression and a Flash input socket where a stroboscopic flash head can be attached. The magazines are vacuum sealed and electo-coupled. Magazine capacity 24 shells (12 each of 2 different types).

The handle houses a solid state power pack, a palm print analyser linked to a self destruct charge and a computer which controls the target selector and fine focus automatically. There is a manual override for auto-modes.

The Viewfinder Data Readout shows a crosshair, a target code, velocity rating, magazine level indicator and shell identity. The sight has night vision, diachrotic infrared electro filter and magnifies to 10 diopters. The viewfinder has a minimum range of 200mm and a zoom facility which increase to 2000mm for long range.


GP Shells are propelled by Argon 88b, a highly unstable element which combusts on contact with Oxygen. As the shell's electrostatic pin rotates it collects fuel, replaces it with de-Oxygenated air from the combustion chamber. The fuel is delivered to the chamber and opens the air ducts to allow the Argon 88b to combust. The velocity and range of a shell is determined by the jet fan diameter and the speed of pin rotation. The suggested range for G.P. Shells is a maximum of 3 miles, with an average shell velocity of (medium charge 500 f.p.s.). The Law-Giver can fire the following shell types: General Purpose (GP), Rubber Ricochet (RR), Incendiary (I), Armour Piercing (AP), Grenade (G), High Explosive (HE).

The flash strobe head, supplementary power packs, replacement muzzle and spare viewfinder screen are kept in the Judge's left boot pocket.

A maximum of three heat seeker shells are stored in each of the Judge's glove pouches.

JUDGE DREDD
Dredd has his name on his gun.

OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The palm print analyser and self destruct charge were previously seen in Judge Dredd: 'The Wreath Murders'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Unknown.

RETROSPECT
Unknown.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Unknown.

REVIEW
Very nice. There is more here than you can possibly take in on first viewing.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Mutie The Pig', Part 2

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Mutie The Pig', Part 2
(according to Barney this strip is also known as 'Death Of Dredd')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 35

DATELINE
22 Oct 77

Behind a supercover by Jose Luis Ferrer lay Invasion, Dan Dare, Tharg's Future Shocks, M.A.C.H.1 and Shako strips as well.

PAGE COUNT
5 (or 4 and a 1/2)

REPRINTS
2000AD Progs 351 & 352, Judge Dredd: The Early Cases 4, The Complete Judge Dredd 3 and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd and Gibson fight to the death.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First use of Dredd's nickname Old Stoney-Face.

INFORMATION
Grover Street, 9th Street and a funeral parlour where they meet are represented in the Academy of Law's training recreation of part of Mega-City One.

Cadet's Rights is the method used to settle arguments at the Academy of Law. It involves fisticuffs.

Judge's Lawgivers can fire ricochet bullets and can be set to rapid fire.

JUDGE DREDD
He was nicknamed Old Stoney-Face at the academy. He and Gibson settled a difference using Cadet's Rights, they vowed to always settle disputes the same way. Dredd had his brother's name stricken from the Academy's honour roll when he was revealed to be a criminal. He is a master of the effective use of ricochet bullet spray.
Gibson's attempt to kill Dredd failed and he faked his own death and funeral to catch Gibson. He accedes to Gibson's request to fight to the death at the academy under Cadet's Rights. Dredd kills Gibson and removes the dead Judges name from the honour roll.

OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE GIBSON
Dredd unmasks and arrests him. He insists on a fight to the death under Cadet's Rights, but Dredd kills him. His name is struck from the Academy's honour roll.


THE PRINCIPAL OF THE ACADEMY
He agrees to fight between Judges Dredd and Gibson. He insists that the current cadets watch.

ARRESTS
One. Gibson, sort of.

DEATHS
One. Gibson, shot dead by Dredd.

BEST LINES
Academy Tutor: "Note the effective use of the ricochet spray, Cadets - Judge Dredd is a master of this technique."

WORST LINES
Academy Principal: "That was a masterful exhibition, Judge Dredd!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Gibson mentions that the penalty for a bent Judge is twenty years on Titan The Return Of Rico! and explains why only one Dredd is listed on the honour roll first seen in 'The Academy Of Law', Part 1.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Friends duelling to the death makes me think of the Star Trek episode Amok Time (1967).

MISTAKES
Gibson mentions the Academy's honour role. Thankfully it is spelt correctly in the accompanying artwork.

RETROSPECT
In addition to the principal of the Academy of Law two tutors depicted here are missing limbs and although we haven't been explicitly told as such a picture of ex-street Judges becoming tutors is beginning to appear.

NOTES
It seems fitting that Ian Gibson provide the art here.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: T. B. Grover
Artist: Emberton
Letters: Tony Jacob

T. B. Grover is a pseudonym for John Wagner, while Emberton is really Ian Gibson.

REVIEW
This is brilliant. This strip, arguably more than The Return Of Rico!, shows why bent Judges are a great start to a Dredd story. It hits him where he hurts. If I had one criticism it's that it's a shame we don't learn more about Gibson's motivations.

Next Prog: Dredd Versus Captain Strange!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Mutie The Pig', Part 1

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Mutie The Pig', Part 1
(according to Barney this strip is also known as 'Death Of Dredd')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 34

DATELINE
15 Oct 77

This prog bore a supercover by Trevor Goring and Invasion, Dan Dare, Tharg's Future Shocks, M.A.C.H.1 and Shako strips.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
2000AD Progs 351 & 352, Judge Dredd: The Early Cases 4, The Complete Judge Dredd 3 and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd's dead. Mutie the Pig commits robberies across Mega-City One

FIRSTS & LASTS
The first Judge Dredd strip to be reprinted.

INFORMATION
The year is 2099 A.D. (Dredd's 'death' takes place on a Friday).

For the first time in over eighty years the Mega-City One's weather controls have been set to winter as a mark of respect for the late Judge Dredd.

Mega-City One Judges have made goodwill visits to Texas City. Judges are trained to support their gun-hand under his free arm. Named Judges: Cicero (left-handed, in hospital) and Peace (left-handed, on a good will visit to Texas City)


JUDGE DREDD
He was born in 2066. Believed killed by a mystery assassin, he is given a funeral with 200 Justice department hover vehicles painted black and buried on the East Side. He is not dead.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CHIEF JUDGE
He speaks at Dredd's funeral and declares a day of mourning.

WALTER & MARIA
They attend Dredd's funeral.


JUDGE GIBSON
He and Dredd were at the academy together. He is left-handed. He speaks at Dredd's funeral and lights the flame of justice on his gravestone. He disguises himself as Mutie The Pig to commit robberies. When Dredd learned of this Gibson shot him, believed him dead and resumed his crime spree as Mutie. Dredd returned to stop him.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
One, maybe. Gibson shoots a bar punter.

BEST LINES
Bar Patron: "We-we ain't gonna give you no more trouble, Mr. Pig"

Respectful.

WORST LINES
Shot Bar Patron: "I'll aagh!"

Aagh just looks wrong.

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says bwave, cwy, Dwedd, Mawia, twy and wemember.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Judge Gibson was listed on the honour roll for Dredd's year at 'The Academy Of Law'. Walter cries oil again as he did in 'Walter's Secret Job'. Since Dredd's gravestone confirms that the year is still 2099 and he had his birthday in 'Brainblooms' he must be 33 years old now.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The Chief Judge paraphrases Antony from Act 3 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (1599), "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them"

MISTAKES
Al Bristow describes Maria as Dredd's landlady and takes us live to the scence.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: John Wagner
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
The artwork is great and the set up is nicely done, but it doesn't really fool you into think Dredd is actually dead.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Walter's Secret Job'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Walter's Secret Job'
(according to Barney this strip is also known as 'Cab Driver', while Comics.org refer to it as 'Walt's Night Out')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 33

DATELINE
8 Oct 77

This Prog featured a supercover by Brett Ewins and Brendan McCarthy and Invasion, Dan Dare, Tharg's Future Shocks, M.A.C.H.1 and Shako strips as well as 200 Galactic Groats to cut-out-and-keep. It's not clear whether any newsagents accepted these as legal tender.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Robo-Hunter Book 4, Judge Dredd (Volume 2) Issue 24, Judge Dredd the Early Cases 3, Cyber Crush 14, The Best of 2000AD 73 and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
A suspicious Dredd follows Walter to find out what he's up to.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Fred.

INFORMATION
In Mega-City One, Kingston and Fourth are two streets that converge. There is a warehouse near where they cross.

Justice Gazette is a judicial publication. Synthi-Lix is a drink. The Dormeezee 2048 is model of bed. Zit guns are weapons. Dwite B. Rosewater is a senator.

A Judge's Lawgiver can fire a stun shot.

JUDGE DREDD
He suspects Walter of wrongdoing since the robot began giving him gifts. He follows him to a garage and incorrectly believes he has witnessed the robot's theft of a car. He takes on four armed robbers and arrests them all.


OTHER CHARACTERS
WALTER THE WOBOT
He has taken a job as a taxi driver for Fred's Taxis to make some money to purchase gifts for Dredd with. He can leak oil in a manner not unlike crying. He quits his extra job.

FRED
The owner of Fred's Taxis. He has a speech impediment. He employs several taxi drivers and for a time that included Walter.

ARRESTS
Four.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Walter: "A cup of fwesh Synthi-lix, dear master. Is there anything else you wequire fwom your humble wobot?"

WORST LINES
Number Four: "You're the one the clock's run out on, Lawman! Raise 'em!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says Angwy, Awwested, Cweeps, Cwipes, Dwedd, Fwed, Fwesh, Fwom, Hooway, Pwesents, Secwet, Wight-O, Wequire and Wobot, while Fred says Awound, Dwiver, Gweat, Wequire and Wing.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Dredd reads Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866). The Philip K. Dick short story A Present For Pat (1954) featured a robot taxi driver.

MISTAKES
Uncharacteristically, Walter manages to say both Dredd and Respond without any trouble.

RETROSPECT
This story may well have lead to Walter getting his own strip starting in Prog 50.

NOTES
The first present that Walter gives Dredd are some "disgusting pyjamas", years later Judge Dredd pyjamas would be a reality. I'll leave it up to you to decide which is worse.


The second present that Walter gives Dredd are a pair of socks and Ian Gibson successfully draws an impressive Sylvester Stallone likeness eighteen years before the 1995 Judge Dredd film.


CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: John Wagner
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
Despite the story being a game of two halves and the some of the artwork being a bit scrappy, this strip manages to be very endearing.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Komputel'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Komputel'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 32

DATELINE
1 Oct 77

This prog bears a supercover by Trevor Goring and Invasion, Dan Dare, Tharg's Future Shocks, M.A.C.H.1 and Shako strips as well.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
2000AD Annual 1983, Judge Dredd (Volume 2) Issue 28, The Complete Judge Dredd 3 and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.


SYNOPSIS
Dredd takes on a murderous self-aware computer hotel.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One's latest addition is the Komputel. A hotel run by an intelligent computer that controls everything and has no need for cooks, maids, etc. It can service nearly a thousand guests and has at least 514 rooms, one of which is a bridal suite. It also has a cinema, automated kitchens and the central computer complex is located on the top floor. The computer has a powerful electromagnet, can control the temperature, air supply, electrification, plumbing and the lifts. On the day it opened it killed many of its guests and was shut down.


Cars that sing were a recent fad in Mega-City One.

Thermo-salad is a dish.

JUDGE DREDD
He is on duty at the opening of the Komputel. When it malfunctions he travels to its central computer complex and destroys it.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CITY FATHER WASHINGTON
Mega-City One celebrity who opens the Komputel.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
At least seven. A guest dies falling down a lift shaft, another drowns in the bath and at least five suffocate in the cinema.

BEST LINES
City Father Washington: "Ma friends I am proud of this buildin' an' I want you to be proud too -Proud of the technological achievement which has given us the first completely automatic hotel..."

WORST LINES
Falling guest: "Lift ain't here...Nooo"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The most famous homicidal computer is Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but on television, Doctor Who gave us WOTAN from The War Machines (1966), BOSS in The Green Death (1973) and Xoanon from The Face Of Evil (1977) as well.

MISTAKES
City Father Washington falls at the final hurdle and opens the Komputal instead.

RETROSPECT
Dredd's thought bubble on the first page reveals that the latest fad in Mega-City One is always changing. Something that will be a constant source of stories for years to come.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Robert Flynn
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tony Jacob

This is the only Judge Dredd strip written by Robert Flynn, who spent more time in the company of Tharg's Future Shocks and M.A.C.H.1.

REVIEW
The script and artwork are fine, but it's unrewarding not to know what happens to Mr and Mrs Burton and overall 'Komputel' is nothing special.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Devil's Island'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Devil's Island'
(according to Barney this strip is also known as 'Return Of Whitey')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 31

DATELINE
24 Sep 77

This prog also featured a supercover by Lopez and Invasion, Dan Dare, Tharg's Future Shocks, M.A.C.H.1 and Shako strips.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd (Volume 2) 52, Judge Dredd Annual 1984, The Complete Judge Dredd 3 and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Whitey escapes again.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One has not had snow for decades. The city's weather control centre is called the Weather Congress.

Devil's Island prison has an observation post and a workshop.

JUDGE DREDD
He tracks and escaped Whitey from Devil's Island. He offers his life in exchange for Whitey's hostage. Whitey shoots him in the hand, but he manages to distract Whitey, switch off his weather control computer and arrest him.


OTHER CHARACTERS
WHITEY
His cellmate "Einstein" has built a mini-weather control computer in the prison workshop and covers Devil's Island and its surrounding roads in snow. Whitey kills "Einstein", clubs a prison guard, steals his gun, shoots off his chains and escapes. He kills one man for his car and takes his female friend as a hostage.

ARRESTS
One. Whitey.

DEATHS
Three. Whitey strangles "Einstein" and shoots a citizen dead.

BEST LINES
"Einstein": "I-I did it, Whitey! Told ya I could jam the weather control an' make stop the traffic..."
Whitey: "An' with the traffic stopped - suddenly we ain't an island no more!"

WORST LINES
Dredd: "Chains...in the old days they put them on wheels for grip in snow! I'll do the same with my bike..."

CATCHPHRASES
None. Although the last thing Dredd says to Whitey is practically the same in each of his three appearances so far.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Whitey previously appeared in the Judge Dredd strips: 'Judge Whitey' and 'Whitey's Brother'. Megoil featured in the last part of 'Robot Wars', while weather manipulation was an important part of that story as well as 'The Solar Sniper'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
There is a strong possibility that "Einstein" is reference to Albert Einstein (1879-1955) who developed the general theory of relativity and therefore a writing shortcut for genius.

MISTAKES
How is Whitey the only prisoner to escape?

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
Whitey wasn't chained whilst in prison before so presumably this is punishment for his previous escape in 'Whitey's Brother'.

CREDITS
There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: Gerry Finley-Day
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
The story feels rushed and frustratingly Whitey's clubbing of a prison guard, stealing his gun and shooting his chains off all happen between panels. After Dredd's uses it's good to see weather manipulation being used for evil.