Friday, 31 May 2013

Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter 4

NAME
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter 4

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 64

DATELINE
13 May 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 6, Judge Dredd Epics The Collected Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth 1, Judge Dredd 5 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 02.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd and Spikes save Deliverance from rats.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Deliverance.

INFORMATION
The rats were attracted to Deliverance by its siren. The town is in the vicinity of a lava river.


Quasar bikes have a siren.

JUDGE DREDD
Spikes breaks him out of Deliverance's jail, he cuts Samuel and Rebecca free and then uses his bike's siren to lure the rats away from the town. He is attacked by the King Rat and strangles it to death.


OTHER CHARACTERS
SPIKES HARVEY ROTTEN
He finds some World War II grenades and a Colt Six Shooter in Deliverance. He rescues Dredd and the pair lead the rats away from the town and into a river of lava. He wears one of the grenades as an earring.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
One human, thousands of rats. Deliverance's Lawgiver is killed by rats. Dredd and Spikes lead the rats into a river of lava, while the Judge strangles their King.

BEST LINES
Samuel: "Close your eyes, love...it'll soon be over!"

WORST LINES
Dredd: "Cut the cackle...give me covering fire while I cut that couple loose!"

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd utters another "for Drokk's sake" and a "By Stomm"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Spikes mention the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a folklore tale about a piper, dressed in multi-coloured clothing, leading a rat infestation away from the town, but whine the people of Hamelin refuse to pay him for his services he leads the town's children away never to return.

MISTAKES
A river of lava would probably interrupt the rat's air currents quite dramatically.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
The King Rat (Uromys rex) is a species of giant naked-tailed rat found in the Solomon Islands, while a Rat King is when a number of rat's tails become intertwined, which become stuck together with blood, dirt, ice, excrement or simply knotted. The animals reputedly grow together while joined at the tails into an angry ball of rats.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
A nice neat strip that delivers on what the last part set up. The Lawgiver's death is fantastic, although the struggle with the King Rat undermines the existence of the swarm.

Next Prog: The Mutie Mountains!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter 3 – The Devil’s Lapdogs

NAME
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter 3 – The Devil's Lapdogs

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 63

DATELINE
6 May 78

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 6, Judge Dredd Epics The Collected Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth 1, Judge Dredd 5 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 02.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd's convoy reaches Deliverance while the town is under attack.

FIRSTS & LASTS
The first example of law among the lawless and the first time we see that not necessarily everyone in the Cursed Earth is a mutant.

INFORMATION
Deliverance is a town in the Cursed Earth. The town's roofs are covered in spikes and it is equipped with flak guns and a siren. It has suffered from food shortages. The town's Lawgiver sentences its residents for their crimes. Being eaten by the Devil's Lapdogs is a form of execution.

The post-atomic war great winds lifted houses, cars, rocks etc into the air and formed a death belt. The rats have learned how to glide on air currents and became known as the Devil's Lapdogs.


JUDGE DREDD
He is arrested and incarcerated by Deliverance's Lawgiver when he attempts to intervene in the execution of Samual and Rebecca.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SPIKES
His Quasar bike is fitted with a self-destruct mechanism controlled from Dredd's bike. He will get a free pardon if he helps Dredd deliver the vaccine to Mega-City Two.

SAMUEL AND REBECCA
Husband and wife, residents of Deliverance found guilty of stealing food from their neighbours.

ARRESTS
None, although Dredd is locked up and sentenced to death.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Lawgiver: "How I wish I could be merciful, my child. But I have no choice...The demons of the air must devour you. Because...that is the law!"
Dredd: "And I Am The Law...Let Them Go!"

WORST LINES
Judge Jack (at the accusation that he has been cheating at a game played against someone else who is cheating): "Why you...!"

CATCHPHRASES
In the last panel Dredd gives us a "For Drokk's sake"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Deliverance is also the name of a 1972 thriller film directed by John Boorman, based on a 1970 novel of the same name by James Dickey. A Lawgiver was a central part of the mythology of the first two Planet Of The Apes films and was finally seen in the fifth, Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: R.O. Bott

I am unable to find any other examples of R.O. Bott's comics career. I am forced to conclude that this was his or her sole effort.

REVIEW
The evangelical preachiness of the Lawgiver is great and it's nice that Dredd's first attempt at bringing law to the lawless fails so miserably and sees him locked up, the Rats floating on air currents is the wrong side of ridiculous.

Next Prog: King Rat!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter Two – Into The Darkness

NAME
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter Two – Into The Darkness

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 62

DATELINE
29 Apr 78

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 6, Judge Dredd Epics The Collected Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth 1, Judge Dredd 5, The Best Of Judge Dredd and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 02.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd makes preparations and ventures out into the Cursed Earth.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearances of the K2001 Land Raider, the Killdozer and Judges Patton and Gradgrind.

INFORMATION
Mega City One's Mega-Penitentiary successfully reforms 99% of its prisoners. Mega-School Three has classrooms with holograms, a robotic hall monitor and at least four sound-proof boxes for electro-discipline.

Justice H.Q. has a vehicle testing ground. Named Judges: Judge MacArthur, Judge Patton, Judge Gradgrind

The K2001 Land Raider has a four wheel drive, thermo-nuclear engine, flame thrower, machine guns and a special compartment, while the Killdozer is equipped with Nemesis rockets, cannon, laser guns, two Quasar bikes and is nuclear blast-proof. The two vehicles link up to form a modular fighting unit.


JUDGE DREDD
He is heading to Mega-City Two by land with a K2001 Land Raider and Killdozer combined, a detachment of war droids, Judges Jack, Patton and Gradgrind as well as Spikes Harvey Rotten.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SPIKES HARVEY ROTTEN
He was accused of running guns for the Muties of the Cursed Earth. He was sent to the Mega-Penitentiary, but convinced the governer he had reformed and was sent on a visit to Mega-School Three where he killed his warder. He and Dredd fight and the Judge convinces him to volunteer to go on the Cursed Earth mission.


ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
One. Spikes Harvey Rotten's warder.

BEST LINES
Spikes: "Drop der gun, Judgey - or da kid gets a draught between his ears!"

WORST LINES
Spikes: "Wipe dat smile off yer face, Kid! Being a lawbreaker ain't nothin' to smile about! It's dumb! D'you hear?...Just like wearin' dese handcuffs is dumb...Just like dis warder is dumb! Hurr, hurrr!"

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Drokk it, I'm not a schoolboy" to the school's robot and "By Stomm!" when he sees Spikes with a gun to a child's head.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Dredd mentions that he and Judge Jack fought together during the robot rebellion in 'Robot Wars', Part Three, while Spikes Harvey Rotten first appeared in 'The Mega-City 5000'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The K2001 Land Raider and Killdozer was very closely based on a vehicle made available in the Matchbox Adventure 2000 range. Damnation Alley is a 1967 short story by Roger Zelazny, which features a prisoner who is offered a full pardon in exchange for taking on a suicide mission, a drive across a ruined America to deliver an urgently needed plague vaccine. Zelazny expanded it into a novel in 1969 and it was adapted for film in 1977. Judge Gradgrind shares his name with a headmaster from Hard Times (1854) whose name is now used to refer to someone who is hard and only concerned with facts and figures, while the most famous Patton was obviously United States Army General George Smith Patton, Jr. (1885–1945).

MISTAKES
Spikes Harvey Rotten's appearance has changed considerably since he raced in 'The Mega-City 5000', maybe he has had his face altered as part of the process of becoming reformed.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The showing off of the vehicles is nothing special, but the reintroduction of Spikes Harvey Rotten and his subsequent volunteering is fantastic. Where else would you get to see Vikings fighting Romans in a futuristic school?

Next Prog: The Devil's Lapdogs!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter One – Forbidden Fruit!

NAME
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter One – Forbidden Fruit!

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 61

DATELINE
22 Apr 78

PAGE COUNT
8

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 6, Judge Dredd Epics The Collected Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth 1, Judge Dredd 5, The Best Of Judge Dredd and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 02.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd saves Mega-City One from 2T(Fru)T and moves to do the same for Mega-City Two.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time a story has been broken up into Chapters, first explicit mention of Mega-City Two, first use of the name Cursed Earth.

INFORMATION
The Atomic War was followed by the Great Germ War, the 2T(Fru)T plague is a disease left over from the latter. It turns sufferer's skin grey, scrambles their brains turning them into cannibals and ten kills them.

Mega-City One's Justice H.Q. has a Special Security Wing equipped with plastic bubbles for quarantine. Named Judges: Assistant Grand Judge Fodder (deceased).

Mega-City Two covers five thousand square miles of the Californian West Coast. It has recently been struck by 2T(Fru)T plague and people will die in their thousands. Sector Nine has a Shuttle Stop and is location of Conapt 573. One section is holding out. There are death belts above the city which prevent approach by air.

There is a Mega-City Three.

The Cursed Earth features 500 mph winds, monsters and muties.


JUDGE DREDD
He agrees to take the 2T(Fru)T vaccine to Mega-City Two by land.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RED
A strato-pilot flying between Mega-Cities One and Two. He is an old friend of Dredd's. He was due to deliver the vaccine for the 2T(Fru)T plague to Mega-City Two, but encountered infected individuals who tried to eat him and he fled. He is one of the ten per cent of people that the vaccine doesn't work on. Due to his exposure he is under quarantine at Mega-City One's Justice H.Q., Red succumbs to the plague and kills Judge Fodder before Dredd can stop him. Dredd is forced to kill Red to prevent the spread of the plague.


JUDGE FODDER
The Assistant Grand Judge. He is in charge of the Special Security Wing. Red kills him.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
Two. A 2T(Fru)T crazed Red kills Judge Fodder. Dredd kills Red to prevent the spread of the disease.

BEST LINES
2T(Fru)T Sufferer: "Do not use the guns....it spoils the fruit when you spit out the bullets!"

WORST LINES
Medic: "He's strangling him...He's turned into a plague man!"

CATCHPHRASES
We hear the Tooty Fruity war cry four times, Dredd says "Drokk!" once.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Dredd ventured into the Cursed Earth before in 'The Brotherhood Of Darkness'. Mega-City Two is mentioned in all but name in 'Luna 1'. Dredd kills Red to prevent him using Fodder's gun because it would explode as seen in 'The Wreath Murders'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
2T(Fru)T may well take its name from Little Richard's first single 'Tutti Frutti' (1955), while "Like a bat out of hell" is a phrase that dates back to Jacobean times, but would have taken on a new significance with the release of Meat Loaf's second album in 1977.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
It's impossible to overstate the significance of this strip. The world building and the epic nature of the story expand Dredd's world enormously.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
This is a great beginning, but understandably it marks an end to the short-lived new normal. Mega-City One has only just gotten its favourite son back and now he's off again. The premise is great and the storytelling mature, although the name 2T(Fru)T somewhat undermines it.


Next Prog: Into The Darkness!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Judge Dredd: Firebug

NAME
Judge Dredd: Firebug

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 60

DATELINE
15 Apr 78

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 2, Judge Dredd 14, Judge Dredd Definitive Ed. Metal Fatigue, The Complete Judge Dredd 5, The Best Of Judge Dredd and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd is on the hunt for an arsonist.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One's stratoscrapers are equipped with glide chute to facilitate escape during a fire. Stratoscrapers conduct glide chute practice drills to prepare for emergencies. The Wengler Building is a very tall building in Mega-City One.

Judges have access to a machine which can remove a layer of an individual's skin and test it for the presence of specific chemicals.

The Reasonable Grounds For Suspicion Act of 2086, allows Judges greater discretionary powers.

Roboclinics provide repairs for damaged robots.

JUDGE DREDD
He is in charge of the rescue operation for a burning stratoscaper. He proves that the Firebug is McCracken and returns home to discover Walter's suicide note. Dredd put out an emergency call to track Walter down and is informed that the robot is on top of the Wengler Building. Dredd is present as Walter slips and is caught in a Police net. He has the robot repaired and files the deeds of ownership to make Walter his property.


OTHER CHARACTERS
WALTER THE WOBOT
He delivers Dredd sandwiches at the site of the fire rescue operation. He burns his freedom papers and has deeds of ownership drawn up which he then gives to Dredd who rejects them. Walter decides to throw himself off the top of a building, but the Police catch him in a net. Dredd has him fixed at a roboclinic and files the deeds of ownership making Walter firstly his property and secondly a very happy robot.



THE CHIEF JUDGE
He eats Walter's sandwiches and puts Dredd onto the trail of the Firebug.

CHARLES Q. McCRACKEN
Known as Chuck, he is the owner of several buildings in Mega-City One. He has been in financial trouble recently and set fire to ten of his buildings to collect the insurance money. He is nicknamed the Firebug. Dredd submits his top layer of skin for chemical testing and when the results show traces of petrol based fire-raiser, he arrests him for ten counts of arson and 718 counts of homicide.

ARRESTS
One. McCracken for arson and murder.

DEATHS
718 people died in the Firebug's fires.

BEST LINES
Glide Chute Escapee: "Be careful, you fool! Where were you during glide chute practice?"

WORST LINES
McCracken: "Sheesh!"

CATCHPHRASES
There's an "Aieee!" among the Firebug escapees, Dredd manages both a "Drokk it!" and an "Oh Drokk!", while Walter says bwief, cwipes, cwuel, dwawn, Dwedd, fweedom, fwidge, gwateful, misewable, pwecious, weason, wespect, wobot, sowwy, stwength, supwise, thwow, tweacle, twoubled and vewy.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
According to Walter it's the (one year?) anniversary of his receiving freedom papers, which is presumably a reference to 'Robot Wars', Part Eight.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The Towering Inferno (1974), maybe.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: John Howard
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
Firebug's opening double page spread is great, insurance-related serial arson attacks are a satisfying down-to-earth crime with a believable motivation and removing a layer of McCracken's skin for testing is a nice touch, although the simplistic assumption that the owner would have acted alone limits the credibility of the strip. The story splits into two distinct halves and both try to be darker than the other. It's Walter and Dredd's anniversary and who could have predicted when they first met that the silly little robot with a speech impediment could ever have been suicidal? This strip earns it.

Next Prog: The Cursed Earth!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Harlem Heroes: 'Berlin Stadium'

I've managed to track down one of the Harlem Heroes strips that previously eluded me, so here it is...

NAME
Harlem Heroes: 'Berlin Stadium'
(according to Wikipedia, this strip is also known as 'The Berlin Blitzkriegs')

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Annual 1978

DATELINE
1st September, 1977 (this date is from Barney)

PAGE COUNT
10

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
The Harlem Heroes play a friendly against the Berlin Blitzkriegs.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First and last 10 page strip.

INFORMATION
The score-tank is three hundred feet up. The rules state that spectators are allowed to participate. A power charge involves a player flying through their opponent's ranks at speeds of up to 200 mph.

The Berlin Blitzkriegs play their home games at Berlin Stadium.

The Harlem Heroes play the Berlin Blitzkriegs away in a friendly math. Final score Harlem Heroes 3 air strikes to the Berlin Blitzkriegs 2.

GIANT
He receives a gauntlet punch from Boldt to the chest. Later, he power charges the Blitzkriegs and broke their attack, but was unable to decelerate in time and smashed his leg on the wall of girders. Despite this he subsequently accepts Boldt's death duel challenge and receives a spiked-helmeted head butt to the gut, which smashed his jet pack's speed control and causes him to zoom about uncontrollably. He sheds the jet pack and falls onto Boldt, they fight, Giant scores another air strike and climbs onto the score tank.

SLIM
He receives a gauntlet punch from Boldt to the fist. After Rusty is beaten by a member of the crowd, he flies over, scoops up the aggressor and hangs him by his belt on the score-tank three hundred feet off the ground. The commentator dubs Slim a comedian, before his cargo falls to the ground. Slim later scores an air strike.

LOUIS
He has been concentrating on the Berlin Blitzkriegs tactics and formulates a plan.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RUDI BOLDT
Captain of the Berlin Blitzkriegs. He is nicknamed the Berlin Butcher. He punches Giant in the chest, scores two air strikes and challenges Giant to a Death Duel. He impales himself on the spikes around the score tank as Giant scores.

RUSTY
Harlem Heroes player. Whilst taking the ball down the wing he is hit by a bottle thrown from the crowd and falls to the ground. The crowd move in and beat him up. He is very badly injured.

EARL
Harlem Heroes player.

DEATHS
Three. Rusty crash lands and is beaten by the crowd. Rusty's opponent falls from the score tank when the Blitzkriegs score and is presumably killed. Rudy Boldt is impaled on the score tank spikes.

BEST LINES
Ringleader: "Let-let me go! The rules say that spectators are allowed to participate!"
Slim: "And that's just what you're gonna do, sweetheart! 'Cos you an' me's gonna take a ride-up to those ol' spikes!"

WORST LINES
So many contenders...

Fans: "Booooooo! Hate! Hate!"

Rudi Boldt: "Here they come! Tight disciplined formation to protect me, men. No passing the ball or clever tactics, like the Harlem Heroes, we use only brute force!"
Berlin Blitzkrieg: "Ja, Butcher! It is the secret of we Blitzkrieg's success!"

Rudi Boldt: "Well, black boy, have you got the courage to accept my challenge?"

CATCHPHRASES
The Blitzkrieg fans shout "Sieg Heil!" no less than eight times and "Berlin! Berlin! Uber alles!" once and have started bizarrely spelling out words like "S-C-O-O-P!" and "H-A-T-E!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
As with 'The Seattle Sluggers', it's not immediately obvious when this strip is set. Possibly between Parts 8 and 9 on the return trip from Moscow, between Parts 11 and 12 or between Parts 15 and 16.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
The line "Keep going, men - the fool's nerve will crack!" is presumably meant to be said by Rudi Boldt, but the speech bubble appears to be pointing at an unidentified Harlem Hero.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

Script: Unknown
Artist: Unknown

REVIEW
This is awful and at ten pages long that's a lot of awful to go around. Aeroball was always dangerous and there were deaths, but it was never so callous before. Despite his new murderous nature, Slim is easily the man of the match here, because he's the only player to show any personality at all. The use of the phrase "black boy" is unfortunate. Harlem Heroes could have been used to deal with racism, but it wasn't really and a one-off extended strip in an annual isn't going to achieve that so this throwaway reference takes on a significance it doesn't deserve. The context of the strip being in an annual is important, because it's standalone nature robs the Harlem Heroes of the context of the main strip. Harlem Heroes without the conspiracy subplot is just aeroball, and aeroball isn't what it used to be.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Judge Dredd: Return To Mega-City

NAME
Judge Dredd: Return To Mega-City

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 59

DATELINE
8 Apr 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 5, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 2, Judge Dredd 14 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd returns to Mega-City One, but is reluctant to arrest anyone.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last story of Dredd's time as Judge Marshal of Luna-1. Last appearance of Judges Tex and Che.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One has a population of 800 million. On one particular street in the worst area of the city 4000 crimes are committed every day.

A Judge previously seconded to another jurisdiction must have reinstatement papers and swear in on Volume 12 of the Juro-Penal Code before they can make any arrests in Mega-City One.

The Suction Gang rob using huge vacuum devices. The South Side Boys run a protection racket.

JUDGE MARSHAL DREDD
His six months as Judge Marshal of Luna-1 are up and Judge Tex succeeds him on his recommendation. He returns to Mega-City One and witnesses the Suction Gang's robbery of a jewellery store and the South Side Boys breaking up a bar for protection money, but he doesn't attempt to intervene. A Rookie Judge delivers his reinstatement papers and Dredd swears himself back onto the force. Dredd borrows the Rookie's bike and promptly makes two arrests and incapacitates three more perps.

OTHER CHARACTERS
WALTER THE WOBOT
He returns with Dredd.

MARIA
She is pleased to see Dredd return.

JUDGE TEX
He takes over from Dredd as Judge Marshal of Luna-1.

ARRESTS
Five. Dredd leaves three hoods kayoed for a Rookie to arrest and books another two himself.

DEATHS
Three. Dredd shoots three hoods dead.

BEST LINES
Dredd: "Good morning, citizens. I would remind you that armed robbery is illegal in Mega-City 1."

WORST LINES
Citizen: "Judge Dredd's flipped his lid for sure!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says awwest, cweasing, cwipes, cwooks, Dwedd, Mawia, twunk, stwange and vewy, while a hood gives us another "My dokk!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
It's been six months since Judge Dredd: 'Luna 1'.



INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: John Wagner
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The story is slight, but the opening panel is a great hook which sustains the rest of the strip. The artwork is great, although the sequence in the bar is a little confused. This probably seemed like a mission statement for what the strip was doing now. A return to a pre-Luna-1 dynamic, but it's obvious now that this would be short-lived and a return to 'normal' would be a long way off.



Next Prog: Firebug

Friday, 24 May 2013

Walter The Wobot: 'Master-Mind'

NAME
Walter The Wobot: Master-Mind'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 58

DATELINE
1 Apr 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Walter is a contestant on a TV quiz show.

FIRSTS & LASTS
This is probably the first use of the name Schicklegruber in 2000 A.D.

INFORMATION
Masterbrain is a TV quiz show on Luna-1. Contestants are required to answer questions on a particular subject and are playing for the Golden Brain Award. Interruptions are forbidden and the penalty is potential death by crocodile.

WALTER THE WOBOT
He appears on Masterbrain as a contestant with Judge Dredd as his specialist subject. He wins and is awarded the Golden Brain Award.

OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE MARSHAL DREDD
His favourite phrase is apparently "Drokk it!"

MAGNUS MAGNANIMUS
Host of Masterbrain. Outwardly human, he is actually a robot who ensures that Walter wins.


HERMAN SCHICKLEGRUBER
He is an interior decorator and contestant on Masterbrain. He appears to be wearing a World War II German SS uniform and a toupee. He objects to Walter's involvement in the programme and Magnus Magnanimus drops him into a pit of crocodiles.

BRIDGET LA BOOB
She is an actress and contestant on Masterbrain.

JULIAN PITCHFORK
He is a lecturer on the subject of moon rocks and contestant on Masterbrain.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
Possibly one. Schicklegruber may well get eaten by crocodiles.

BEST LINES
Magnus Magnanimus: "You have two mega-seconds to answer the first question on Judge Dredd starting...now! What is his favourite expression?"
Walter: "Er...Dwokk it!"

WORST LINES
Magnus Magnanimus: "Correct! What colour socks does he wear on Sundays?"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says Dwedd and gweetings, and also relays that Dredd's favourite phrase is "Dwokk it!", while Schicklegruber's accent is portrayed with phrases like "Goot evenink" and German words in English sentences: "He ist der robot - robots can answer anythink!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Masterbrain is obviously a reference to Mastermind (1972), a quiz show in which contestants answer questions on a specialist subject of their choice and on general knowledge, presented between 1972 and 1997 by Magnus Magnusson (1929–2007). Schicklegruber looks not dissimilar to Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) and indeed his paternal grandmother's name was Maria Schicklgruber (1795 –1847). She registered Adolf's father as Alois Schicklgruber (1837–1903) and entered "illegitimate" in place of the father's name. Thirty nine years later, Alois decided to apply to legally take the name his presumed father Johann Georg Hiedler (1792–1857), which somehow became Hitler. This all begs the question whether millions of people would ever have catastrophically put their trust in a man called Adolf Schicklgruber and possibly makes the parish priest in Döllersheim who amended the records the cause of more bloodshed than he could ever have imagined.

MISTAKES
The black and white reprinting in Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01 omits the word Frankenheim's because it was written in red, instead there is a huge gap before the word Monster!.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Joe Collins
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
Walter's broadcasting career continues and he discovers a robot underground into the bargain. On the face of it, this is merely another throwaway strip for Walter, albeit one with great artwork from Bolland, but the inclusion of Schicklegruber and the revelation that Magnanimous is a robot makes it something much more intriguing.

Next Prog: Fwankenheim's Monster!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Full Earth Crimes'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Full Earth Crimes'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 58

DATELINE
1 Apr 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd (Volume 2) Issue 53, The Complete Judge Dredd 5, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 2 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Luna-1 experiences a Full Earth and a resulting rise in crime.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last strip set entirely on Luna-1, last appearance of Judge Che.

INFORMATION
(this strip takes place during the night of a full Earth, which corresponds to the same day that a new moon is seen from Earth. For the record, full Earths in 2100 would be either 10th Jan, 9th Feb, 10th Mar, 9th Apr, 9th May, 8th June, 7th July, 6th Aug, 4th Sept, 3rd Oct, 2nd Nov or either 1st or 30th Dec).

Some Luna-1 roads have minimum speed limits of 100 mph, people who drive below this are nicknamed Slowsters.

On Luna-1, littering the streets is an offence. The sentence for public nuisance is ninety days penal servitude. The penalty for attempting to obstruct justice is a fine of 2,000 credits (which can be doubled at the Judge's discretion). Driving under the speed limit is a crime and can result in a driving ban of 12 years.

The Justice Department have holding posts to handcuff offenders to for later retrieval. The Judge Marshal can cancel all leave at his discretion. Named Judges: Judge Mex.

Synthi-Broth is a foodstuff.

JUDGE MARSHAL DREDD
He is much busier during a Full Earth as crime levels rise.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RICHARD LUPIN
Dredd catches him driving at 95 mph in a 100 zone and bans him from driving until 2112.

JUDGE CHE
Uses a whip while on duty.

ARRESTS
At least fifteen. Dredd arrests one citizen for public nuisance and fines another for attempting to obstruct justice, but handcuffs them both to a holding post. He disarms a masked mugger and presumably arrests them. He breaks up an argument of at least eight people. He stops a graffiti artist at work (writing 'Dredd is a bow...', with the ending of the sentence obsured, what could he be accusing Dredd of?). Che and Dredd arrest a juve each for looting, while Mex arrests a third for assault and robbery. He also bans someone from driving for twelve years.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Citizen 1: "Boy! Judge Dredd must've got up on the wrong side of bed this morning."
Citizen 2: "No. he's always like that."

WORST LINES
Perp (after Dredd offers him a deal): "Gosh, okay! That's real square of you, Judge Dredd...I'm coming down."

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd calls one suicidal citizen a "Drokking leaper!" and exclaims a "Drokk it!". Judge Che calls one perp a muchacho. Judge Mex's accent is betrayed by his use of words like steenker and expec'. Walter says bwoth, cwipes, Dwedd, gwacious, gwim, pwoper, weady, west, stweets and stwict.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
A full moon was a plot point of the Judge Dredd strip Mugger's Moon.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
This strip asserts that crimes rises of Earth during a full moon, but this has been largely disproven.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: John Howard
Artist: Brian Bolland (and Mike McMahon, uncredited)
Letters: Steve Potter

REVIEW
The change of artist after the first two pages is initially jarring, but adds to the phrenetic pace of this strip. Uncharacteristically for a Luna-1 strip, Dredd is in almost every panel which has a cumulative effect and makes his exhaustion all the more believable. A good end to Dredd's time as Judge Marshal.

Next Prog: Return To Mega-City!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Walter The Wobot: 'Radio Walter'

NAME
Walter The Wobot: 'Radio Walter'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 57

DATELINE
25 Mar 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Walter appears on a pirate radio station.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First letters on Walter The Wobot by Steve Potter, first explicit appearance by Judge Dredd in Walter's strip.

INFORMATION
The penalty for broadcasting without a licence on Luna-1 can be one million credits.

Radio Funk is a Luna-1 pirate radio station featuring DJ O.B. Noxious.

Luna-1's leading citizens have access to hot lines which get preferential treatment.


WALTER THE WOBOT
He appears on Radio Funk as a mystery guest and callers have to guess his identity.

OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE MARSHAL DREDD
He sentences O.B. Noxious to pay a fine of one million credits for broadcasting without a licence.


O.B. NOXIOUS
He is a Radio Funk DJ. He is fined one million credits for broadcasting without a licence and declares himself bankrupt.

ARRESTS
None, although O.B. Noxious is fined.

DEATHS
None, although O.B. Noxious may well commit suicide.

BEST LINES
Walter: "Wight on! Here's my favowite twack..."

WORST LINES
O.B. Noxious: "Kiddies, you are gonna 'dread' hearing the answer - hint! hint!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says and/or has written: bankwupt, Dwedd, electwonic, favouwite, gwacious, gwateful, gweetings, twack, Uwire, Vewa, wadio, weggae and wight.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Walter has clearly learned nothing from the Judge Dredd strip 'You Bet Your Life' and it's very odd that this strip has nothing to do with the transistor radio unveiled at the end of Walter's Brother.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Handel's Walter Music obviously references the Water Music (1717) composed by George Frideric Handel (1685–1759). Vera Lynn (born 1917) famous for songs like 'We'll Meet Again' her performances during World War II earned her the nickname "The Forces' Sweetheart". Uriah Heep are a British rock band formed in 1969 that were very successful in the 1970's, while Grateful Dead were an American rock band active between 1965 and 1995.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Joe Collins
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: Steve Potter

Steve Potter lettered ABC Warriors, Judge Anderson, Ant Wars, Darkie's Mob, D.R. & Quinch, Judge Dredd, Finn, Firekind, Holocaust, Indigo Prime, The Ballad Of Halo Jones, Marshal Law, Max Normal, Mean Machine, The Mean Arena, Mean Team, Mind Wars, Missionary Man, Nemesis The Warlock, Ro-Busters, Rogue Trooper, Sinister Dexter, Slaine, Strontium Dog, Tales Of Telguuth, Tharg's Future Shocks, Time Flies, Timequake, Time Twisters, Torquemada and a two part one-off called The Amazing Maze Dumoir among others. He also provided colours for an Ace Trucking Co. strip called Stowaway Lugjacker.

REVIEW
This is a very odd little strip. How has Walter found his way on to the radio? Coming so soon after Gus was turned into a radio and yet having apparently no connection to 'Walter's Brother', while Dredd has previously caught Walter committing petty crimes and let him off, but here he is caught red handed and his crime is broadcast to the citizens of Luna-1, yet there appear to be no consequences for him. It's one thing for these strips to be a silly runaround for Walter, but it's almost unforgivable for them to undermine the original strip.

Next Pwog: "Qwiz" Show!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Judge Dredd: 'The Oxygen Board'

My thanks to Douglas Wolk for his thoughts below...

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'The Oxygen Board'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 57

DATELINE
25 Mar 78

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 5, Judge Dredd: Metal Fatigue, Judge Death: Classic Judge Dredd,
Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 1, Judge Death: Judge Dredd Featuring Judge Death, Judge Dredd 2, Judge Death: Dredd vs. Death and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
A gang swaps Luna-1's oxygen for Tranq gas to rob the colony.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First story with a huge death toll.

INFORMATION
Luna-City has moving sidewalks and a monorail. Huge Astro-Tankers make daily deliveries of oxygen to docking bays above Luna-1's domes. The oxygen is combined with other gases at mixing terminals and sent into the dome. Oxygen users pay their bills to the Oxygen Board, unpaid bills can result in cutting off the supply and extraction of current stock via an oxymeter. There is a old Luna Saying: "A smart man can beat the law - but, baby, only a fool bucks the Oxygen Board."

A criminal gang exchanges oxygen for Tranq gas, a sedative which induces hours of sleep, and uses the opportunity to rob the colony. 53,000 citizens die and over half a million are injured as a result of the tranq gas incident. It is the biggest disaster in history of Luna-1.


Plasti-Flakes is a breakfast cereal.

Judges can deputise robots to assist them as robot emergency squads.

JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
When Luna-1's population are affected by Tranq gas, Dredd attempts to limit the death toll by deputising robots to assist him, stopping a moving sidewalk and ordering an antidote be found and released into the dome.

OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE TEX
He assists Dredd in attempting to limit the death toll.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
53,004. Machine-related accidents as a result of tranq gas kill 53,000 people: we see deaths from vehicular crashes, an office fire, a monorail crash and drowning in a bowl of Plasti-Flakes. While the four perpetrators of the crime die of ill-timed oxygen starvation as they are trapped inside when they themselves are cut off.

BEST LINES
Tex: "Wal, guess we got them Tranq gas raiders, after all, Marshall. The Oxygen Board executed 'em fer us!"
Dredd: "Not executed, Tex - cut off! It sure pays to keep your gas bills up to date."

WORST LINES
Plasti-Flakes Eater: "Don't know wassa matter. Suddenly come over...all sleepy..."

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd notches up another "Drokk!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Mega-City One's moving sidewalks were previously a plot point in the Judge Dredd strip, 'Antique Car Heist'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
The wrong member of Smith's gang answers his questions about the lost key.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: John Howard
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
Dredd himself doesn't appear in the first three pages and has no part in the resolution, thousands die and all for a petty distraction to a bank robbery. Just when you think Bolland's art can't improve any more, it does. This is the most beautiful Judge Dredd yet and all the better that it's combined with a story that is brilliantly inventive and wonderfully bleak.

GUEST REVIEW by Douglas Wolk
Sometime around 1980, the American mail-order back issue company Mile High Comics indicated in their catalogue that they had a big bunch of British comic books, and while they didn't particularly feel like selling them issue-by-issue, if you sent them, I believe, six dollars they'd send you a stack of twenty of them. That was a lot of money for me then, but it also sounded like a very interesting proposition. What I got in the mail, six dollars later, was a pile of 17 issues of The Mighty World Of Marvel and various other Marvel U.K. titles, and three of 2000 AD: Progs 57, 58 and 60; 'The Oxygen Board' was the first Judge Dredd episode I read.

For a story that barely has Dredd in it--he doesn't show up until the fourth page, has a respirator covering the parts of his face that his helmet leaves bare until the bottom of the 5th, and doesn't really play a role in the denouement except to turn up and snark in the final panel--it was a terrific introduction to the series. Even as a tiny sprog, I admired its economy: I remember going to my local comic book store to ask them if they could get any more issues of this amazing weekly comic book, haltingly trying to explain to the uninterested clerk how much cool stuff "Judge Dredd" ("never heard of it!") crammed into seven pages.

And 'The Oxygen Board' really is a wonder of economy: just 29 panels long (including Brian Bolland's page-and-a-half splash image, a piece of design so imposing that the story doesn't need anything more than tiny human characters showing up until three panels in). In hindsight, it reminds me strongly of some of Will Eisner's best Spirit stories--the ones in which the Spirit would play a walk-on role or show up for a quick action scene, but that were more about life in Central City, and that tended to start with a design flourish and end with a sly gag. (The Spirit actually transferred its setting to the moon for a few months before it ended, although that seems to have been more of a desperation move.) Also, it's full of "thrill-power," both in the sense of nonstop big crazy concepts ("astro tankers" bearing oxygen! the "payment control robot"!) and nonstop violence (shootings! train derailments! a guy falling asleep in his breakfast cereal!).

This is the work of a young Bolland--it doesn't have the assured formality of the work he was doing even six months later--but he still gets off one fantastic image after another, especially the full-column shot of Dredd on pg. 6 that echoes the full-column shot of the derailing monorail on the previous page. (Aside from splash pages, Judge Dredd had scarcely ever previously had a single panel going all the way down one side of a page; to get two in a row was a really unusual compositional choice, but it really works here.) That's also the only substantial image of Dredd in the whole story--elsewhere, he's mostly in the background or in a headshot or in silhouette or (in the final panel) seen from behind, crouching. Also, is it me, or do the little image of Tex in the final panel on page 5 and the foreground thug on pg. 6, panel 2 look like they were drawn (or at least inked) by Bolland's frequent collaborator Dave Gibbons?

Consider, also, how much exposition John Wagner gets across, and how easily he does it. The year is established in the first panel; the setting's name and what it is in the first two. The relationship between robots and humans is established in passing, and so is Dredd's job (he's referred to as "Marshal"). What the criminals pull off is a fairly complicated scheme, conveyed with a bare minimum of words and images. And that "goddam" at the end: how did that sneak past IPC's standards-and-practices department? (It's not even euphemized as "Grud" or anything!) The ending's still very funny, although I can't think of many apartment doors that only unlock from the inside with a key. But what do you want from seven pages, anyway?

- - -

Douglas Wolk, KTT, writes about comics for The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere. He is the author of Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work And What They Mean (2007), which won an Eisner Award and a Harvey Award. He also wrote the Dredd Reckoning blog, and is collaborating with artist Ulises Farinas on IDW's forthcoming Judge Dredd: City Of Courts.



Next Prog: Tough Guy!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Judge Dredd: Elvis, Part Four

NAME
Judge Dredd: Elvis, Part Four

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 56

DATELINE
18 Mar 78

PAGE COUNT
6

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

SYNOPSIS
Dredd is trapped inside Elvis the killer car.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First four part story, first time a multi-part story has been only been explicitly labelled as such part way through.

INFORMATION
(The year is 2100)
Luna City has a TV studio and a council.

Judges use a secret symbolic code which can communinicate a lot of detail very simply. Named Judges: Judge Pard.

Corrodo guns fire a corrosive acid.

Cooling systems in cars can reduced the internal temperature to below freezing.

JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
He is held prisoner inside Elvis and threatens to kill him. He is stuck there throughout the parade and subsequent TV appearance. He uses a Judges' secret code of symbols to request a group of autograph unter meet the car after the TV show. He uses Elvis' chemistry set to start a fire that forced the car's emergency fire procedure to eject Dredd.

OTHER CHARACTERS
WALTER THE WOBOT
He is still tied up.

ELVIS
He kidnaps Dredd and drives him to Justrice Central. He holds Luna City to ransom, requesting a parade with bands, majorettes, clowns, songs, toys and his own television programme. Dredd starts a fire which causes Elvis' emergency fire procedure to eject him. Surrounding Judges attacked him with corrodo guns.

JUDGE TEX
He accedes to Elvis' demands and organises him a parade and TV appearance.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
One. Elvis killed by Corrodo gunner Judges.

BEST LINES
Pard: "Now he's making the council lick his tyres clean!"

WORST LINES
Tex: "It's the car - Elvis!"

Yep.

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says Dwedd and Wascal.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Elvis gets a theme song that seems to be sung to the tune of the Oscar winning 'Theme From Shaft' (1971).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
Elvis repeated several elements of Robot Wars and although it hasn't got the charm of the earlier story it comes to an end in a strip that manages to be more fun than the death of a mass murdering talking car with the personality of a five year old and a brief TV career has any right to be. Getting Dredd inside the car is a master stroke, but it does beg the question why he didn't start his fire a little earlier?

Next Prog: The Oxygen Board

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Judge Dredd: Elvis, Part Three

NAME
Judge Dredd: Elvis, Part Three

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 55

DATELINE
11 Mar 78

PAGE COUNT
6

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

SYNOPSIS
Elvis takes the fight to Dredd.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
(The year is 2100)

Before the Moon domes were built, people lived in a complex network of tunnels. The tunnels run under the area now covered by the domes. Roderick Sprott is a Luna-1 based TV News reporter.

The Judge's armoury includes Corrodo guns.

JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
He makes a statement on television to embarrass Elvis into action so that the Judges can find him.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ELVIS
He has the personality of a five year old. When Dredd embarrasses him, he heads to the Judge's home and lays a trap for him.

WALTER
Elvis has invaded Dredd's living quarters and tied Walter up.

DAVINA PATON
Dave Paton's wife or sister. Elvis regards her as his mother. She makes a television appeal for him to hand himself in.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Ms Tweedle: "Hey, did ya read this in the paper 'bout them cars that ran wild? Smeared thirty Judges!...Now that, I'd like to've seen!"

WORST LINES
Elvis: "Gosh! Isn't it going to be fun deciding how to kill you!" (sic)

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Drokk it!" Walter says Dwedd, gwapple, stwong, thwough and twied. We get an "Aieee!" from someone at the Con-Apt building.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
According to the newspaper, Elvis' army of cars killed thirty Judges in Part Two.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Con-apt is an abbreviation used in many of the works of Philip K. Dick. Elvis sings "One two, buckle my shoe...three four, shut the door...five six, pick up sticks...", a nursey rhyme first published in 1805, as well as "I'm Elvis the won-der car" paraphrasing the theme tune of The Adventures Of Champion (1955-1956). He uses the catchphrase "You dirty rat" which was wrongly attributed to James Cagney for decades, he never actually said it, but the closest he got was in Taxi! (1932) with "Come out and take it, you dirty, yellow-bellied rat, or I'll give it to you through the door!"

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
Elvis goes indoors again and plays with some toys again proving that Part Three is probably a part too far.

Next Prog: Trapped

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Judge Dredd: Elvis, Part Two

NAME
Judge Dredd: Elvis, Part Two

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 54

DATELINE
4 Mar 78

PAGE COUNT
6

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

SYNOPSIS
Elvis' killing takes him inside.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First use of the word "Fatty".

INFORMATION
Luna-City has a large hyper-store with at least eight floors, four elevators and a kiosk for printing names on items while you wait. Armed store detectives

Lunopoly and 3D Chess are board games.

Judges use hover wagons and have access to quick-acting corrosive spray.

JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
He orders the use of a quick-acting corrosive spray to destroy Elvis' army.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ELVIS
He is a moon buggy. The robotic cars he has reprogrammed include: Louis, Bertha, Alfonzo-1, Moon Roller, Moon Mover, Bill, Jake and a fire engine. They are destroyed by a corrosive acid used by Judges. Elvis however escaped into a hyper-store looking for toys, armed himself with guns from the Sports section and killed a store detective.

WALTER THE WOBOT
He is attempting to get Judge Dredd's name printed on a rubber duck.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
At least six. Louis claims to have killed four Judges, Moon Roller flattens another as does Bill. Elvis shoots a store detective with a stolen gun.

BEST LINES
Elvis: "Train set!...Basketball!...Lunopoly!...Nurse's costume - naw, that's for girls!"

WORST LINES
Jake: "Run them over, cars!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says Dwedd, pwinted and wubber. A Judge says "My Drokk!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Presumably Lunopoly is a lunar version of Monopoly, which has existed in it current form since about 1935. A version of 3D Chess has been seen in several episodes of Star Trek.

Elvis says "You can't stop me! Nobody can catch me - I'm the Gingerbread car!", paraphrasing the "Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man" from the story which first appeared in print as The Gingerbread Boy in 1875.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
Dredd versus Elvis' army is great fun, but Elvis inside the shop is ridiculous.

Next Prog: The Name Of The Game Is Death!

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!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Walter The Wobot: 'Walter’s Brother', Part 5

NAME
Walter The Wobot: 'Walter’s Brother', Part 5

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 56

DATELINE
18 Mar 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Walter loses a brother, but gains a transistor radio.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Gus.

INFORMATION
It is said that a dying robot's programme flashes before it a moment before deactivation.

Reprogrammed criminal robots are sold on with new functions.

WALTER THE WOBOT
Gus tries to kill him, but their mother intervenes and saves him, reprograms Gus as a transistor radio and gives him to Walter as a present for Dredd.

OTHER CHARACTERS
GUS
He tries to kill Walter. Their mother reprograms Gus as a transistor radio and gives him to Walter as a present for Dredd. His plaque now reads: 'Gus Turn On OK?'

WALTER & GUS' MOTHER
The robot who initially programmed Walter and Gus. She intervene to prevent Gus killing Walter. She reprograms Gus as a transistor radio and gives him to Walter as a present for Dredd.


JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
Their mother gives a reprogrammed transistor radio Gus to Walter as a preent for Dredd.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None, although Gus isn't what he was.

BEST LINES
Walter: "Scoundwel! Walter will weturn to haunt you!"

WORST LINES
Mummy: "Bye, Walter. Your reputation is safe now."

How?

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says appweciate, cwipes, Dwedd, gwateful, wadio, weturn, wighto, wob, scoundwel, twansistor and vewy.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
How does Walter prove his innocence? "But Judge Dwedd, it wasn't Walter at all, it was this wecently weprogrammed wadio..."

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Joe Collins
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
Sadly, after entering some surprisingly interesting territory this is back to the very silly and even Bolland's art can't quite save it.

Next Pwog: 'Wadio' Walt!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Walter The Wobot: 'Walter’s Brother', Part 4 - The Owigin Of Walt'

NAME
Walter The Wobot: 'Walter’s Brother', Part 4 - The Owigin Of Walt'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 55

DATELINE
11 Mar 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Walter's brother explains why he framed him for bank robbery.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First sight of a pre-Judge Dredd Walter.

INFORMATION
Interglobal Hardware Company build and deliver servo robots and space stations from their site on Luna-1.

Reject robots are deactivated and used for scrap metal.

WALTER THE WOBOT
He was constructed on Luna-1 as a drink dispenser. His twin brother, Gus, has brought him to the site of the construction.


OTHER CHARACTERS
GUS
He was constructed on Luna-1 as an adding machine, but he studied hard to become something else. He was assigned to research Moon rocks. Envious of Walter's position, he decided to rob a bank disguised as his brother to frame him.

JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
There was a Judge Dredd Daily Comic!.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Walter: "Walter's bwother a cwiminal! Disgwaceful! Walter wegwets being activated!"

WORST LINES
Gus: "Now all I got to do is turn you in. Dredd will probably give me your job for that."

No, he won't.

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says bwother, cwiminal, cweated, cwikey, disgwaceful, Dwedd, gwief, wegwets and weveal. Whilst impersonating Walter, Gus says creeps, which should have given him away.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
In his flashback, Young Gus has a Fozzy Bear toy from The Muppet Show (1976-1981)

MISTAKES
During his time as an adding machine, Gus thought 2 + 2 = 5. It doesn't.

RETROSPECT
Walter reads Judge Dredd Daily Comic! in the flashback. In 1986, at the height of the Daily Star's interest in the character there was both a Saturday strip and a weekday strip, which when combined with the strips in the weekly progs meant that there was at least one Judge Dredd strip for every day of 1986, more if you take Annuals and Sci-Fi Specials into account. Later, interest surrounding the first Judge Dredd movie saw the lawman appearing in 2000 AD, weekday editions of the Daily Star, Judge Dredd Megazine, Poster Progs, an eponymous title for DC, another called Legends Of The Law, a more child-friendly title called Lawman Of The Future as well as tangles with Lobo, Batman and multiple movie adaptations meant that Dredd again put in more appearances in 1995 than there were days of the year.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Joe Collins
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
It's nice to see Walter's back story filled in and all the more interesting to see it done by another character.

Next Pwog: Death Of A Wobot

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Walter The Wobot: 'Walter’s Brother', Part 3

NAME
Walter The Wobot: 'Walter's Brother', Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 54

DATELINE
4 Mar 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Walter is saved by his brother who promptly kidnaps him.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Gus (apart from his shadow).

INFORMATION
Sudso Splurge Guns drown their victims in bubbles.

Spitting on the sidewalk is a crime with a penalty of 5c.


WALTER THE WOBOT
He is rescued from the mugger by his brother, Gus, who then kidnaps him.

OTHER CHARACTERS
GUS
He is a robot of the same model as Walter. They were assembled on the same day and regard each other as brothers. He disguised himself as Walter. The plaque on his front reads reads: 'Gus Rules OK?', but he has covered it up with 'I'm Walter, Try Me'. He kills the mugger accosting Walter and then kidnaps his brother.

JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
Walter believes Dredd will get Gus for his crimes.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
One. Gus drowns the mugger with his splurge gun.

BEST LINES
Walter: "You dwowned him, you wotter!"
Gus: "Shaddup, bums like him deserve The Bubbly Death. He ain't had a bath in years!"

WORST LINES
Gus: "Haw, Haw! You shoulda brought your rubber duck!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says bwother, cwipes, cwuel, Dwedd, dwowned, gwacious, pwetending, wascal, wat, wefuses, wob, wotter and scoundwel.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Bugsy Malone (1976) features splurge guns which shoot custard.


MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Joe Collins
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
This potentially throwaway silly little strip that relies heavily on puns takes a much darker turn here. From mugger to murder is a big step and drowning in bubbles doesn't do anything to moderate that. Brian Bolland's art is still beautiful and The Bubbly Death is a fantastic panel.

Next Pwog - The Owigin Of Walter!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Walter The Wobot: Walter’s Brother, Part 2 - The Night Of The Mugger

NAME
Walter The Wobot: Walter's Brother, Part 2 - The Night Of The Mugger

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 53

DATELINE
25 Feb 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Walter runs into an unsavoury character whilst on the run.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Walter The Wobot story to reach two parts and the first to be named. Possibly the first use of the word "fink".

INFORMATION
The dark alleyways of Luna-1 are a criminal hangout.

WALTER THE WOBOT
He is still a wanted robot. There is a reward for his capture, alive or deactivated. He meets a mugger who threatens to deactivate him, wants to steal his bag of precious things and when he realises Walter's identity he intends to claim the reward. Someone intervenes.


OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
He has been featured in the press thousands of times. Walter has collected the cuttings.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Unknown: "Hands off, creep! He's mine, you old buzzard. Walt an' me got a score to settle!"

WORST LINES
Mugger: "Wha-? Thoussands of press cuttings - all about that crumb Dredd!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says bwave, cwipes, cwumb, Dwedd, gweat, memowies, pwecious, pwetending, wotten, wun, scoundwel and scwewdwiver.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Joe Collins
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
Things go from bad to worse for Walter and yet he stays true to what is most important to him. There is something very sinister, but secure about this. The cliffhanger is great too. I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying Walter's own strip.

Next Pwog: The Bubbly Death.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Walter The Wobot: Walter’s Brother, Part 1

NAME
Walter The Wobot: Walter's Brother, Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 52

DATELINE
18 Feb 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Walter is accused of a bank robbery.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Walter The Wobot strip to end on a cliffhanger.

INFORMATION
Interplanetary News is a current events television programme.

Luna Bank 6 is in Luna-City.

WALTER THE WOBOT
He drinks oilade and has rusty joints. A robbery is committed at Luna Bank 6 by a robot purporting to be Walter, so he goes on the run in disguise. There are wanted posters with his picture up in Luna-City.



OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
He repairs Walter's rusty joints.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Walter: "Walter's been at home all day iwoning Judge Dwedd's underwear Walter's innocent!"

WORST LINES
Newsreader: "The metal maniac-apparently called 'Walter-squirted pursuing Judges with oil. "He gave us the slip," said one."

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says Dwedd, fwame, fwidge, gwief, iwoning, wascal, pwove, weconised, wefuge, wepair, wobot, wusty, scwam and twouble. He also writes with his speech impediment which isn't as silly as it sounds.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The Walter lookalike bank robber stole 3 million groats, a currency mentioned in Inferno, Part 10. The robbery takes place at Luna Bank 6, while the First Lunar Bank recently also suffered an identity theft related robbery in Judge Dredd: 'The Face Change Crimes'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Joe Collins
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: John Aldrich

REVIEW
Coming in the same prog as the Judge Dredd strip 'The Face Change Crimes', but with a potentially more sinister vein of identity theft running through it, this is a fascinating situation to see Walter in.

Find Out Next Prog In...Night Of The Mugger

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Futuregraph: Walter The Wobot Bluepwint

NAME
Walter The Wobot Bluepwint

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 52

DATELINE
18 Feb 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

SYNOPSIS
A schematic of Walter.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time Dredd does an advert. First mention of British Leymek.

INFORMATION
(It is March 2100)

The D-2000 AI Vending Robot is manufactured by Global Dynamics Corporation (Robotic Division) of Houston, Texas.

The robot's head screen unit is made by Sony and contains a video screen, two cybo optic eyes, an instant cine camera, audio sensitive panels and houses its memory retention transistors.

The robot's 'neck' includes its voicebox made by British Leymek and an oil intake tank, which allows oil to be pumped to all moving parts.

The torso area boasts a juke box made by Bang and Olufson, a tape recorder, a Synthi-Caf dispensor (with external buttons for manual drink selection), a washing and drying up unit, a hot and cold air conditioner, a locked drink storage unit, a friction drive motor, an ash tray, a drink intake and pleasure circuit.

The arms are detachable and bracelet jointed for greater flexibility and contains a water pipe. The wrist units are interchangeable and can be either a three fingered hand, water hose, vacuum cleaner or power scissors.

The legs feature drives in both the upper and lower legs and two spring clips on each ankle joint.


Publications featuring robots include 2000 A.D. Mega-City Edition and Mega-Mechanik Monthly.

Judges are not permitted to be connected with advertising, except with permission of the Grand Judge.

WALTER THE WOBOT
He is a D-2000 AI Vending Robot.

OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE DREDD
He makes an appearance in an advert for D-2000 AI Vending Robots.

THE GRAND JUDGE
He has made an exception to allow Dredd to advertise for D-2000 AI Vending Robots, because the advert will not be seen in Mega-City edition of the publication.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Walter: "I am so pwoud that I have been allowed to pwint this diagwam. I hope you enjoy it."

WORST LINES
Dredd: "...normally we Judges are not permitted to be connected with anything like advertising..."

What?

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says bluepwint, bwacelet, camewa, diagwam, dwink, dwinks, dwive, dwying, fwiction, gweater, gweetings, memowy, micwowave, pwint, pwoud, weaders, wecorder, wetention, wobot, scween, spwing, stowage, twansistors, tway and wist, but at one point has no problem with drive.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Global Dynamics Corporation made the Powergear.html and Super Liner used by the Harlem Heroes.

Walter's pleasure circuit was a reward given to him in Judge Dredd: 'Robot Wars' Part 8 while his ankle spring clips were put to use in Judge Dredd: Meet Mr Moonie.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Artist: Kevin O'Neill

REVIEW
It's credit to Kevin O'Neill that Walter's construction is as plausible as it is and largely mirrors human anatomy. Note the location of Walter's pleasure circuit.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Judge Dredd: 'The Face-Change Crimes'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'The Face-Change Crimes'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 52

DATELINE
18 Feb 78

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
Judge Death: Judge Dredd featuring Judge Death, Judge Dredd 2, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 1, Judge Death: Classic Judge Dredd, Judge Dredd: Future Crime, Judge Death Dredd vs. Death, The Complete Judge Dredd 5 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd goes in search of some unlikely bank robbers.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of twentieth century 'celebrity' figures.

INFORMATION
The First Lunar Bank is based in downtown Luna-City.

Justice Central has its own face-changing machine. Some criminals can serve forty years on a dome repair gang.

JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
He suspects the Tooley brothers of using a face-changing machine to commit bank robberies so he alters his own features to appear like those of their lawyer, Manny Bloom, and records their conversations as evidence.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ALBERT, BRAD AND LAPSLEY TOOLEY
They bought a face-changing machine and altered their appearance to commit bank robberies. They first wore the faces of Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy before changing again to those of Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx and Chico Marx respectively. When Dredd discovered they bought the machine he had them interrogated, but their lawyer, Manny Bloom, successfully got them released. Dredd replaces Bloom using a face-change machine and accompanies the Tooley brothers back to their apartment and arrests them.

MANNY BLOOM
A lawyer on Luna-1. He represents the Tooley brothers. Dredd impersonates him usng a face-change machine.

ARRESTS
Three. Dredd arrests the Tooley brothers.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Dredd: "The face is Manny's - but the fist is Dredd's."


WORST LINES
Al Tooley: "Thanks, Manny. If you hadn't got here they'd have tried to do us."

CATCHPHRASES
"That's another fine mess you've got us into" was Oliver Hardy's catchphrase.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Face-changing machines were previously seen in Judge Dredd: 'The New You'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Stan Laurel (1890-1965) and Oliver Hardy (1892-1957) formed a double act and made over a hundred films films together. Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) is famed for his little tramp character in silent films such as The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940). The Keystone Cops were incompetant policeman that appeared in several films between 1912 and 1917. Groucho Marx (1890-1977), Harpo Marx (1888-1964), Chico Marx (1887-1961) were unsurprisingly three of the Marx Brothers and their films include Monkey Business (1931), Horse Feathers (1932), Duck Soup (1933), A Day At The Races (1937), The Big Store (1941) and mentioned in dialogue here A Night At The Opera (1935). In addition, Groucho presented a game show called You Bet Your Life. Although not explicitly a changed face, the Tooley's brothers lawyer, Manny Bloom, bears an uncanny resemblance to Rondo Hatton (1894-1946), who is also name-checked in the face-change parlour sales book. Hatton's distinctive features earned him roles in The Pearl Of Death (1944), Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946), House Of Horrors (1946) and The Brute Man (1946) among others.


MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
Dredd doesn't choose to keep his new facial features.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: John Howard
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
This is a brilliant concept, but it would have been undermined by poor likenesses. Thankfully the likenesses in Brian Bolland's artwork are extraordinary. The opening double page and the panel of the Marx brothers in a stolen ambulance are fantastic. Dredd's solution is great and somehow comes as a complete surprise.

Keep Calm + + + Thrill Factor Overload + + +

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Walter The Wobot: ‘Shoot Pool!’

NAME
Walter The Wobot: 'Shoot Pool!'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 51

DATELINE
11 Feb 77

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
2000AD Extreme Edition 30 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Walter prepares for a swim in the wrong sort of pool.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First entirely Dreddless Walter The Wobot strip.

INFORMATION
Luna-City has a pool hall.

Robots can rust.

WALTER THE WOBOT
He decides to take up swimming, but does so in a billiard hall. He accidentally breaks a pool table and leaves with a bil for the damage.



OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
He has repeatedly told Walter to drown himself.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Walter (whilst leaping into the water): "Gewonimo...Cwikey!"

WORST LINES
Walter: "Ulp. Walter not in swimming pool. Walter made a boo-boo!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says afwaid, cwikey, cwowded, Dwedd, Dweed, dwown, gewonimo, ministwy, pwivacy, pwoper, wefweshing, weplaced, weport, wespectable, witten, wobot, wooms, wusts and stwess.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Walter refers to Judge Dweed at one point.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Joe Collins
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
Another strip based entirely around a pun, but here there is less here to hold your interest. That said Walter's dialogue is great.

Next Pwog: Walt's Bwother

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Luna 1 War'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Luna 1 War'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 51

DATELINE
11 Feb 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 4, Judge Dredd (Volume 2, Issue 53), Judge Death: Judge Dredd Featuring Judge Death, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 1, Judge Death: Classic Judge Dredd, Judge Death: Dredd vs Death and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
The war between Luna-1 and the Sov-Cities is fought like a team sport.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Sov Judge Cosmovich.

INFORMATION
Wars are no longer fought by armies, but instead by combat units of four with one reserve each and an umpire. The fighting is televised.

The war between the Sov-cities and Luna-1. Troops on both sides wear anti-blast suits, but the Sov suits seem stronger. The Sovs have an electro beam gun that can pass through two feet of concrete and explode at a specified range, when coupled with an infra-red sight it can essentially shoot through walls.

The Sovs wanted Luna-1's Apollo Territories, but when they surrender and they are forced to concede some territory to Luna-1.


JUDGE-MARSHAL DREDD
He is Luna-1's observer. When Luna-1's reserve is drugged, Dredd takes his place and after the death of Sgt. Sam Stone he is needed in the field. He and Brown are the only survivors of the Luna-1 combat unit. The charge the Sov position and find themselves inside the range of their electro beam guns.

OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE COSMOVICH
He is apparently the Sov-cities observer. He bargains with Dredd that he will call off the war in exchange for the Apollo territory. Dredd declines.

PRIVATE IKE BROWN
He and Dredd are the only survivors of the Luna-1 combat unit. The charge the Sov position and find themselves inside the range of their electro beam guns.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
Five. Sgt. Sam Stone is dead as the strip begins, Al and Del Shoemaker are shot with the electro beam gun and explode, when Dredd and Brown seize the guns they return the favour and kill two Sov soldiers.

BEST LINES
Dredd: "Listen, you folks at home...today we won a piece of Sov-Cities dirt. So what? Three good men died to do it-that's what matters...Sometimes war is necessary- but don't ever let creeps like this ever tell you it's fun. War is pointless. War is evil...War is hell!"

WORST LINES
Sov: "You have beaten us!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The war from The First Lunar Olympics continues, while Luna-1's Apollo Territories were previously mentioned in The Oxygen Desert, Part 1.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The phrase "war is hell" is attributed to American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820–1891).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
Later wars shown in Judge Dredd will not be fought this way.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: John Howard
Artist: Brian Bolland
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
The juxtaposition between the sporting triumphs of The First Lunar Olympics and war is well-handled and once again Brian Bolland's art is a beautiful thing to behold.

Keep Calm + + + Thrill Factor + + + Keep Calm