Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Judge Dredd: 'The Aggro Dome'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'The Aggro Dome'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 183

DATELINE
25 Oct 80

This prog also featured Dash Decent, The Mean Arena, Meltdown Man, Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales and Strontium Dog strips and a Meltdown Man cover by Massimo Belardinelli.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Classics 64, The Complete Judge Dredd 17, Judge Dredd Definitive Ed. Bad Science, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 2, Judge Dredd 13, The Best Of 2000AD 46 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd visits the Aggro Dome.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of an Aggro Dome.

INFORMATION
(This strip takes place in August 2102 A.D.)
Mega-City One's Aggro Dome is designed to allow citizens to work off their aggressive instincts. It features the Big Leap, Chop Wood, Vape A Teacher, Torture and an ultra-violent room in which an individual can pay to beat up a robot.

Home computers have an aggro unit which monitors aggression levels within the home. A level of 14% is considered high.

Soya Porridge is a foodstuff.


JUDGE DREDD
He is sent to the Aggro Dome to inspect it on the first day of opening. Dredd arrests an individual who escapes and causes chaos as the Aggro Dome customers turn on him and then each other. Dredd shoots out the roof to contain the fighting mob.

OTHER CHARACTERS
HOUSTON
He runs the Aggro Dome. He is punched in the face by a customer whose time ran out before his anger had abated.

THE THATCHIT FAMILY
The Home Computer Aggro Unit recommends a visit to the Aggro Dome.

ARRESTS
Hundreds. Dredd arrests the citizen that punches Houston, but he escapes. Eventually Dredd arrests everybody in the Aggro Dome.

DEATHS
At least one, Dredd kills his escaped arrestee with a heatseeker bullet. It looks like a bloodbath though, there are probably plenty of other corpses in the Aggro Dome when leads the living out.

BEST LINES
Arrestee: "J-Judge Dredd! But I didn't mean to hit him! I was just so angry..."
Dredd: "I'm sure Houston didn't mean to bleed, but he's making a real mess on that floor! Move it!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
A big leaper says "By Dok!", the victim of a shooting shouts an "Aieeeeee!" and Dredd says "No-one can escape the law!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
At the Aggro Dome citizens can take the big leap onto a huge representation of Judge Cal's face from The Day The Law Died.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Thatchit could be intended to be a combination of Thatcher and Cratchit.

MISTAKES
The opening caption in the original prog apparently gives the year as 2120 A.D.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Alvin Gaunt
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

Alvin Gaunt is a gestalt entity made up of Alan Grant and Kelvin Gosnell.

REVIEW
A nice little tale with plenty of action, social commentary and humour. This is an improvement upon recent crazes to hit Mega-City One because it is localised and makes a virtue of this.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Strontium Dog: Two-Faced Terror!, Part 4

NAME
Strontium Dog: Two-Faced Terror!, Part 4

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 15

DATELINE
19 Aug 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog Book 1 and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and Billy Joe fight to the death.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time that a Strontium Dog story has reached three parts (and therefore the first three part story).

INFORMATION
The straight lash pole vault is a laser whip manoeuvre, which as the name suggests involves straightening a laser whip and using it to jump.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He is injured by Billy Joe during their fight to the death. Johnny follows Billy Joe as he flees the fight and watches as he is killed and eaten by Jubal's Smiling Chukwalla.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He prevents Billy Joe's men from attacking Johnny.

OTHER CHARACTERS
BILLY JOE
He is injured by Johnny during their fight to the death. When his men intervene he sneaks away. When he realises Johnny is following him, he releases Jubal's alien livestock. He is eaten by Jubal's Smiling Chukwalla.

JUBAL
He joins in when a fight breaks with Billy Joe's men, until he realises his alien animals are loose and he rounds them up.

THE GRONK
He decides to leave Jubal's Alien Extravaganza and join Johnny and Wulf. He believes he is braver than his brother was.

DEATHS
One. The Smiling Chukwalla kills Billy Joe.

BEST LINES
Billy Joe (as he is caught by the Smiling Chukwalla): "I'm helplss! D-Don't do it, Stronty!"
Johnny: "When did you show any mercy, Billy Joe? You terrorised a whole territory with your laser lash-" (Continues in WORST LINES)

WORST LINES
Johnny: "Well, the last lash is on you!"

CATCHPHRASES
The Gronk pluralises bets, doctorings and wants.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: Peter Knight

REVIEW
Billy Joe gets his comeuppance and Johnny Alpha stands by and watches him die. This moment possibly more than anything that preceded it gives us an idea of Johnny's sense of justice. The final scene gives us the new dynamic for the strip as the Gronk joins the team.

Johnny And Wulf Will Be Back In Two Weeks Timee, Troopers!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Strontium Dog: Two-Faced Terror!, Part 3

NAME
Strontium Dog: Two-Faced Terror!, Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 14

DATELINE
12 Aug 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog Book 1 and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01

SYNOPSIS
Johnny recuperates and learns some circus skills.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of the Gronk that we will come to know and love. First appearance of a Smiling Chukwalla.

INFORMATION
(The part begins the morning after Part 2, and takes place over the course of sixteen days)

Jubal's Alien Extravaganza is a travelling circus on Paprika.

Gronks are very good healers. A Gronk can recognise the identity of a skin of another deceased Gronk. A Smiling Chukwalla is a fearsome predator.

Laser Whip duels follow Carlsson Rules and state that the first combatant hit with the Las-lash loses. The straight-lash vault is a manoeuvre with a laser whip.


JOHNNY ALPHA
Wulf carries to Jubal's Alien Extravaganza, where the Gronk tends to his wounds. After a couple of days, he has recovered. He asks Jubal to teach him to use the laser whip. Over the next ten days he learns from Jubal. He begins working for the circus, billed as 'Johnny Alpha, Greatest Las-Whipper Of All Time' and offering 10,000 credits to any man that can beat him.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He carries a wounded Johnny all night and in the morning encounters Jubal's Alien Extravaganza.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE GRONK
Posing as Madame Desire, Jubal's Alien Extravaganza's fortune teller and medic. He treats Johnny's wounds. His brother, Gloppus, was the Gronk whose skin Wulf now wears.

J.J. JUBAL
He has worked in circuses for thirty years. Owner of Jubal's Alien Extravaganza. He is accomplished with the laser whip. In ten days, he teaches Johnny everything he knows about the laser whip that it took him ten years to learn.

BILLY JOE
He challenges Johnny to a laser whip duel to the death.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Johnny: "You throw that laser whip real well, Jubal. Reckon you can teach me to handle it - well enough to beat Billy Joe?"
Jubal: "The one who did that to you is one heck of a laser man, son. I can teach you...can't guarantee you'll beat him, though."
Johnny: "If I don't, I won't be comin' back to blame you"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
This Gronk reveals that he is the brother of the one that Johnny and Wulf met in 'Papa Por-Ka'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: J. Aldrich

REVIEW
This feels like quite a departure from what goes before it. The Smiling Chukwalla and friends all look great and it's nice to have a Gronk back, but once again it's quite convenient that Johnny happens across someone in a ready, willing and able to teach him the ways of the laser whip, just as he needs to learn the ways of the laser whip.

Next Week: 'Eat, Laser, Stronty!'

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Strontium Dog: Two-Faced Terror!, Part 2

NAME
Strontium Dog: Two-Faced Terror!, Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 13

DATELINE
5 Aug 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog Book 1 and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and Wulf find Billy Joe.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time Johnny and Wulf go up against a mutant in Starlord.

INFORMATION
Human exploration has reached the edge of the galaxy.

Floaters are flying sleds. Laser Whips are an energy weapon with pressure controls on the handle.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He and Wulf travel to The Big Dusty looking for Billy Joe. They encounter his men on floaters and Johnny destroys one, but another crashes into him. He survives the crash unscathed. Billy Joe arrives and attacks him with his laser whip. Johnny's heart stops, Billy Joe takes his badge and leaves. Johnny has learned to control his heart muscle and stop it at will to feign death.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He and Johnny travel to The Big Dusty looking for Billy Joe. When Johnny's heart stops, Wulf brings him round.

OTHER CHARACTERS
BILLY JOE
Two-faced mutant, one named Billy and the other named Joe. He is the champion las-whipper in the Spice system for fifteen years. He collects taxes and hangs people who don't pay enough upside down on the outskirts of town. He attacks Johnny Alpha with his laser whip and leaves believing him dead, taking his badge as a souvenir.

DEATHS
One. Johnny kills one of Billy Joe's henchmen.

BEST LINES
Billy: "Johnny doesn't live there anymore, Ape. We'll take his badge as a souvenir. The rest you can keep!"

WORST LINES
Johnny: "The more I hear of this Billy Joe, the less I like him! I'm looking forward to claiming his reward."

The reward that's already in your pocket, Johnny?

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
Johnny thinks Billy Joe's is a "severe mutation", it will come to seem quite minor given what we will see later on.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Carlos Ezquerra
Letters: P. Bensberg

REVIEW
The upside down tax evaders and the reveal of Billy Joe's mutation are great, Johnny being able to give the illusion of death seems more than a little convenient.

Next Week: 'Oh! Oh, My Poor Heartsies!'

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Strontium Dog: Two-Faced Terror!, Part 1

NAME
Strontium Dog: Two-Faced Terror!, Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 12

DATELINE
29 July 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog Book 1 and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01

SYNOPSIS
Johny and Wulf get their man and, tired of being challenged, they go after another.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First 6 page Strontium Dog strip.

INFORMATION
The Spice system is at the edge of explored space and contains the planets Paprika and Coriander. Paprika has a town with a bathhouse, a sauna, a hotel and a police office. Out of town is an area called The Big Dusty. Passengers can wait five days for a shuttle to visit Paprika.

Rajus Minor is another inhabited world.

There is apparently considerable cachet in having killed a Strontium Dog. No Strontium Dog ever lived to die of old age.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He and Wulf catch Spiro on Paprika and take him into custody. The local Police Chief attempts to induce him to arrest Billy Joe, Johnny declines and the Chief gives him the 50,000 credit reward in case he changes his mind. Johnny is challenged by four gunmen, he tosses a coin and while they are distracted melts their guns with his blaster.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He and Johnny catch Spiro on Paprika and take him into custody.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SPIRO
He is wanted on Rajus Minor. Johnny and Wulf catch him on Paprika and take him into custody. The have him locked in the police office awaiting a shuttle due in five days.

BILLY JOE
He lives on Paprika and has a price on his head on 50,000 credits. He collects Strontium Dog badges.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Johnny: "Maybe you kids don't know how fast I am. Watch this coin -" [He shoots]
Kid: "H-He's melted our guns!"

WORST LINES
Wulf (while pushing Spiro into the lap of a very surprised bather): "You forgot your bath!"
Johnny: "Nice work, Wulf. Come on, Spiro - you're all washed up!" [He squeezes a sponge over Spiro's head]

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: Peter Knight

REVIEW
This begins as the most explicitly Western Strontium Dog story yet: the local sheriff, the dustbowl and street shootout. The format shifts slightly as Johnny and Wulf catch up to their quarry almost straight away and spend the rest of this part trying to avoid the challenges and almost reluctantly take on the 50,000 credit bounty of Billy Joe. The Police Chief giving Johnny the reward as an incentive and Johnny's coin toss are te definite highlights.

Next Week: 'Alpha's Dead!'

Friday, 25 April 2014

Judge Dredd: 'Block War'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Block War'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 182

DATELINE
18 Oct 80

This prog also featured a Judge Dredd cover by Brian Bolland and Dash Decent, The Mean Arena, Meltdown Man, Strontium Dog and Tharg The Mighty strips.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 46, Judge Dredd Classics 65, The Complete Judge Dredd 17, Judge Dredd 15, Judge Dredd Epics: The Judge Child 3, Judge Dredd Epics: The Complete Judge Child Quest, Judge Dredd Epics: The Judge Child Quest, Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 04 and online here.

SYNOPSIS
The Council of Five judges Dredd, while he deals with a war between cityblocks.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearances of Judges Ecks, McGruder and Quimby. First Block War.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One's Rita Tushingham Block and Ernest Borgnine Block are neighbours. They are both affluent blocks, but they engage in an inter-block war.

Dying predictions of Pre-cogs are considered less reliable.

A drunk driver can be sentenced to ten years and banned from driving for life. The Judges have access to scatter shells, a form of artillery ammunition that explode in mid-air. When the Council Of Five votes, the Chief Judge can exercise a veto to overturn their wishes. Named Judges: Judge Dodge, Judge Ecks (Head of Psi-Division), Judge McGruder (Head of the SJS) & Judge Quimby (Chief Accountant).


JUDGE DREDD
He visited forty-nine planets in his search for the Judge Child. He neglected to keep a track of his expenses. He attends the scene of a block war between Rita Tushingham and Ernest Borgnine Blocks. He orders a lead lowered between them to prevent individuals crossing from one to the other. He sentences all those involved to five years (adding another five if the fail to hand themselves in within ten minutes). This successfully ends hostilities.

OTHER CHARACTERS
JUDGE GIANT
He welcomes Dredd back to Mega-City One.

JUDGE DODGE
He assists Dredd at the scene of the block war between Rita Tushingham Block and Ernest Borgnine Block.

JUDGE QUIMBY
Chief Accountant. He sits on the Council of Five. He votes against another expedition to retrieve the Judge Child.

JUDGE ECKS
Head of Psi-Division. He sits on the Council of Five. Ecks estimates that Feyy's dying prediction regarding the Judge Child, may be only 70% accurate. He votes for another expedition to retrieve the Judge Child.

JUDGE McGRUDER
Head of the SJS. She sits on the Council of Five. She votes for another expedition to retrieve the Judge Child.

DEPUTY CHIEF JUDGE PEPPER
He sits on the Council of Five. He votes for another expedition to retrieve the Judge Child.

CHIEF JUDGE GRIFFIN
Feeling that a subsequent mission to retrieve the Judge Child would embarrass Dredd into resigning. he exercises his veto and ignores the votes of the Council of Five.

ARRESTS
Hundreds. Dredd arrests a drunk driver, bans him from driving for life and puts him in the cubes for ten years. He sentences everyone involved in the block war between Rita Tushingham and Ernest Borgnine Blocks to five years and then adds another five to any that fail to hand themselves in within ten minutes.

DEATHS
Hundreds.

BEST LINES
Dredd: "Just count what's there and subtract it from what we started with. It's quite simple!"

You can't argue with that.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
This strip is the aftermath of Dredd's search for The Judge Child and there is a flashback to The Day The Law Died. The Council of Five was first seen in Crime And Punishment, where it was referred to as "a council of five".

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Nijinski Trucking shares its name with a both Vaslav Nijinsky, a Russian ballet dancer (1889 or 1890-1950), and a British racehorse (1967-1992).

Rita Tushingham is a British actress famous for her appearances in the films A Taste Of Honey (1961), The Knack...And How To Get It (1965) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012) was an American actor and star of films like The Dirty Dozen (1967), Ice Station Zebra (1968), The Wild Bunch (1969), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), The Black Hole (1979), All Quiet On The Western Front (1979) and Escape From New York (1981), as well as Airwolf on television (1984-1987).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
The fallout from The Judge Child, is itself an improvement on The Judge Child. The talking heads debate of the Council of Five is brilliantly juxtaposed with the action sequences of Dredd getting the job done. Bolland's art is beautiful and the Block War itself is a brilliant concept.

Next Prog: Aggro!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Strontium Dog: 'Planet Of The Dead', Part 3

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'Planet Of The Dead', Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 10

DATELINE
15 July 80

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and Wulf take revenge on McIntyre.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Wulf's first allusion to his "Viking ancestors"

INFORMATION
City 4's parliament of is a huge spherical building. It is now used by McIntye.

Electronux carry a charge of 20,000 volts. Thermo Bomb


JOHNNY ALPHA
He and Wulf successfully destroy all of McIntyre's robots, except Crynge. Johnny claims Crynge as payment for the job.

WULF STERNHAMMER
Wulf compares Johnny's killing frenzy to that of his Viking ancestors. He and Johnny successfully destroy all of McIntyre's robots, with the exception of Crynge.

OTHER CHARACTERS
McINTYRE
Johnny claims Crynge as payment for the job, thus leaving McIntyre alone.

CRYNGE
Johnny claims him as payment for the job.

BIG BOY
A giant robot. It can project a forcefield, but Johnny uses his electronux to punch a hole in that and Wulf throws a thermo bomb through it. Johnny removes the electronux and the forcefield reasserts itself thus containing the heat, which melts Big Boy.

DEATHS
Johnny and Wulf destroy scores of robots.

BEST LINES
McIntyre: "Power's no good if there's no-one to boss around!"

WORST LINES
Johnny: "I got a lot of hate to get rid of - 20,000 volts worth!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: Peter Knight

REVIEW
The first two pages, the Big Boy fight, Johnny taking Crynge as payment and the 'be careful what you wish for' ending are all great. Note that the tagline doesn't read "Next Week: Johnny, Wulf And Crynge Will Be Back In Two Week's Time, Troopers!"

Next Week: Johnny And Wulf Will Be Back In Two Week's Time, Troopers!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Strontium Dog: 'Planet Of The Dead', Part 2

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'Planet Of The Dead', Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 9

DATELINE
8 July 80

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and Wulf are accomplices to genocide.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time we really see Johnny and Wulf fail.

INFORMATION
The Jox have a military compound deep underground. There are twenty-six of them, but one of the women is with child. According to the laws of City 4 on Circes, a delegation of twenty-seven senior citizens was required to revoke the computer's power. Thirty years ago, a delegation was assembled, but before it could act the computer gave the command that started the Great Neutron War. Another law states that a formal warning of at least sixty seconds is required before detonating a neutron bomb.

Anti-Grav Chutes will slow an individual's descent using an anti-gravity field.


JOHHNY ALPHA
He and Wulf defeat the Jox, explain their mission and ask to be taken to the rest of the Jox. When Croll reveals himself to contain a neutron bomb, Johnny attempts to defuse it. He fails, Wulf saves them both with a time device.

WULF STERNHAMMER
When he realises Johnny will not be able to defuse the bomb, he saves them both with a time device.

OTHER CHARACTERS
McINTYRE
Thirty years ago it was called Milton the Marvellous and gave the command that started the Great Neutron War in order to prevent a delegation of senior citizens from revoking its power.

CROLL
Within its body is a small neutron bomb. Johnny tries to defuse it, but it explodes destroying the underground Jox base.

DEATHS
Twenty-Six. Croll's neutron bomb explodes killing twenty-six Jox, one of whom is pregnant.

BEST LINES
Croll: "McIntyre cannot risk having enough Jox alive to remove him. That is why I was constructed. You see, within my body is a small neutron bomb! The only problem was how to get me into this base - but now that I'm here...I hereby give you the formal sixty-second warning as required by law. 54 and counting..."

WORST LINES
Johnny: "But surely there has been enough killing. McIntyre only wants you to swear allegiance."

Oh Johnny, you poor naïve fool.

CATCHPHRASES
A Jox screams an "Aieee!" as he is shot, while another only manages "Aiee!" when hit with Wulf's happy stick. The Jox Elder screams "Aieee!" upon seeing the neutron bomb.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Why doesn't Wulf use the Time Device on the neutron bomb?

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: J. Aldrich

REVIEW
Croll's inevitable betrayal comes as no surprise, but the Jox waiting until they number twenty-seven in order to make a legal challenge to McIntyre and the computer's inflexibility leading to history repeating are very nice touches. It's a shame that Part 1's Next Week tagline gives away a little too much.

Next Week: 'I've Got A Lot Of Hate To Get Rid Of!'

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Strontium Dog: 'Planet Of The Dead', Part 1

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'Planet Of The Dead', Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 8

DATELINE
1 July 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and Wulf take on a job from a computer.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of robots and artificial intelligences in Strontium Dog.

INFORMATION
Circes is a planet. A hundred years ago the city states handed over power to their computers. Thirty years ago the five great city states were destroyed in the Great Neutron War. Radiation levels have almost returned to normal.

The indigenous lifeform are called the Jox. Twenty are believed to have survived the Great Neutron War and maintain a hidden base in the Northern District of City 4.

Infra-Red Torches can be used to pick up heat from footprints. The brighter the footprint, the more recent it is.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He and Wulf travel to City 4 on Circes to meet McIntyre. He tasks them with capturing the surviving Jox and forcing them to swear allegiance to McIntyre, in exchange the computer will allow them any one object of value of their choice from City 4. They head to a Jox base in the city's northern district and are fired upon. They stun two Jox, but are surrounded by many more.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He and Johnny head to City 4 on Circes to meet McIntyre. They head to a Jox base in the city's northern district and are fired upon. They stun two Jox, but are surrounded by many more.

OTHER CHARACTERS
McINTYRE
Computer and legal ruler on City 4 on Circes. Last year he was known as Zxplok the Terrible.

CRYNGE
Robot. He interprets McIntyre's instructions.

CROLL
Robot assigned to aid Johnny and Wulf in their mission.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Crynge: "As legal ruler of City 4, my master can choose any name he likes. This year he is McIntyre - Last year he was Zxplok the Terrible. Next year he will be something else."

WORST LINES
Shot Jox #1: "Aaah!"
Shot Jox #2: "Aaagh!"

It's an important distinction.

CATCHPHRASES
McIntyre says "Rot you!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: T. Frame

REVIEW
The set up here is great and manages to be eerie, despite the inclusion of a cute robot and his comedy relationship with his master. In fact their dialogue is the highlight of this part.

Next Week: 'The Last Of A Whole Race - And I Helped Destroy Them!'

Monday, 21 April 2014

Judge Dredd: Angel Gang & Justice One Mobile, Part 2

NAME
Judge Dredd: Angel Gang & Justice One Mobile, Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 180

DATELINE
4 Oct 80

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
And now they're facing the opposite way.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
None.

JUDGE DREDD
None.

OTHER CHARACTERS
PA, JUNIOR, LINK, MEAN MACHINE ANGEL
None.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Unknown.
Artist: Unknown.
Letters: Unknown.

REVIEW
Stick this back-to-back with Part 1 for the full effect.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Judge Dredd: Angel Gang & Justice One Mobile, Part 1

NAME
Judge Dredd: Angel Gang & Justice One Mobile, Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 179

DATELINE
27 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
None

SYNOPSIS
Judge Dredd, Angel Gang and Justice One on the dangle.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First make-it-yourself free gift?

INFORMATION
None.


JUDGE DREDD
None.

OTHER CHARACTERS
PA, JUNIOR, LINK, MEAN MACHINE ANGEL
None.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
None.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Unknown
Artist: Unknown
Letters: Unknown

REVIEW
Should you want to hang Judge Dredd, the Angel Gang and Justice One over an infant now you can.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Strontium Dog: 'No Cure For Kansyr', Part 2

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'No Cure For Kansyr', Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlordd No 7

DATELINE
24 June 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
2000AD Annual 1985, The Best Of 2000AD Special Edition 2000, Strontium Dog Book 1 and Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and catches up to Kansyr.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Kansyr is the first person to really use futuristic devices against Johnny and Wulf.

INFORMATION
Metastis is an asteroid. The locals are referred to as Metastens. The native species on the planet Laz are called Lazians. Examples of other alien fauna include the Preying Zorg and the Fundian Slime Drippler.

JOHNNY ALPHA
He sees Wulf as a Preying Zorg and realises that Kansyr is using the Halugin to project the hallucination. He convinces Wulf to look at his reflection and as the mirror image has not been altered the hallucination fades. Kansyr sets alight to the bar and Johnny uses a time bomb so he and Wulf can escape the blaze. Kansyr tries to distract him with multiple copies of himself and shoots Johnny repeatedly. Johnny kneels, puts his gun to his temple and harmlessly shoots through his own head and set to explode inside Kansyr's chest, killing him. He cures Wulf with a medipac.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He sees Johnny as a Fundian Slime Drippler. Johnny uses a time bomb to them out of a burning bar. Kansyr shoots Wulf wounding him. After Johnny deals with him, he cures Wulf with a medipac.


OTHER CHARACTERS
KANSYR
He uses the Halugin to turn Johnny and Wulf against each other and sets light to the bar with a heat ray. He attempts to distract Johnny in a showdown and succeeds in shooting him multiple times.

SNIFFER MARTINEZ
Johnny Alpha describes him as his best friend.

DEATHS
One. Johnny kills Kansyr with his blaster.

BEST LINES
Johnny (whilst shooting Kansyr through his own head): "Heads I win, Kansyr!"

WORST LINES
Johnny: "But at least I've found a cure for Kansyr. The only cure..."

Unforgivable.

CATCHPHRASES
Johnny says "My Dok!" again.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: Tony Jacob

REVIEW
The opening face off between Johnny and Wulf whilst perceiving each other as alien creatures is great and the artwork is wonderful. The actual showdown with Kansyr doesn't match this however and the last line is atrocious.

Next Week: 'Approach Me On Your Knees, Johnny Alpha!'

Friday, 18 April 2014

Strontium Dog: 'No Cure For Kansyr', Part 1

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'No Cure For Kansyr', Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 6

DATELINE
17 June 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
2000AD Annual 1985, The Best Of 2000AD Special Edition 2000, Strontium Dog Book 1 and Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and Wulf go in search of Kansyr.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First sign that Johnny Alpha has a higher profile than the average Strontium Dog. First black and white Strontium Dog strip and the first to omit the Strontium 90 explanation.

INFORMATION
Metastis is a planet in the Pol system

Laz is a planet with a cold western region.

Named Search And Destroy Agents: Sniffer Martinez.

JOHNNY ALPHA
Seven Earth years ago, Johnny used to work with Sniffer Martinez. Johnny and Wulf are on Metastis looking for Kansyr. Johnny questions the bartender about Kansyr, uses his eyes' alpha rays to determine that he is lying and sends him to Kansyr with a message. He hallucinates Wulf as a six-limbed insectoid creature.


WULF STERNHAMMER
He and Johnny are on Metastis looking for Kansyr. He hallucinates Johnny as something he feels he must kill.

OTHER CHARACTERS
KANSYR
A native of the cold western region of Laz, a Wes-Laz punk. Seven years ago, he stole the Halugin, a mind weapon from a research lab. Johnny Alpha and Sniffer Martinez were sent after him. He shot and killed Martinez, Alpha shot Kansyr's gun hand. The authorities on Laz let him off with a fine.

SNIFFER MARTINEZ
Strontium Dog. Seven years ago, he and Johnny worked together. They were hired to retrieve the stolen Halugin from Kansyr, who used the machine to project a mirage which fooled Martinez. Kansyr shot and killed him.

DEATHS
A couple. During the barfight Johnny and Wulf fire their blasters pretty indiscriminately, but a not waist deep in bodies later. We see the death of Sniffer Martinez at the hands of Kansyr seven years ago.

BEST LINES
Wulf: "Every vum of dem on der reward tapes, Johnny. But small fish. No sign of der vun ve come for."

WORST LINES
Bar Patron: "Run - while we still have a chance!"

CATCHPHRASES
A Metastis bar patron screams "Aieee!" when shot. A hallucinating Johnny says "My Dok!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Johnny and Wulf arrive in the Pol system, which was mentioned as a planet in Papa Por-Ka, but it could easily be both.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
As Kansyr sounds more than a little like Cancer, then Metastis refers to Metastasis, the spread of the disease from one organ to another.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ezquerra
Letters: Steve Potter

REVIEW
This story sees the strip take a not awkward sideways step into the realm of the Western. The obvious highlight is that Johnny's interrogation turns the bartender's hair prematurely white. I'm uncomfortable with the use of names like Kansyr and Metastis, I fail to see what it achieves.

Next Week: 'I Won't Give You The Pleasure Of Killing Me!'

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Judge Dredd Badge

NAME
Judge Dredd Badge

FIRST PUBLISHED
Free with 2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 178

DATELINE
20 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
None.

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
A badge featuring Judge Dredd.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First badge given away with 2000 A.D.

INFORMATION
None.

JUDGE DREDD

OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Ironically, for a badge featuring Judge Dredd, but his badge is the wrong colour.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Artist: Unknown

REVIEW
It's a nice badge. Oddly, for a badge featuring Judge Dredd the logo is a variation that omits "featuring Judge Dredd" and Dredd's own badge is odder (see MISTAKES)

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hell Planet Game, Part 5

NAME
Hell Planet Game, Part 5

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 8

DATELINE
1 July 78

PAGE COUNT
2 1/2

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
You too can play as a Strontium Dog, Bestiariz, Cy-Ko or Sergeant Syn with rules.


FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
None.


OTHER CHARACTERS
None.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Copyright: Mills & King

REVIEW
This appears to have nothing in common with the Strontium Dog strip so far.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Hell Planet Game, Part 4

NAME
Hell Planet Game, Part 4

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 7

DATELINE
24 June 78

PAGE COUNT
2

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
You too can play as a Sergeant Syn.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
None.



OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Copyright: Mills & King

REVIEW
This appears to have nothing in common with the Strontium Dog strip so far.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Hell Planet Game, Part 3

NAME
Hell Planet Game, Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 6

DATELINE
17 June 78

PAGE COUNT
2

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
You too can play as a Cy-Ko.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
None.



OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Copyright: Mills & King

REVIEW
This appears to have nothing in common with the Strontium Dog strip so far.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Hell Planet Game, Part 2

NAME
Hell Planet Game, Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 5

DATELINE
10 June 78

PAGE COUNT
2

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
You too can play as a Bestiariz.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
None.


OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Copyright: Mills & King

REVIEW
This appears to have nothing in common with the Strontium Dog strip so far.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Hell Planet Game, Part 1

NAME
Hell Planet Game, Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 4

DATELINE
3 June 78

PAGE COUNT
2

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
You too can play as a Strontium Dog.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Strontium Dog game.

INFORMATION
None.


OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Copyright: Mills & King

REVIEW
This doesn't appear to have much in common with the Strontium Dog strip so far.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Walter’s Robo-Tale: Shok!, Epilogue

NAME
Walter's Robo-Tale: Shok!, Epilogue

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
1/2

REPRINTS
2000AD Prog 612 , Judge Dredd (Volume 2) 35, Hardware DVD liner notes and online here

SYNOPSIS
Mike returns.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
None.

MIKE
Michael returns home to discover Lyn has been replaced by the S.H.O.K. Trooper war robot in a wig.

OTHER CHARACTERS
'LYN'
The S.H.O.K. Trooper war robot is masquerading as Lyn.


DEATHS
None shown, but Lyn is obviously no longer with us and Mike probably doesn't have long.

BEST LINES
'Lyn': "Yes, Michael! I'll give you a kiss...the kiss of death!"

WORST LINES
Mike: "Lyny-Pooh! Your little wombat's home, darling!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Rogan/O'Neill
Artist: O'Neill
Letters: T. Jacob

REVIEW
The dialogue is awful, but the twist at the end more than makes up for it.

The End

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Walter's Robo-Tale: Shok!

NAME
Walter's Robo-Tale: Shok!

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
2000AD Prog 612, Judge Dredd (Volume 2) 35, the Hardware DVD liner notes and online at Barney.

SYNOPSIS
Lyn's present attacks her.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Andy Warhol Block is home to Mega-City One's artist colony.

S.H.O.K. Troopers When dismantled they are able to tap a power source and reassemble themselves.

Robot vacuum cleaners are available. Relaxatrion is a form of relaxation.

Laser carvers are a kitchen implement.

Night Crawler is a horror Holo-TV show.


LYN
Metalwork sculptor. She lives in Andy Warhol Block. Mike gives her a dismantled S.H.O.K. Trooper robot as a present. It uses the power source from her vacuum cleaner robot to reassemble itself, attacks Lyn and locks her in. She blinds it with her metal work acid, but it can still track her via her body heat. It attacks again, she impales it and confuses it with an open freezer door. She attacks it with a laser carver.

MIKE
He gives Lyn a dismantled S.H.O.K. Trooper robot as a present. He is called in to help search for Flight AZ Beta missing over the Cursed Earth.

OTHER CHARACTERS
BEX
Vacuum cleaner robot.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Lyn: "A S.H.O.K. Trooper! Oh, thank you, Mike - the heads make perfect soap holders!"

WORST LINES
S.H.O.K. Trooper: "Severe Sssurprise!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Rogan/O'Neill
Artist: O'Neill
Letters: T. Jacob

REVIEW
The fight sequence is great, the spikiness of the war droid is brilliant and it's refreshing to see a female protagonist for once.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Walter’s Robo-Tale: Shok!, Prologue

NAME
Walter’s Robo-Tale: Shok!, Prologue

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
2000AD Prog 612 , Judge Dredd (Volume 2) 35, Hardware DVD liner notes and online here

SYNOPSIS
Mike buys Lyn a present.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Dreddverse one-off.

INFORMATION
Mega-City Two's shuttle port has at least 81 pads.

MIKE
Strato-Bat pilot. He buys the remains of a war robot from Tombstone Toothbrush for Lyn to use in her metalwork.

OTHER CHARACTERS
TOMBSTONE TOOTHBRUSH
He sells souvenirs from Judge Dredd's crossing of the Cursed Earth. He sells Mike the remains of a war robot.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Tombstone: "Not so loud, Cobber. Vid screens have faces!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Judge Dredd's crossing of the Cursed Earth was seen in The Cursed Earth.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
This strip served as inspiration for a 1990 film directed by Richard Stanley, called Hardware. The original theatrical release failed to mention Shok! despite having a very similar storyline. Following legal action, a notice was added to later versions and Steve MacManus and Kevin O'Neill received writer's credits.

CREDITS
Script: Rogan/O'Neill
Artist: O'Neill
Letters: T. Jacob

Rogan/O'Neill are Steve MacManus and Kevin O'Neill while T. Jacob is Tony Jacob.

REVIEW
It's a good set-up, the goods Tombstone Toothbrush has for sale are a nice call back to The Cursed Earth and the artwork really lends itself to the grotesque, most obvious in the panel of T.T. seen above.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Judge Dredd: Mad Tooth’s Run

NAME
Judge Dredd: Mad Tooth's Run

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
Mega-City One's prime public enemy swears he'll get revenge on Dredd if it's the last thing he does.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Judge Dredd text story, and possibly the first story that turns out to have been "all a dream".

INFORMATION
Mega-City One's Redemption Square is near a Soy-Meat Take Out shop, a sky-rail train line and a Bierce & Porter undertaking parlour. Bierce & Porter has branches in all the major districts of Mega-City One, but is in reality a front for crime.

The Inter-Date Universal and Mega City Consolidation Pension Fund has had 68 Million Credits stolen from it, in an attack that destroyed half a bank block and killed 5000 people.

Sky-Rail trains can do speeds of 150 and have are equipped with glide-chutes. The 330C-NE train runs from the vicinity of Redemption Square to Justice Central.

Justice Central is 280 miles south of Redemption Square. The Judges have armoured trains.

JUDGE DREDD
McKill wants to get revenge on Dredd.

OTHER CHARACTERS
JOSEPH 'MAD TOOTH' McKILL
Mega-City One's prime public enemy. He has fearsome teeth, his lower incisors flip down at a 45 degree angle and a wafer-thin strip of titanium-treated steel covers his throat as the tooth shoots out like a missile. He and Velasquez blew up half a bank block, killing 5000 people, and stole 68 Million Credits from the Inter-Date Universal and Mega City Consolidation Pension Fund. Velasquez is killed in a shootout and McKill is hit by a heat-seeker. He is killed, but in his last few micro-seconds he believes that he kills a Judge, hijacks a hovercar, kills George Gooney during a pursuit and orders the hovercar's driver to let him out on the roof of a sky-rail train. He kills the hovercar driver and cuts his way into the train. Aboard the train he encounters Tony Pistachio's gang and he uses his tooth missile to shatter the train's glass windows and they are sucked out. He heads to Justice Central and kills Dredd.

VOOM-VOOM VELASQUEZ
McKill's partner. He was killed in a shootout with the Judges.

GEORGE GOONEY
Mega-City One Racketeer. He uses Bierce & Porter undertaking parlours as a front. During McKill's dying delusion he gives pursuit in a hover-hearse when he witnesses McKill kill a Judge and McKill kills him.

TONY 'LITTLE GRUNTER' PISTACHIO
Boss of the most prominent gang in Mega-City's South End. During McKill's dying delusion, he is killed when McKill breaks the glass on the train and he and the rest of his gang are sucked out.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
One. McKill dies from a heat-seeker to the back of the neck which ricocheted off the cerebral vertebrae up the spinal cord and out through one of his cerebral hemispheres. Prior to the story 5000 people were killed in his bank raid and his partner Velasquez was shot dead. However during his hallucination easily dozens of people are killed. McKill kills a Judge and with his needle laser, George Gooney with his toothy missile. He shoots the driver of the hovercar as he exits and the vehicle crashes into an airbus full of late-evening shoppers. On board the train he kills a dozen passengers and a guard. He breaks the train's glass windows and Tony Pistachio's gang are sucked out. As he exits, the train collides with another causing an "appalling explosion". Finally he kill Dredd, cutting him in half with his laser.

BEST LINES
"in any case 68 million credits didn't get you very far these days."

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
McKill thinks "drokking" three times, "drokkers" twice, "drokker" once. Members of Tony Pistachio's gang call him a "drokker" and say "My Dok" although since that is all in McKill's head he thought them as well.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Glide Chutes were introduced in Judge Dredd: Firebug.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None, but since most of the story takes place within the brain of a dying man any mistakes would probably need overlooking anyway.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Story: Jack Adrian
Artist: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
Mad Tooth's journey from Redemption Square to Justice Central and back again is wonderful. This is a piece of prose that successful escalates continually until it can't get any more epic and then it does, before revealing, and crucially earning, the fact that it was all a dream. Brilliant.

The End

Monday, 7 April 2014

Walter The Wobot: Eisner Block

NAME
Walter The Wobot: Eisner Block

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
8

REPRINTS
2000AD Prog 611

SYNOPSIS

FIRSTS & LASTS

INFORMATION
(This strip takes place on a late Friday afternoon)

The Eisner Building is the oldest office building in the Old New York area of Mega-City One. Among the companies using it are Acme Imports and Finglebaum Diamonds.

Plastolene is not a strong substance.

WALTER THE WOBOT
He has bought Dredd a present from Acme Imports in Eisner Block. He climbs into a full lift, which exceeds its weight limit and falls. The emergency stop is engaged and the lift suggests that Walter has a similar circuit to that which needs replacing. He resists, agrees at gunpoint and struggles with Harry for the gun. The lift suggests Walter climb onto the roof and plug himself into the control mechanism. With a little help from the others, Walter climbs out but falls back in again knocking the book out of x's hand. It is revealed to be a bomb, which he throws out of the top of the lift and down the side. The explosion pushes the lift back up the shaft to a pair of doors. Walter makes a citizen's arrest of his fellow passengers using his present for Judge Dredd; a set of manacles. Walter's detainees realise that they are made of plastolene and as one they pull, break them and escape.

OTHER CHARACTERS
MR FINGLEBAUM
Diamond merchant. He gets stuck in the lift. Harry discovers he has been dealing in fake diamonds after a bagful that he stole get crushed in an altercation with Walter. The robot arrests him, but he escapes.

HARRY
He works for Mr Finglebaum. He steals a bag of diamonds and gets stuck in the lift. The diamonds get crushed in a struggle with Walter and Harry realises they are fake, just as Mr Finglebaum discovers he has been stealing from the company. The robot arrests him, but he escapes.

GEORGE
He was in a relationship with Wanda. When Wanda shoots his lover he shoots back, but misses hitting the lift control circuits for Eisner Block.

WANDA
She was in a relationship with George. She catches him with another woman and kills them both. The robot arrests him, but he escapes.

THE BOMBMAKER
He builds a bomb and hides it inside a book, a copy of The Elevator by W. Eisner.

DEATHS
Two. Wanda shoots George and his floozy dead.

BEST LINES
Terrorist (thinks): "What if someone wants to read my 'book' to pass the time?...They'll discover the bomb!"

WORST LINES
Wanda: "...Ancient manacles in his sack!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says (and/or thinks) appweciates, awwest, bwave, cwedits, cwikey, cwiminals, cwipes, cwooks, cwush, Dwedd, gwab, lawbweakers, murdewers, opewation, pwesent, pwoper, surpwised, tewowists, tewwific, twapped, tweat, ware, wat, wefuse, wequire, wight nd wotten.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
William Erwin "Will" Eisner (1917–2005) was a comics writer and artist, known for his series The Spirit (1940–1952).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: G.P. Rice
Artist: B. McCarthy
Letters: P. Knight

REVIEW
This is easily the most impressive, most stylish and most anti-climactic of all the Walter The Wobot strips. The artwork is wonderful from the opening Eisner style title page to the cross-section of the building to reveal inside the lift, the pages are dripping with fifties noir. The ending however leaves a lot to be desired.

The End

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Trans-Time's Guide To Mega-City One!

NAME
Trans-Time's Guide To Mega-City One!

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
10

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
A holiday brochure for Mega-City One.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First real insight into the present era in Flesh.

INFORMATION
(This Brochure is copyright Trans-Time Holidays, 2300)

Robots, aliens and animals with the ability to speak are less common in the 23rd Century than they are in the 22nd. Portable Time-Converters are a time travel device. Biz-Wiz Enterprises are a printing company. Trans-Time is a registered corporation. Trans-Time beams its customers' mail back to the time they left.

Among the tours offered by Trans-Time offer a 'Hell Trip' to an undisclosed point in the 20th Century, an opportunity to see Hitler's V1s over London, the A-Bomb explode above Hiroshima, the Lion's tea party in Ancient Rome, a point after the Atomic War, France during the Reign of Terror, the American Civil War, England during the Volgan Invasion of 1999, a 20th Century package tour to Spain's Costa Del Sol, Germany during Nazi rule, Russia during the KGB, China during Mao's Long March, Australia during its settlement by criminals, Sicily during a feud between the Capone family and their neighbours and Mega-City One in 2101.

The Surgeon General has issued a health warning that time travel can be hazardous to health. Trans-Time acknowledge the warning and state that they are not obliged to pay compensation.

Trans-Time's Mega-City One tour arrives at Kennedy Space-Port. Despite the city's accommodation crisis Trans-Time have secured rooms in Charlton Heston Block. Located in the southern sector of the city, 750 crimes are committed in the cityblock every day, but each tour group is supplied with a Securi-droid. The tour includes a free journey to the laundry that Walter visits every week and a trip to the Cursed Earth. Trans-Time publishes a handbook entitled The Streets Of Mega-City One.

Only 13% of Mega-City One's population are in employment. Robots are available in various size, from tiny shoe-polishing models to huge demolition droids. 2101's Robot Of The Year Show features Heavy Metal Kids Mk II. The city has an Alien Relations Board. There are 312 Holovision stations broadcasting in Mega-City One and the Morning News-Fax is a newspaper. The Weather Congress collates the weather preference votes of citizens. Usually the city is hot and sunny, but occasionally a rain storm is ordered to wash the streets. The Mega-City 5000 race was stopped in 2099.

The Judge system is headed by a triumvirate called The Grand Council Of Judges. The Justice Day Parade is an annual event. Tours of The Academy of Law are conducted regularly. Queues form long before the Statue of Judgement opens for business and last all day.
Although derelict the Empire State Building features a reconstruction of Judge Dredd's battle with the Whitey Gang.
As many as fifty thousand Judges could be working in the Grand Hall of Justice at any one time.

ARTHUR RAYMOND
Nicknamed Art 'Ain't-He-Awful' Raymond.

OTHER CHARACTERS
LINDA
Trans-Time's chief courier. She took a Hell Trip to the 20th Century and came back with a dart in her nose.

JUDGE DREDD
The most famous Judge in Mega-City One.

WALTER THE WOBOT
Trans-Time includes a free journey to the laundry that Walter visits every week.

ROCKY VOLLO
A great friend of Johnny Teardrop.

JOHNNY TEARDROP
A great friend of Rocky Vollo.

OTTO SUMP
His face is being used as the Before by The New You Face Parlour

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES


WORST LINES
The Ed. jokes are not very funny.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Obviously this draws heavily on Flesh. Arthur Raymond opens this brochure with another letter and the Surgeon General's health warning includes an image from Flesh, Book One part 18.

There is a mention of a "recent scandal involving a researcher at the city's Department of Science passing the system's secrets to the Sov-Cities" in Battle Of The Black Atlantic, a reference to the laundry that Walter visits every week as seen in A Tale From Walter's Scwapbook.

There are references to Charlton Heston Block from Cityblock 1, the smokatorium from Smoker's Crime, John Nobody, the Dream Palace and the Annual Justice Day Parade from Dream Palace, The New You Face Parlour from The New You, Aeroball the focus of Harlem Heroes, The Robot Of The Year Show that featured in Robots, The Mega-City 5000 seen in a strip of the same name, You Bet Your Life and the Mines Of Mutieland from You Bet Your Life, Devil's Island, the Empire State Building and Judge Dredd's battle with the Whitey Gang from Judge Whitey, the Palais de Boing and Pinboing Wizard, Sob Story, Johnny Teardrop and Otto Sump from Sob Story, Medicine Today and Call-Me-Kenneth 'Robot Wars', part 2 and Crime Time seen in part 8, Sensor-Round from Krong, the Power Tower and Barney first seen in Father Earth, the Mega-City Standard and the Daily News mentioned in The Invisible Man, part 2, the Mega-Times, Rocky Vollo and Mawxus (sic) Slym from Crime And Punishment, the Weather Congress named in The Solar Sniper, The Academy of Law, Futsies and the Harlem Heroes stadium from The Academy Of Law, cadet's right(s) from Mutie The Pig, part 2, The Statue Of Judgement first seen in The Statue Of Judgement, Mac first seen in The Wreath Murders, Judge Anderson's body in the Hall of Heroes as seen in Judge Death, part 3, Aftermath Square named as such in The Greatest Story Ever Told, Troggies from The Troggies, Don Uggie Apelino and the talking apes first seen in 'The Ape Gang' and his later attempt to raise a billion credits to kill Dredd in The Billion Credit Caper, The Dredd Act from The Guinea Pig That Changed The Law, Conred Conn from The Day The Law Died, part 13, Dino Valdi mentioned in Dredd And the Mob Blitzers, Kleggs first seen in The Day The Law Died, part 6 and an advert for The Forever Towers Home For The Semi-Dead from The Forever Crimes.

A tour to England during the Volgan Invasion of 1999 is obviously a reference to Invasion!

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The Long March (October 1933-October 1935) was a military retreat undertaken by the Red Army of the Communist Party of China, which began the ascent to power of Mao Zedong (1893-1976).

MISTAKES
Cadet's Rights is incorrectly stated as Cadet's Right, while Nawxyus Slym is now Mawxus Slym.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Unknown

REVIEW
To effectively see one strip through the eyes of another, without the interaction of a traditional crossover is a real opportunity and it's certainly not one that is squandered here. This is excellent and surprisingly thorough.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Judge Dredd: The Fear That Made Milwaukee Famous, Part 2

NAME
Judge Dredd: The Fear That Made Milwaukee Famous, Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Colour Series: The Streets of Mega-City and Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd scares off the Ghosts of Milwaukee

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time Dredd threatens to use a nuclear weapon.

INFORMATION
Milwaukee is haunted by thousands of ghosts who come out at night.

Dog Vultures can be tamed.

JUDGE DREDD
He flees from the Red Leg Raiders with Rhode Island Red in custody. His Lawmaster suffers an oil leak when Red's tamed dog vultures attack and he is forced to drive slower. He takes refuge in Milwaukee as the Red Leg Raiders catch up to them. The Ghosts of Milwaukee scare off Red's men, while Dredd threatens to have another nuclear bomb target Milwaukee. The ghosts depart and Dredd returns to Mega-City One with Red.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RHODE ISLAND RED
He has tamed a pack of dog vultures which pursue and attack Dredd's Lawmaster. When they reach Milwaukee it

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
At least four. Dredd destroys a vehicle in pursuit with a bullet to the fuel tank, the resulting explosion kills the driver. Dredd kills at least two of Red's tame dog vultures. When Skink declares that he won't go into Milwaukee, another mutant kills him.

BEST LINES
Skink: "He's riding into Milwaukee! This is as far as I go!"
Ape (as he shoots Skink): "Too right it is, Skink!"

WORST LINES
Ghosts of Milwaukee: "Y-O-U"

Who?

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Drokk!" three times.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
Despite delivering no further clarification of why any of this is happening, this part builds to a very nice dénouement as Red's raiders are scared of Milwaukee's ghosts who are in turn scared of Dredd's threat to kill them all over again.

The End.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Judge Dredd: The Fear That Made Milwaukee Famous, Part 1

NAME
Judge Dredd: The Fear That Made Milwaukee Famous, Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
9

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Colour Series: The Streets of Mega-City and Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd goes in search of Rhode Island Red.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First nine page strip.

INFORMATION
A signal caused an American fifty megaton bomb to launch and hit Milwaukee, the blast cracked the bed of Great Lake Michigan open and the water drained away leaving an arid valley. The city lies next to some volcanic hills and it glows at night. The ghost of Milwaukee is rumoured to return each night to seek vengeance and kill individuals in the city at night. Dust Buggies are a commonly used transport vehicle in the Cursed Earth.

Mutant dog vultures are an example of Cursed Earth fauna. Their meat is apparently stringy and rancid

A Judge's Lawgiver can be equipped with a silencer. use Y-Rations

The Red Leg Raiders are a band of mutants lead by Rhode Island Red.

JUDGE DREDD
He has a warrant for Rhode Island Red's arrest and ventures into the Cursed Earth to find him.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RHODE ISLAND RED
Chicken-headed mutant that leads the Red Leg Raiders. Dredd arrests him.


ARRESTS
One. Dredd arrests Rhode Island Red.

DEATHS
Five. Dredd shoots two Red Leg Raiders and a mutant dog vulture dead. Another raiders is impaled on the front of a dust buggy. Rhode Island Red throws Three Eyes to the mutant dog vultures.

BEST LINES
Rhode Island Red: "Rot my wattle! Judge Dredd!"

WORST LINES
Dredd: "Three others running for it!"

Narration?

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Drokk!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
This and Part Two essentially form the centrepiece of the Annual, but do so without much in the way of context. Why is Rhode Island Red worth all this trouble? The artwork is great and the colouring is brilliantly bonkers.

Continued On Page 89.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Judge Dredd: Compulsory Purchase!

NAME
Judge Dredd: Compulsory Purchase!

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Colour Series: The Streets Of Mega-City, Judge Dredd Megazine 247 and Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd must get hold of Norman's heart for the good of Mega-City One.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One has a transplant clinic, near Sector 47's Hiways Bridge. Victor Mature Building is in Mega-City One's City West.

Artificial hearts are made of plasteen, but individuals with a plasteen allergy still require a donor.

Synthi-Flakes is a breakfast cereal. The adverts on a Synthi-Flakes box change every sixty seconds.

Orders for Compulsory Purchase entitle the bearer to procure property on behalf of Mega-City One from an individual. Compensation is paid. The Security Of The City Act allows Judges to take extraordinary action in an emergency.


JUDGE DREDD
He serves Norman Williams with a Compulsory Purchase Order and then retrieves him when he goes AWOL.

OTHER CHARACTERS
GUY SCHULTZ
Mega-City One leading defence expert. He had an artificial heart implanted, but his body rejected it. He is allergic to plasteen. His blood and tissue groups are rare. His only option is a donor heart, but the only match is still alive. He receives Norman Williams' heart and is back on his feet in a matter of days.

NORMAN K. WILLIAMS
Unemployed, married. He lives in Apartment 197/32b of the Victor Mature Building in Mega-City One's City West. His heart is the only match for Guy Schultz. He awakes from sedation, breaks into the organ banks and steals a heart believing it to be his own. He climbs the Hiways Bridge and falls into oncoming traffic. He undergoes surgery to have his heart removed and a replacement implanted. He is revived and given a job as Dr. Coutts assistant. He is dubbed the Artificial Man and likes to stay close to the organ banks, still believing one of the hearts is his.

MRS WILLIAMS
Norman's wife. She agrees to the operation on her husband's behalf.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None. Technically no one dies, although Norman looks pretty close.

BEST LINES
Mrs Williams: "I'll handle this, Norman! This is outrageous, Judge Dredd! I absolutely refuse to let you cut out my husband's heart - for a credit under fifty thousand!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Drokk!" and a citizen says "Stomm!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
This is excellent. McMahon's artwork is lovely and the colours are vibrant, if a little bizarre in places. The second page (above) encompasses almost everything there is to love about Judge Dredd: the approach to an highly emotive problem that is starkly pragmatic and very silly in equal measure.

The End.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Star Pin Up: Judge Dredd IV

NAME
Star Pin Up: Judge Dredd IV

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
Justice Central poster.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Star Pin-Up which serves as an in-world propaganda poster.

INFORMATION
Justice Central produce posters to promote Law and Order and support for the Judges.


JUDGE DREDD
Justice Central uses his image on posters.

OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Better Dredd Than Dead!

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
None.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Artist: Mike McMahon

REVIEW
It's a nice image and "Better Dredd Than Dead!" is a great slogan, but the genius of this is Dredd's appropriation as a tool for propaganda. It successfully communicates the cryptofascist nature of the Judge system and Dredd's pseudocelebrity status within it.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Max Normal: 'Mugger's Mile'

NAME
Max Normal: 'Mugger's Mile'

FIRST PUBLISHED
Judge Dredd Annual 1981

DATELINE
1 Sept 80

PAGE COUNT
11

REPRINTS
None

SYNOPSIS
Max Normal doesn't get mugged, but he does get shugged, screwed and even.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Max Normal strip, first appearance of Ricardo Montalban Block.

INFORMATION
In Mega-City One, Ricardo Montalban Block and Casanovas Block are neighbours. 1006 Street has been nicknamed Mugger's Mile, due to the high level of crime and Judges now only patrol it in squads. The Wee Shuggy Hall is nearby. Mega-City One has a cryo-crypt and Marlon Brando's frozen body is kept there.

Anti-Mugging Gear is worn to prevent mugging. Anti-Anti-Mugging Gear is worn to prevent mugging being prevented.

In shuggy, a sidewinder is a good opening shot, while the Booglariser is the hardest shot in the game. Six-Way Shuggy is a version of the game in which five players can team up against a sixth.

MAX NORMAL
He lives in Ricardo Montalban Block. His calls to Dredd are considered a priority by Justice HQ. Max plays shuggy in The Wee Shuggy Hall and is on a winning streak that has seen him win ten grand from another player. He accepts a challenge to play six-way shuggy against the Sharkey Brothers betting 100,000 credits. When he wins, the brothers cheat and one runs off with Max's money. Later Max's calls the Sharkey brothers purporting to be from the Criminal Employment Bureau offering them a million credits to steal Marlon Brando's frozen cadaver and directs Judge Dredd to their location to arrest them. Dredd pays Max his usual fee.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE SHARKEY BROTHERS
They challenge Max to play six-way shuggy and cheat when he wins. The brothers threaten Max and he raises the alarm. Walo flees with the credits. Boris beats up the remaining brothers.

JUDGE DREDD
Max Normal tips him off about the attempted theft of Marlon Brando's body and he pays him his usual fee.

DEATHS
None, although I should point out that when this was first printed Marlon Brando was still very much alive.

BEST LINES
Max: "Short hours are the pay is top-notch. A million credits in cold green cash."
Sharkey: "When do we start?"
Max: "That's the spirit! Now listen - here's what I want you to do. You know the Mega-City Cryo-Crypt?"
Sharkey: "Know it? I gotta couple of friends buried in the foundations! We're on our way, pal!"

WORST LINES
Max: "Can ya dig it, boys?"

CATCHPHRASES
Max says "Wowie zowie!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Max and Dredd crossover from the main strip.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Ricardo Montalban Block is named after the actor (1920-2009) who played Khan in the Star Trek episode Space Seed (1967), Armando in Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971) and Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972) and Mr Roarke in Fantasy Island (1978-1984). Marlon Brando (1924-0204) was an actor famous for appearing A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On The Waterfront (1954), Superman (1978), Apocalypse Now (1979) and as Max mentions The Godfather (1972).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
Casanovas manages to reference himself not once, but twice as both a cityblock and a frozen corpse.

CREDITS
Script: A.A. Grant
Artist: Casanovas
Letters: S. Potter

Casanovas is Jose Casanovas who also provided artwork for Judge Dredd, Tharg's Dragon Tales, Tharg's Future Shocks, Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales, Robo-Hunter, Time Twisters and a few one-offs

S. Potter is Steve Potter who also lettered ABC Warriors, Judge Anderson, Ant Wars, Judge Dredd, Finn, Firekind, Tharg's Future Shocks, Halo Jones, Holocaust, Indigo Prime, The Mean Arena, Mean Machine, Mean Team, Mind Wars, Missionary Man, Nemesis The Warlock, D.R. & Quinch, Ro-Busters, Rogue Trooper, Sinister Dexter, Slaine, Strontium Dog, Tales Of Telguuth, Timequake, Time Twisters, Torquemada, Time Flies and Walter The Wobot.

REVIEW
The artwork is stunning and Max makes for a great protagonist here, but eleven pages stretches this a bit far and much of the shuggy game seems like padding as a result.

The End.