Saturday, 31 May 2014

Ro-Busters: The Terra-Meks!, Part One - The Eve Of Destruction!

NAME
Ro-Busters: The Terra-Meks!, Part One - The Eve Of Destruction!

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 98

DATELINE
3 Feb 79

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
2000AD Annual 1987, Judge Dredd Megazine 4.02, Cyber Crush 04, Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2) 03, Ro-Busters Book 1 and The Complete Ro-Busters.

SYNOPSIS
Can Charlie prevent the destruction of Northpool?

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Ro-Busters to feature neither Ro-Jaws nor Hammer-Stein

INFORMATION
Northpool is a port on the western side of Britain. A bullet train tunnel and a slip road for the Trans-Atlantic Tunnel runs under the town. The Twentieth century sky-blocks have been condemned and are to be demolished and are to be replaced by a huge aero-space port with the residents relocated to underground flats.

Trees are kept in tree museums. Terra-Meks are demolition robots. The popularity of 'Mammoth' Jets has lead to fewer huge ships crossing the ocean.

CHARLIE
Enormous robot and ship's pilot, he tows ships in distress off the coast of Northpool into the harbour. He has been in operation for fifteen years, has become Northpool's most famous landmark and has a chair on the dockside, but he is needed less due to the prevalence of 'Mammoth' Jets.


OTHER CHARACTERS
HOWARD QUARTZ
His Terra-Meks are due to demolish Northpool's sky-blocks.

RON MURDOCH
Leader of Northpool Council. He is in favour of demolishing Northpool's sky-blocks and building an aero-space port in their place, while relocating the residents to underground d flats.

GRANNY FRASER
She is relocated from a sky-block to an underground flat at 999 Cosy-Down Burrows.

FATHER FLANNIGAN
Priest. He tries to convince Charlie to stop the Terra-Meks from destroying Northpool.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Quartz: "How do the people of Northpool feel about my Terra-Meks destroying their homes?"
Murdoch: "Well, some of them are being rather difficult! They don't understand...this is the only way Northpool can survive! All these slum sky-blocks -- built in the Twentieth Century -- will be pulled down by your robots, Quartz! And the council will re-house everybody in nice new homes......underground!"

WORST LINES
Granny Fraser: "B-But there's no windows...I won't be able to see the trees!"

Of course there are no windows, of course you can't see the trees. Where did you think underground was?

CATCHPHRASES
This part ends on a cry of "Big Jobs!" from an anonymous Terra-Mek.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The ship Charlie saves has come from Mega-City One.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
This is fantastic! Gibbons' art automatically lifts the story, but the social satire of the piece is excellent too. It's surprising not to see Ro-Jaws or Hammer-Stein, but to be honest you don't miss them.

Next Prog: Mek-Mania!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Judge Dredd: Loonies' Moon!

NAME
Judge Dredd: Loonies' Moon!

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 192

DATELINE
27 Dec 80

This prog also featured Dash Decent, The Mean Arena, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon and Strontium Dog and a cover by Carlos Ezquerra.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 46, Judge Dredd Classics 64, The Complete Judge Dredd 18, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 26, Judge Dredd 27 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Advertisers and Loonies fight over the moon.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First kneepad gag.

INFORMATION
The Temple Of Lunar Light devoted to the Loonie religion is on Mega-City One's W1101 Street in Sector 71. Lover's Park is an outdoor park that is open at night. Moonray Tower is the site of the lunar lasers that project advertising images onto the moon. Starting at 9pm, for six hours per night at a cost of one million credits a second. Products advertised include Special S synthi-flakes, Blat Roach spray, synthi-guy 24 hour girdle for men and Cybo-comp robots.

The Loonies are a religious group based on the ancient Djimite moon worshippers. Each novice carries a sacred blade and they are lead by an individual called the Great Loon. They attack Moonray Tower.

Psi-Division is on the second floor of the Hall of Justice. Named Judges: Judge Logan; Judge Holme (Psi-Division).

JUDGE DREDD
He investigates the disappearance of Erwin Blagg and discovers he is connected to the Loonies. Dredd kills him during their attack on Moonray Tower and only discovers his identity later. Dredd orders the arrest and interrogation of the assembled Loonie novices, crime blitzes of all Loonie temples and uses the lunar lasers to assure Mega-City One that normal service would be resumed.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ERWIN BLAGG
Seventeen year old. His parents report him missing. He has become a novice Loonie. Dredd kills him during their attack on Moonray Tower and discovers his identity later. Dredd orders his next of kin be informed.

ARRESTS
Hundreds. The Loonies are all arrested and interrogated.

DEATHS
Dozens. A Loonie kills a lunar projectionist, Dredd kills Erwin Blagg and Judges kill several Loonies.

BEST LINES
In a word servility.

Cybo-comp robots advertising slogan written on the moon

WORST LINES
Judge: "A slaughterhouse!"

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Drokk!" and "Stop in the name of the law!", while the running gag about kneepads starts here.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The Loonies are based on the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, more commonly known as the Moonies after its founder Sun Myung Moon (1920–2012).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ron Smith
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
This strip has it all: great visuals, a tawdry use of spectacular technology and a satirical glance at a real world phenomenon. Highlights include the Blaggs attempt to report their son missing to a series of Judges, the Cybo-comp robots advertising slogan and Dredd's final lunar message.

Next Prog: The Fink's In Town!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws' Memoirs, Part Five - Happy Ever After (Sort Of)

NAME
Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws' Memoirs, Part Five - Happy Ever After (Sort Of)

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 97

DATELINE
27 Jan 79

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 83 and The Complete Ro-Busters.

SYNOPSIS
Ro-Jaws and Annabel are parted and reunited.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Annabel.

INFORMATION
(The flashback section of this strip presumably begins in September 2067 and culminates on Christmas Day of the same year, while the last sequence takes place in the Ro-Busters present day circa 2078)

The Book of Robots is written by humans for the improvement of robots. Verse Six reads: "Humans are the masters now and for ever..."

RO-JAWS
When Annabel goes away to boarding school, Ro-Jaws is sent to work for a Mr Murphy as a builder's labourer. After three years apart, he and Ginger meet again. Ro-Jaws later sees Ginger's foot on the back of a Robo-knackers' lorry and collapses. When Annabel returns she seeks him out and buys him back. Ro-Jaws spends Christmas with Annabel and her family.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ANNABEL
She goes away to boarding school. When she returns home at Christmas, she is told Ro-Jaws has run away.

MR MURPHY
Ro-Jaws is sold to him as a builder's labourer.

GINGER
He and Ro-Jaws are reunited for the first time in three years. Ro-Jaws later sees his foot on the Robo-knackers' lorry.

DEATHS
Maybe Ginger, although it's possible he merely lost a foot.

BEST LINES
Ro-Jaws: "What-haay! These left-overs is really tasty! Merry Crimble everyone!"

WORST LINES
Ro-Jaws (singing): "Even sewer rats like me have fun on Christmas day. I sing my song (no Humes around?) Us robots rule OK? Brill, eh?"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Ro-Jaws references Hard Times (1854) by Charles Dickens (1812-1870). 'Love Came Down At Christmas' is a Christmas carol with lyrics by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894) written at some point before 1886.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike Dorey
Letters: Pete Knight

REVIEW
The snowy artwork is nice, but this is largely disappointing after a tumultuous set-up. Overall, this feels rushed.

Next Prog: The Terra-Meks!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws' Memoirs, Part Four - Upstairs And Down Sewers

NAME
Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws Memoirs, Part Four - Upstairs And Down Sewers

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 96

DATELINE
20 Jan 79

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 83 and The Complete Ro-Busters.

SYNOPSIS
Ro-Jaws is rejected by the robot resistance, but welcomed into the arms of Annabel.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First real indication of when the initial Harlem Heroes story is set.

INFORMATION
(This strip begins in 2065 AD and features a sequence two years later in 2067.

Robots have been replacing humans since the nineteen seventies.

In 2067, Match Of The Day is a TV show that broadcasts Aeroball games.

RO-JAWS
In 2065, he leads George Washington and the other members of the robot resistance to freedom and decides to join them. They reject him. Two years later, he meets Annabel, who convinces her step-father to buy him and welcomes him into her home. They become great friends.

OTHER CHARACTERS
GEORGE WASHINGTON
He was first activated in 2030. In 2065, he is shot with a high explosive shell and later dies.

ANNABEL B
Young girl. Her father died and her mother remarried. In 2067, she meets Ro-Jaws and convinces her step-father to buy him. They become great friends.

MR π
Robot butler. He doesn't approve of Ro-Jaws.

DEATHS
One. George Washington dies of wounds caused by a high explosive shell fired by the secret police.

BEST LINES
George: "Leave me...save yourselves!"
Ro-Jaws: "Daft nerk! No need for John Wayne stuff! Into the really deep sewers! No-one will follow us there!"

WORST LINES
Resistance member: "...May he rust in peace!"

CATCHPHRASES
Ro-Jaws calls George a "nerk" and Annabel apparently picks up habit and uses the word herself.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
In 2067, Ro-Jaws and Annabel watch a Harlem Heroes Aeroball match featuring Giant, Slim and Artie Gruber, but it's clear whether this is the game in which Gruber was injured or one of the altercations depicted in Harlem Heroes.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The subtitle obviously references the TV series Upstairs, Downstairs (1971-2012). Ro-Jaws mentions John Wayne (1907-1979), American actor and star of The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956), Rio Bravo (1959), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and True Grit (1969). The other members of the Robot Resistance borrow their names from Winston Churchill (1874-1965), Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955), Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1653 until his death and Napoleon (1769-1821), Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1814. Match Of The Day is a BBC TV show which has been broadcasting highlights of the day's football matches since 1964.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike Dorey
Letters: Steve Potter

REVIEW
Ro-Jaws' Memoirs gets better and better. The rejection of Ro-Jaws by the Robot Resistance is an excellent moment. Annabel is easily enamoured with Ro-Jaws, but after Old Scratchey, Mad Jock, Ginger and George Washington presents him with his best Hammer-Stein replacement yet.

Next Prog: The Final Part Of Ro-Jaws' Memoirs!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws' Memoirs, Part Three - Out!

NAME
Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws' Memoirs, Part Three - Out!

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 95

DATELINE
13 Jan 79

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 83 and The Complete Ro-Busters.

SYNOPSIS
Ro-Jaws and Ginger adjust to life on the outside.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Earliest mention of Ro-Busters.

INFORMATION
Robots are forbidden from certain premises, must comply with a curfew between 10pm and 6am and travel at a speed limit. Unemployed robots are required to report to Robo-Exchanges where those that have been unemployed for more than twelve weeks are incinerated in blast furnaces.

Robots work as editors and translators.

A 7000/L Series Androids with plasti-skin and synthi-hair are potentially indistinguishable from humans.

RO-JAWS
He and Ginger are released from robo-prison. When Ginger accidentally trips someone over and is accused of attacking him. A mob attempts electrocute them both, but they are saved by a George Washington robot purporting to be human. The council refused him re-employment and he was sent to work for a removals firm, but rejected by the owner. He got a job as a grave digger. He witnesses George robbing a bank and helps him to escape into the sewers.

OTHER CHARACTERS
GINGER
He and Ro-Jaws are released from robo-prison. He accidentally trips someone over and is accused of attacking him. A mob attempts electrocute he and Ro-Jaws, but he was saved by a George Washington robot purporting to be human. The taxi company he previously worked for refused to re-employ him and he was sent to work for a removals firm.

GEORGE WASHINGTON
A 7000/L Series Android. He is a member of the Resistance and saves Ro-Jaws and Ginger from a mob about to electrocute them. He later helps rob a bank to fund the Resistance..

ROBOT ZJ3
Robot sent to Ro-Busters by a robo-exchange.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Ro-Jaws: "Eventually we got sent to a removal firm run by a Mr. Dratanblast...I think that's what he called himself..."
Skinner: "Dratanblast! Is this the best the robo-exchange could send me?"

WORST LINES
Noone.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Ro-Jaws hopes he never ends up at Ro-Busters.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
George Washington (1731 or 1732-1799) was the first President of the United States (1789–1797).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike Dorey
Letters: Pete Knight

REVIEW
This is excellent. The artwork is great and Ro-Jaws character is given an excellent chance to shine.

Next Prog: With The Robot Resistance!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws' Memoirs, Part Two - In Bad Company!

NAME
Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws' Memoirs, Part Two - In Bad Company!

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 94

DATELINE
6 Jan 79

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 83 and The Complete Ro-Busters.

SYNOPSIS
Ro-Jaws helps his cellmate escape.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Ginger.

INFORMATION
Robots are used as butchers and mini-cabs.

RO-JAWS
He shares a cell in D Wing with Ginger and Mad Jock. Jock uses him as a fuel still, distilling potato peelings in alcohol to use as fuel and aid his escape.

OTHER CHARACTERS
GINGER
Mini-Cab Robot. He was jailed after one of his fares drowned when he fell into a river. Shares a cell in D Wing with Ro-Jaws and Mad Jock.

MAD JOCK
A butcher robot from Glasgow. He was jailed for putting his human master into pies and sausages. Shares a cell in D Wing with Ro-Jaws and Ginger. Jock uses Ro-Jaws as a fuel still, distilling potato peelings in alcohol to use as fuel and aid his escape. Mad Jock escapes, but is recaptured a month later, put in Cell 101 and reprogrammed to be more obedient.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Mad Jock: "Well, you see Ro-Jaws, it was part of my job as a butcher to make meat pies and sausages...an' I got awffy fond of the lambs an' the little wee pigs. I didna like having to kill them...I mean...what harm have animals ever doe us robots? But I had to put somethin' in the pies......so when my master went missing, the Police got very suspicious!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Mad Jock bears a resemblance to Call-Me-Kenneth from Judge Dredd's Robot Wars.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Cell 101 is obviously a reference to Room 101 from Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) by George Orwell (1903-1950).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike Dorey
Letters: Steve Potter

REVIEW
Surprisingly this doesn't show us how Ro-Jaws adapts to life on the inside, but rather uses Mad Jock as the catalyst for his presumed escape.

Next Prog: Ro-Jaws And Ginger Are...Out!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws' Memoirs, Part One - Happy Days

NAME
Ro-Busters: Ro-Jaws' Memoirs, Part One - Happy Days

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 93

DATELINE
30 Dec 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 83 and The Complete Ro-Busters

SYNOPSIS
It's Ro-Jaws turn to tell his life story.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Ro-Busters without Hammer-Stein.

INFORMATION
The organic matter 'eaten' by a Federal Recycling And Environmental Droid (FRED2L) is recycled into gas to drive its engine and is expelled from his exhaust. They are equipped with brushes, air freshener and one arm contains a disinfectant that kills 99% of all known germs. Their vision is quite basic.

The Robot Interrogation Police (RIP) deal with errant droids. They run Robot Re-Training Camps.

Slide-Walks are a sign of upwardly mobile modernity. Pleasure pills and smiley-vision are intended to make individuals happy.

RO-JAWS
He worked at a depot with at least five other sewer robots. He stood out and his human co-workers introduced him to Sir Neville, Minister for the Environment during a visit. Ro-Jaws met Old Scratchey when the robot got its arm stuck whilst unblocking a drain. , Scratchey freed him and they became friends. On a particularly wet and rainy night, Ro-Jaws takes Stratchey to Sir Neville's empty home and lets him in. When Sir Neville discovers them, Ro-Jaws is sent to a Robot Re-Training Camp against his will.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SIR NEVILLE
Minister for the Environment. He meets Ro-Jaws and approves of him. When Sir Neville discovers Ro-Jaws and Scratchey in his home he has them both taken away in wagons against his will.

OLD SCRATCHEY
Homeless man. He hasn't taken his trousers off in ten years. He met Ro-Jaws when the robot got its arm stuck down a drain, he freed him and they became friends. On a particularly wet and rainy night, Ro-Jaws takes Stratchey to Sir Neville's empty home and lets him in. When Sir Neville discovers them, Scratchey is sent to a home against his will.


DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Sir Neville's wife: "Opera is so tiring. I think I'll go straight to bed."

WORST LINES
Sir Neville (regarding an apparently awful smell): "I'm sure I don't know what it can be."

CATCHPHRASES
Ro-Jaws calls Scratchey a "daft old nerk" twice.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Ro-Jaws paraphrases the words of 'Messing About On The River' a 1962 song by Josh MacRae (1933–1977), quotes Oliver Twist (1838) by Charles Dickens (1812–1870).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike Dorey
Letters: Steve Potter

REVIEW
After Hammer-Stein's memoirs told the story of his exploits in the Volgan War, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Ro-Jaws gets the same treatment and yet it does. The artwork is great throughout and it's reassuring to see Ro-Jaws elevating the gutter to a similar status and the sewer at his happiest.

Next Prog: In Bad Company!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Judge Dredd: Synthi-Caff Vindilu

NAME
Judge Dredd: Synthi-Caff Vindilu

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 191

DATELINE
20 Dec 80

This prog also contained Dash Decent, The Mean Arena, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon and Strontium Dog with a Judge Dredd cover by Ian Gibson.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 18 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Walter goes undercover to catch some robothieves.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Bleakwalk Road is in Sector 40. Mega Trans has premises at 44A Krakov Road

Tablets which make synthetic Indian curries are available.

Robot personalities can be backed up on tape.

Named Judges: Judge Dory.

JUDGE DREDD
He dislikes Walter's synthetic Indian curry tablets. He uses Walter as bait to catch a group of robothieves.

OTHER CHARACTERS
WALTER THE WOBOT
Dredd has him bugged and uses him as bait to trap a group of robot thieves. He and Cranky are stolen and hidden in a shielded area preventing the bug's signal from escaping. Walter offers his captors cups of synthi-caf and doses one with his electronic bug and a synthetic Indian curry tablet. The tablet causes one of his captors to need to leave the leave the shielded area to vomit thus allowing the Judges to track the signal and catch the thieves.


CRANKY
Robot. He accompanied Walter to Sector 40. They are both stolen. Cranky is reprogrammed and believes his name is Reginald.

ARRESTS
At least four. Dredd and the other Judges arrest the robothieves, we only see four of them.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Walter: "This is the distwict the wobothieves have been opewating Judge Dwedd say to just keep walking and look stupid..."
Cranky: "Reckon you can handle that all right!"

WORST LINES
Walter: "Cwipes! We're being dwoidnapped, Cwanky!"

CATCHPHRASES
Walter says concentwated, cuwwy, Cwanky, cwipes, cweeps, cwooks, disappeawing, distwict, Dwedd, dwoidnapped, eastewn, fwesh, gwabbed, gweat, gweatest, hooway, laundwette, opewating, pwetty, pwomise, vewy, weady, weal, Wex, wobothieves and wobots.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Emberton
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
Ian Gibson's art is great here as Walter saves the day and without unnecessarily wacky hi-jinx.

Next Prog: Loonie's Moon!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Star Pin-Up: The Gronk

NAME
Star Pin-Up: The Gronk

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 91

DATELINE
18 Nov 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
None.

SYNOPSIS
The Gronk

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Strontium Dog Star Pin-Up to feature in 2000 A.D.

INFORMATION
None.

THE GRONK

OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
None.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Artist: Ezquerra

REVIEW
I like this image a lot. Someone should put this on a T-shirt.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Judge Dredd: 'The Nightmare Gun'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'The Nightmare Gun'

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 190

DATELINE
13 Dec 80

This prog also featured Dash Decent, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon, Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales & Strontium Dog with a Strontium Dog cover by Carlos Ezquerra.

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 18, Judge Dredd's Crime Files 6, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 25 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd pursues a couple of alien gunmen with a weapon that exploits its victim's own fears.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First real insight into Dredd's psyche.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One's Jack Elam Speedway has Betty Grable and Tony Curtis intersections. The F. Loyd Mazny housing scheme is the most complex development ever attempted by Mega-City One, it was built of house two million people and was nicknamed the 'Maze'. Three weeks after it was completed vandals destroyed every sign. 150 residents starved to death attempting escape and it took a year for the last resident made their exit.

The Nightmare Gun is device which forces its victim to face their fears.

Grall is an inhabited planet. The dominant species can have Blood Type Q and live into their nineties. Boggits are an example of Grall fauna, they live in warrens.

A Judge should not have deep-rooted fears. Named Judges: Judge Ginsberg (deceased)

JUDGE DREDD
He is called to scene of a multi-vehicle pile-up on the Jack Elam Speedway. He pursues and kills the two Grall gunmen responsible. He is apparently fearless.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ROCKO ZILCH
Head of the Interworld Crime Syndicate. He is shot, whilst driving, with the nightmare gun, has a heart attack and crashes into an oncoming mopad.

JUDGE GINSBERG
Judge. He is afraid of needles and when shot by a Grall with the nightmare gun he perceives .

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
Possibly hundreds. The Gralls kill Rocko Zilch causing a multi-vehicle pile-up. They later shoot Halbert Gumby and Judge Ginsberg with the nightmare gun which result in their deaths. Dredd shoots both of the Grall dead.

BEST LINES
Dredd: "Halt, Alien! Or I fire!"
[Grall doesn't stop]
Dredd: "You had your choice!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Drokk!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Jack Elam (1920-2003) was an American actor who appeared in Rawhide (1951), Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (1957) and Support Your Local Sheriff!(1969). Betty Grable (1916–1973) was an American actress, dancer, and singer known for her performance in The Gay Divorcee (1934), Million Dollar Legs (1939) and How To Marry A Millionaire (1953). Tony Curtis (1925-2010), star of Sweet Smell Of Success (1957), The Defiant Ones (1958), The Vikings (1958), Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Persuaders! on TV.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Emberton
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The story may be slight, but the artworks has a bouncy quality that keeps the story going.

Next Prog: Walter's Weturn!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 9

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 9

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 94

DATELINE
6 Jan 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 214, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny destroys a planet.

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

INFORMATION
Rog is destroyed by a nuclear device which causes its nuclear reactors to explode. The war between the Wolrogs and Sandorians is expected to come to a stop with the Rog's factories out of action.

Lasers can be set to blow torch.

JOHNNY ALPHA
He and Wulf attempt to get beyond both the blast radius of the nuclear device and the Wolrog guards. He cuts Wulf loose when he gets his foot stuck and they escape in the Shadow. The Sandorians give Johnny the Shadow and a Sandorian crew to fly it in payment. Johnny declines thinking it to ostentatious for bounty hunting.


WULF STERNHAMMER
He and Johnny attempt attempt to get beyond both the blast radius of the nuclear device and the Wolrog guards, but he gets his foot stuck. Johnny cuts him loose and they escape in the Shadow.

OTHER CHARACTERS
COMMANDER NOOD
He rescues Johnny and Wulf from Rog in the Shadow.

DEATHS
Presumably billions. The nuclear device planted by Johnny and Wulf explodes causing a series of explosions that destroy Rog.

BEST LINES
Wulf: "My foot - is being stuck!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Wulf says der, ja, und, vaste, vay, ve, vind, vit, Volrog, as borrowing Kark's catchphrase, "close as der cucumber".
Wolrogs "Hrrrr!", "Hrrraaaahhhh..!", "Hrrrrrr!", "Hrrrrraaaahhh..!"
Johnny chalk up another "Drokk!"
Gronk says "excitements", "braves"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
This story has been an odd change of pace, probably to show the versatility of the strip, but if anything it has the opposite effect and turns Strontium Dog into just another space opera. Johnny going back for Wulf and turning down the Shadow are nice touches as is a lack of sentimentality about his potential genocide.

Johnny Takes A Break Now - He'll Be Back Soon!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 8

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 8

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 93

DATELINE
30 Dec 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 214, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny delivers the Sandorian defence plan and aids in the attack on Rog.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time that a Strontium Dog story has reached eight parts.

INFORMATION
The Shadow is a Sandorian vessel with a crew of eight, that is capable of warp 12.

JOHNNY ALPHA
He delivers Scientor Haap's plan to the Sandorians. Captain Joob asks him to help in the Sandorian attack on Rog and reluctantly Johnny agrees. He and Wulf are dropped on Rog by the Shadow, where they plant a small nuclear device.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He and Johnny are dropped on Rog by the Shadow, where they plant a small nuclear device.

THE GRONK
He remains on the Sandorian Attack Cruiser while Johnny and Wulf depart on the Shadow.


OTHER CHARACTERS
CAPTAIN JOOB
Captain of the Sandorian Attack Cruiser that picked up Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk.

SCIENTOR HAAP
He invented a device that smothers radio waves-scanners and prevents detection.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Johnny: "It's only a small nuke, but it'll set off a chain reaction that'll blow the planet apart."

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Wulf says der, gut, haf, ja, vant, ve, vill, vith, Volrog, vot, Vulf and vun. The Gronk pluralises Wolrogses, a Wolrog appeals to "Grud!" and Johnny exclaims "Drokk!"


CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Drokk is the expletive of choice in Judge Dredd.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Space travel at warp [insert number] is very Star Trek (1966-1969).

MISTAKES
Nood is a Comander.

RETROSPECT
Joob will be a word used extensively in Ace Trucking Co.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Carlos S. Ezquerra
Letters: Ezquerra

REVIEW
The bath scene is a little odd, but this is fantastic. This part sees our heroes achieve their goal and the provides them with a chance to decline to help which they duly consider, itself an act that isn't particularly heroic. The Shadow attack on Rog is well-plotted and raises the stakes brilliantly.

Next Prog: Nuclear Blow Out!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 7

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 7

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 92

DATELINE
25 Nov 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 214, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk cross the lines.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time that a Strontium Dog story has reached seven parts.

INFORMATION
Planet XX161-D is destroyed by the Wolrogs.

The Sandorian fleet includes Attack Cruisers.

JOHNNY ALPHA
He, Wulf and the Gronk steal a nuke-torp and flee the Wolrog battleworld. They target a Wolrog ship attacking a Sandorian vessel and abandon ship in vacuum suits. Their nuke-torp destroys the Wolrog battlecraft and the Sandorians pick up the trio.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He, Johnny and the Gronk steal a nuke-torp and flee the Wolrog battleworld. He isn't feeling well, but the Gronk treats him. They target a Wolrog ship attacking a Sandorian vessel and abandon ship in vacuum suits. Their nuke-torp destroys the Wolrog battlecraft and the Sandorians pick up the trio.

THE GRONK
He, Johnny and Wulf steal a nuke-torp and flee the Wolrog battleworld. He treats Wulf's illness. They target a Wolrog ship attacking a Sandorian attack cruiser and abandon ship in vacuum suits. Their nuke-torp destroys the Wolrog battlecraft and the Sandorians pick up the trio.

OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

DEATHS
At least four. At least three Wolrogs are torched by the nuke-torp's rockets. The Wolrog captain kills his photon gunner.

BEST LINES
Wolrog Captain: "You ignorant, bumbling short-clawed, yellow-fanged idiot! We'll never find them in all that debris!"
Wolrog Gunner: "I am sorry, Captain. I acted foolishly."
Wolrog Captain: "Captain here. Relief Photon Gunner to command bridge. Immediately!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
The Wolrogs "Hrrrraaahhhh..!" once more, Wulf says der, haf, hafing, ozzerwise, vell, vun, Volrog, although he manages Wolrog as well, while the Gronk pluralises ats, doctorings, Gronkses and thingses.


CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
This story adds to its Star Wars (1977) references with the destruction of a planet and Red Leader. Johnny says "Home James" at the end, a phrase apparently popularised by a song called 'Home James, And Don't Spare The Horses' (circa 1934) by Fred Hillebrand, but possibly from a phrase used by Queen Victoria when speaking to her driver.

MISTAKES
Johnny says betwen, instead of between. Later a Sandorian mentions objets, not objects.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Carlos S. Ezquerra
Letters: Ezquerra

REVIEW
This is great. This part moves the story along in leaps and bounds without feeling rushed. The artwork is wonderful as ever and the pace is helped by the 'editing' between the realisation of the is happening with the nuke-torp aboard both the Wolrog and Sandorian vessels, but the lettering is getting worse and the spelling mistakes really don't help.

Next Prog: Return To Hell!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 6

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 6

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 91

DATELINE
18 Nov 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 214, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and Kark fight it out.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time that a Strontium Dog story has reached six parts. First mention of cucumbers.

INFORMATION
On the planet Nykos, the Wolrog Empire destroys eight Sandorian strongholds.

JOHNNY ALPHA
He takes the Sandorian defence plan back to the Wolrog battlecraft and smuggles it to the Nuke-Torps hanger. There he and Sergeant Kark fight and the sergeant is killed.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He helps Johnny get to the Nuke-Torps hanger.

THE GRONK
During Johnny's fight with Kark, he threatens to bite the sergeant's ankles.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SERGEANT KARK
He follows Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk to the Nuke-Torps hanger. He and Johnny fight, but Kark's metal claws pierce a power cable and he is killed.

DEATHS
One. Kark is electrocuted when his metal claws pierce a power cable.

BEST LINES
Gronk: "N-nuke-torps! B-b-but Mr. Johnny, sir, they's suicide shipses! T-they has n-nuclear warheads in the n-noses!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Kark howls "Hrrrr!" four times, "Hrrrrrrr!" and "Haaarrr!" once each, joins in on a Wolrog songs that ends with a chorus of "Hrrrraaaaooo..!" and dies with a "Hrrrraaahhhh!", but not before claims to be "smart as cucumber", a move that will create a catchphrase for someone else. Wulf says der, vell, vill, Volrog and Vulf. The Gronk pluralises "Wolrogses", "shipses", "heartses" and "ankleses".


CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Carlos S. Ezquerra
Letters: Ezquerra

REVIEW
Thus far in the story Sergeant Kark has had more to do than any of the regular characters. The recipient of some great characterisation goes out in style and the fight between Johnny and Kark is great.

Next Prog: Human Bomb!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 5

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 5

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD and Starlord Prog 90

DATELINE
11 Nov 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 214, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk go to war and find a plan to stop the Wolrogs.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time that a Strontium Dog story has reached five parts.

INFORMATION
The Sandorian Nations are lead by a High Command and have a Sandorian Defence Institute. The planet Nykos is home to a Sandorian Laz-Fort, a series of trenches and a network of tunnels that extends for hundreds of miles.

Wolrog Battleworlds are armed with Nuke Torps, a kamikaze craft containing a nuclear warhead.


JOHNNY ALPHA
Kark sends Johnny, Wulf, the Gronk and two others into a Sandorian bolt hole. He and Wulf kill the other two and save a pair of Sandorians. One of whom is Scientor Haap who entrusts Johnny with a plan to defeat the Wolrogs. Johnny cannot read Sandorian script.

WULF STERNHAMMER
Kark sends Johnny, Wulf, the Gronk and two others into a Sandorian bolt hole. He and Wulf kill the other two and save a pair of Sandorians. They repel a Wolrog attack.

THE GRONK
He tends to the dying Sandorians.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SERGEANT KARK
He sends Johnny, Wulf, the Gronk and two other members of his penal battalion into a Sandorian bolt hole.

SCIENTOR HAAP
Sandorian. Works for the Sandorian Defence Institute. After being saved by Johnny and Wulf, he entrusts a plan to defeat the Wolrogs to Johnny Alpha. He dies shortly afterward.

DEATHS
At least seven. Johnny and Wulf kill five prisoners of the Wolrogs, to save two Sandorians who die of their wounds.

BEST LINES
Nuke-Torp's crew (just before a suicidal explosion): "Great Wolrog receive us!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Wulf says der, vay, ve and Volrog, while the Gronk pluralises heartses and dyings and says "deaded" twice.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: C.S. Ezquerra
Letters: Ezquerra

REVIEW
Another nice part, which moves the story along and provides Johnny with a cause over and above simple escape. Ezquerra's art continues to impress, but his letters leave much to desired.

Next Prog: Out Of The Frying Pan!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 4

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 4

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD and Starlord Prog 89

DATELINE
4 Nov 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 214, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Kark trains his men as the war escalates.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
(This part takes place over several days)

The Wolrog of Rog is the leader of the Wolrog Empire. Its forces include over one billion soldiers. The Wolrog war fleet engages Sandorian Recon Squadron 18 and destroys it.

Nykos is a planet under Sandorian control.

JOHNNY ALPHA
He and Wulf plan to escape the Wolrog penal battalion as soon as they go into action.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He is stunned by Major Mox before he can kill Johnny and suffers a laser burn. He and Johnny plan to escape the Wolrog penal battalion as soon as they go into action.


THE GRONK
He treats Wulf's laser burn and Kark's training methods keep him busy.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SERGEANT KARK
He kills several of his recruits.

MAJOR MOX
He stuns Wulf before he can kill Johnny.

DEATHS
Thirty. Kark kills three 'recruits' with a flamethrower and another with a booby trapped bunk.

BEST LINES
Wolrog of Rog: "Death or glory await you! I expect every Wolrog to do his duty!"
Kark: "Yes, Great Wolrog! Sniff! Sergeant Kark gladly sacrifice miserable life for you!"
Johnny (thinks): "Yeah, and I'll bet the miserable life will be ours."

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
The Gronk says "heartses" three times, and both "Gronkses" and "hurtings" once each. Wulf says der, vas, vay, ve, vot, Vulf and vun. Kark says both "Hrrrr..!" and "Hrrr..."

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
This part delivers on last week's cliffhanger, provides some great character moments for Kark and brings the war to Johnny and Wulf. Quite a feat for five pages.

Next Prog: War Of The Worlds!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 3

Astonishingly, Dredd Alert has reached 500 posts...

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 88

DATELINE
28 Oct 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 214, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and Wulf are forced to fight each other.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
The Kwang is a two-headed club.

JOHNNY ALPHA
Kark orders Wulf to fight him, Wulf refuses so Johnny attacks him.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He is an expert with the Kwang. Kark orders him to fight Johnny. He refuses, but Johnny attacks him and goads him into a berserker rage.

THE GRONK
He is scared of Kark and cannot bear to watch Johnny and Wulf fighting.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SERGEANT KARK
Wolrog. Commander of a penal battalion.


DEATHS
One. Kark says "Death is the only freedom!" as he frees a slave.

BEST LINES
Wulf: "Pick somevun else. I not fight Johnny - he Vulf's friend."
Kark: "Friend, eh? Hrrr! That makes better! You fight or you die!"
Wulf: "Go jump in der lake!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Kark roars a "Hrrrrrr!", a "Hrrrrrarrr!" and "Hrrr" twice. Wulf says der, somevun, voorm, Vulf, vun and vy. A Wolrog says "Drokk!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Probably the most famous example of two friends forced to fight to the death and Kirk and Spock in Star Trek's Amok Time (1967).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
Johnny versus Wulf is a great idea and the mention of Wulf's Viking heritage is tantalising. There are some great alien designs here and the fight sequence is brilliantly plotted.

Next Prog: Death Thrust!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 2

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 87

DATELINE
21 Oct 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 214, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk get drafted.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of a Wolrog.

INFORMATION
The Isthman Galaxy is thirteen days travel from Earth in an Astroliner.

Wolrogs are a warrior race. The Wolrog Empire has been at war with the Sandorian Nations for control of the galaxy. Their fleet includes 1,000 Battlecraft and 8,000 smaller vessels, supply tankers, repair ships and troop carriers. Rog is a man-made planet fifty miles across which features many slave factories, with a workforce largely made up of women and children. They regard humans as having weak-knees, but will still allow the males of the species to fight in their penal battalions.

JOHNNY ALPHA
Deciding that their weapons are too dangerous to fall into Wolrog hands he and Wulf use a time bomb to dispose of them. He and Wulf are drafted into a Wolrog penal battalion.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He and Johnny are drafted into a Wolrog penal battalion.

THE GRONK
Johnny recommends that he joins the Wolrog penal battalion as a medic and the Wolrogs agree.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CAPTAIN VARN
Wolrog Captain of Battleworld 10. He enslaves the women and children aboard the Astroliner and forces the men to join a penal battalion.

DEATHS
One. Varn kills the human who stands up to him.

BEST LINES
Gronk: "O-oh, Mr. Johnny, sir, I's so frightened! I-I'll die, I just knows I will"
Johnny: "Maybe we all will, Gronk."

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
The Gronk pluralises "excitements" and "heartses" again as well as "sends" and "knows". Wulf says der, vay, vell, vere, vill, vish, Volrog, Vulf and vy. The Wolrogs "Hrrr" twice.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The man-made planet of Rog would have felt very Death Star in 1978, coming so soon after Star Wars (1977).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
Seeing Johnny and Wulf at the mercy of the warlike Wolrogs so early in the 2000 A.D. run is a surprising move, but successfully communicates Johnny Alpha's stoicism and bravery, Wulf Sternhammer's impulsiveness and bravery and the Gronk's cowardice and bravery, but it begs the question what happened to Ratface Regan?

Next Prog: Death In Space!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 1

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Galaxy Killers', Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Starlord Prog 86

DATELINE
14 Oct 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd Megazine 214, Strontium Dog: The Early Cases and Strontium Dog Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk catch Ratface Regan, but whilst taking him back to face justice on Earth they encounter a Wolrog Warship.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First 2000 A.D. Strontium Dog strip.

INFORMATION
(This part takes place over the course of three days)

Wolrogs are known as the Galaxy Killers. They have warships that are two miles long.

There is a new space resort in Quadrant B12.

JOHNNY ALPHA
He, Wulf and the Gronk catch Ratface Regan and begin transporting him to Earth on an Astroliner. Their ship is threatened by a Wolrog Warship.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He, Johnny and the Gronk catch Ratface Regan and begin transporting him to Earth on an Astroliner. Their ship is threatened by a Wolrog Warship.

THE GRONK
Tin cans give him indigestion. He, Johnny and Wulf catch Ratface Regan and begin transporting him to Earth on an Astroliner. Their ship is threatened by a Wolrog Warship.

OTHER CHARACTERS
RATFACE REGAN
He is wanted on Earth. Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk catch him on a planet sixteen days travel from Earth and begin transporting him back on an Astroliner. Their ship is threatened by a Wolrog Warship.


DEATHS
Two. Johnny uses a time bomb to transport two men into a planetless vacuum.

BEST LINES
Police Recruitment Officer: "Men - if I can call you that - The galaxy is full of criminals hiding from justice. Your job is to find them and - if necessary - destroy them!...A search-Destroy Agent's work will be dangerous. Many of you will die. Looking at you, perhaps that is a good thing!"

WORST LINES
Unknown: "Resist! It-it'd be like a pea-shooter against an H-Bomb!"

CATCHPHRASES
Wulf says "Vulf", "der", "voorm", "Gott", "varship", while the Gronk pluralises "excitements", "heartses" and "indigestions".

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
The opening flashback essentially retells the flashback sequence from 'Max Quirxx', part 2 for the new audience.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
This part has the task of introducing Strontium Dog to a 2000 A.D. readership, whilst not alienating the loyal Starlord readership. It achieves the former more successfully. The revisiting of the flashback from Max Quirxx is well done, Johnny's Alpha rays have never looked better.

Next Prog: Fight Or Die!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Judge Dredd: Mega-Way Madness!

NAME
Judge Dredd: Mega-Way Madness!

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 189

DATELINE
6 Dec 80

This prog also featured Dash Decent, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon, Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales and Strontium Dog and a Judge Dredd cover by Ron Smith.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 59, The Complete Judge Dredd 18, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 5, Judge Dredd 26 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd intervenes when a robotic car goes on a demolition spree.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One has a Pan-City Highway, four miles above ground level. Lower Level 59 is condemned although access is available via a tunnel.

Mobile-Service Stations, nicknamed Big Mo, are equipped with a helicopter pad, a car sales showroom, toilets, a car wash, a restaurant, and has emergency mechanics and can provide highway users with a complete engine change. They carry hundreds of tonnes of high-explosive fuel.

JUDGE DREDD
He is on traffic surveillance duty on the Pan-City Highway and witnesses the Mobile-Service Station crash. Dredd goads Roadrash II to attempt to demolish him and forces it to fall to Lower Level 59 and crash.

OTHER CHARACTERS
TAM
Programmer of demolition car, Roadrash II, which during a roadtest chooses to crash. Tam parachutes out and descends to Level 59. He is crushed by Roadrash II and the Big Mo.

ROADRASH II
A demolition car programmed by Tam, which during a roadtest elects to crash into a Mobile-Service Station's control section and takes over. Dredd goads Roadrash II into following him into the tunnel for Lower Level 59. Roadrash II and the Big Mo falls and crashes.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
At least six. George and his wife are crushed by a car which Roadrash II drops on them. The three emergency mechanics are squashed by a low overhang. Roadrash II and the Big Mo fall onto Tam crushing him.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
Tam: "Time I banged out!"

What?

CATCHPHRASES
A driver that hates Mega-Way food says "Drokk!", Tam exclaims "Grud!" five times, George or his wife screams an "Aaiieeeeeeeeeeee" when Roadrash II crushes them with a car.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Alvin Gaunt
Artist: Ron Smith
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
This is throwaway, but Tam's repeated refrain of "Grud!" and eventual WHOOMP! are great.

Next Prog: Loonies' Moon!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Star Pin-Up: Johnny Alpha

NAME
Star Pin-Up: Johnny Alpha

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 21

DATELINE
30 Sept 78

PAGE COUNT
1

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny Alpha.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Star Pin-Up to feature Strontium Dog and the last Star Pin-Up to feature in Starlord.

INFORMATION
None.

JOHNNY ALPHA

OTHER CHARACTERS
None.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
None.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Artist: Ezquerra

REVIEW
It's a shame that this lacks the clarity of the rest of Ezquerra's Strontium Dog work. The font and the low red sun evoke the Western genre, while the white background recalls the flag of Japan and the electronux working overtime look more like a jagged bladed weapon.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Judge Dredd: Otto Sump's Ugly Clinic, Part 3

NAME
Judge Dredd: Otto Sump's Ugly Clinic, Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 188

DATELINE
29 Nov 80

This prog also featured Dash Decent, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon, Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales and Strontium Dog strips and a Return To Armageddon cover by Ian Gibson.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of Judge Dredd, The Best Of 2000AD 11, Judge Dredd Classics 68, The Complete Judge Dredd 18, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 3, Judge Dredd 25, Judge Dredd Paperbacks vs Otto Sump, Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd deals with the Mantis brothers and decides to finish what they started and bring down Sump's business empire using legal means.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First public protest.

INFORMATION
(This part takes place over three days)
Mega-City One's Weather Control can be programme rain with street-by-street accuracy.

Sump's products include: Otto Sump's Windy for the perfect belch, Veruca Paste and Dead Skunk aftershave.

The Justice Department has Standards Officers whose job it is to test the validity of advertising claims, a number of Sump's products do not comply to their standards. The Justice Department levies an Ugly Tax of 1,000 credits on each item purchased and the Ugly craze soon fades. Judges ricochet bullets are made from rubber-titanium. Named Judges: Judge Dawson (Standards Officer); Judge Owen (Standards Officer)

JUDGE DREDD
He kills Abe Mantis as he attempts to escape arrest. Dredd confronts Otto Sump and warns him that he plans to close him down. He arranges to have the products and advertising tested by Justice Department's standards officers, he arranges crime blitzes at the ugly clinics themselves, he rains off an illegal protest at his actions and imposes an Ugly Tax.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE MANTIS BROTHERS
They run a protection syndicate. Bim Mantis dies at the hands of a malfunctioning Robo-Surgeon, while Dredd shoots Abe Mantis as he attempts to escape.

OTTO SUMP
Dredd warns him of his plans to close him down. Sump closes his clinics as the ugly craze fades, except one and remodels himself as Monsieur Le Sump serving a new and exclusive clientele made up of the very rich.

ARRESTS
At least sixteen. Dredd arrests a queue of people at one of Otto Sump's Ugly Clinics during a crime blitz.

DEATHS
Two. Bim Mantis is killed by the malfunctioning Robo-Surgeon, while Dredd kills Abe with a ricochet bullet.

BEST LINES
Robodoc (as the patient is knocked out of a window): "Nurse! Cancel the operation...Alert the mortuary instead!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd says "Drokk!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
Verruca is misspelt Verucca on the box of Otto Sump's Verucca Paste.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ron Smith
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The pacing here is a little odd as the first two pages are given over to very similar panels of Dredd versus the Robo-surgeon leaving only the remaining four to fit Dredd's actions to bring down a business empire. They get a little crowded, but the knock on effect of Dredd's actions provides the satirical edge as his Ugly Tax prices most citizens out of the craze, he unwittingly creates an exclusivity that Sump exploits. "Only the rich could afford to be ugly" is a fantastic ending.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Judge Dredd: Otto Sump's Ugly Clinic, Part 2

NAME
Judge Dredd: Otto Sump's Ugly Clinic, Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 187

DATELINE
22 Nov 80

This prog also featured Dash Decent, The Mean Arena, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon and Strontium Dog, a Nemesis the Warlock Star Pin-Up and a cover bearing The Mean Arena by Dave Gibbons.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of Judge Dredd, The Best Of 2000AD 11, Judge Dredd Classics 68, The Complete Judge Dredd 18, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 3, Judge Dredd 25, Judge Dredd Paperbacks vs Otto Sump, Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd tracks the bombings down to the Mantis Brothers and fools them into coming to him.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First use of advertising within the narrative.

INFORMATION
Sump Tower is in Mega-City One's District 12. Marcus Welby General Hospital has an Intensive Care Unit.

Sump products include: Blobtrex makes eyes bulge, Fuzz promotes unsightly hair growth, Bogle Drops makes a nose run, Odour Makers causes foot odour, Sump's Stick-On Ears, Sumparin causes pain and discomfort, packets of bellybutton fluff and Qwiklime Shampoo.

Race News is a publication available in Mega-City One.

Using the image of a Judge in commercial venture is illegal.


JUDGE DREDD
He interviews Otto Sump and is at Sump Tower when it is attacked by the bombers. He pursues and catches them.

OTHER CHARACTERS
OTTO SUMP
He has received a ransom note demanding 50,000 credits every two weeks, but failed to report it. He regards Judge Dredd as the founder of his Ugly empire.

MERC RAMSEY & SPIDER SCHULTZ
They work for the Mantis Syndicate. They have been attacking Otto Sump's Ugly Clinics. Dredd catches them fleeing Sump Tower after another bomb attack. They are killed during the Judge's pursuit, but he announces to the press that they are receiving treatment at Marcus Welby General Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

THE MANTIS BROTHERS
They run the Mantis Syndicate. When Dredd takes Ramsey and Schultz to Marcus Welby General Hospital has an Intensive Care Unit, they arrive at the hospital dressed as medics and attempt to intervene before their employees can talk. Dredd shoots Con Mantis dead, but his own bullets cause a Robosurgeon to malfunction and attack Dredd and his surviving brothers.

ARNOLD SWARZENBURGER
He is known as Mr Body Ugly 2120 and features in adverts for Flabbon claiming it is responsible for his weight gain from 90lb to 364lb.

ARRESTS
Dredd attempts to arrest the three Mantis Brothers

DEATHS
At least seven. An unknown number are killed in the Sump Tower bombing, while Ramsey and Schultz are killed in a Dredd car chase related crash. Dredd shoots Con Mantis dead.

BEST LINES
Mantis posing as a 'Medic': "Intensive Care Unit - Quickly! We've got a croaker!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd shouts a "Drokk!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Charles Atlas Bridge was previously seen in Judge Death, part 3.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Marcus Welby is a reference to Marcus Welby, M.D., US TV show (1969-1976).

MISTAKES
Arnold Swarzenburger's 2120 is presumably meant to be the year.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ron Smith
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
The story itself is simple here and while Dredd's reunion with Otto Sump is nice it's the fantastic adverts for Sump's products that are the real highlights.

Next Prog: Otto's Empire Strikes Back!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Judge Dredd: Otto Sump's Ugly Clinic, Part 1

NAME
Judge Dredd: Otto Sump's Ugly Clinic, Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 186

DATELINE
15 Nov 80

This prog also featured Dash Decent, The Mean Arena, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon and Strontium Dog and a Judge Dredd cover by Ron Smith.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of Judge Dredd, The Best Of 2000AD 11, Judge Dredd Classics 68, The Complete Judge Dredd 17, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 3, Judge Dredd 25, Judge Dredd Paperbacks vs Otto Sump, Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Mega-City One goes crazy for ugly.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Uglies, although not yet named as such.

INFORMATION
Otto Sump's Ugly Clinics have opened all over Mega-City One providing ugly treatments. There is on Paradise and 4th and another on 2088th Street.

Shops are stocking Otto Sump products including: Bulging eyes, Scum roll-on-odorant the 18-hour pong, scab powder, blemish cream, Pimplex for pimples zits and acne, Sump paste for stale breath and tooth decay, Mixed Boils for painful and unsightly sores, Dandruff Shampoo medicated against medication, Wart-On wart inducer, Lip Chapper and Flabbon for use as of your uncontrolled diet.

Puglies are gangs of youths using ugly products and causing trouble.

Named Judges: Judge Lew

JUDGE DREDD
He investigates a pair of bomb attacks of Otto Sump's Ugly Clinics.

OTHER CHARACTERS
OTTO SUMP
He earned over sixty million credits from his appearance on Sob Story. He invested the money in a chain of beauty clinics, but got a reputation for poor work and began getting requests from clients to make them uglier instead. Ugliness became fashionable and Sump turned his beauty clinics into ugly clinics. Sump sold a range of products designed to make you uglier, spent millions on advertising and bought Sump Tower. Two of his ugly clinics are targeted by a masked bomber.


TABITHA SPARKS
Mega-City One's acknowledged fashion queen. She received a beauty treatment from Otto Sump that left her with burns and broken teeth. Ugliness became fashionable.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
At least three. We see three corpses at the sight of the first bomb.

BEST LINES
Dredd (surrounded by corpses): "Somebody's discovered a new treatment, get ambulances down to the Sump clinic on Paradise and 4th!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Otto Sump previously appeared in 'Sob Story', Part 2.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ron Smith
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
Another craze hits Mega-City One, but this one provides the opportunity for great visuals and Ron Smith's art shows some excellent before and afters, while the concept that ugliness could become fashionable if the right people take it up is brilliant. Dredd appears in the first panel to remind us it's his strip and is then absent until the end of this part. Mega-City One is arguably becoming a bigger presence than Dredd.

Next Prog: Ghastly Inc.!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Brain', Part 2

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Brain', Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 22

DATELINE
7 Oct 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny sees through the Brain's deception.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last Strontium Dog to appear in Starlord

INFORMATION
(This strip doesn't take place at Christmas)

A billion Byknls is enough wealth to buy several small planets.

Gas bombs are bomb which employ gas.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He struggles to see through lead, but he manages to see inside the ultimate weapon. Realising it is simply a firework display, he goads the Brain's man into setting it off. He, Wulf and the Gronk go in search of the Brain.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He, Johnny and the Gronk go in search of the Brain.

THE GRONK
He, Johnny and Wulf go in search of the Brain.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE BRAIN
Johnny sees through the ultimate weapon and sets it off. His ambition is to train his troupe of Waterworts to perform a Oklahoma! in costume. He can kill with a thought. When Cornelius is killed he takes revenge on his human gang, killing all three of them. He does not resist arrest by Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk. He asks Johnny to ensure Cornelius receives a good burial.

CORNELIUS
He is killed by shards of glass sent airborne by the Brain's human gang's gas bomb. The Brain asks Johnny to give Cornelius a good burial.

DEATHS
Four. Cornelius is killed by the gas bomb and the Brain kills the three of them in revenge with his mental powers.

BEST LINES
Brain: "You've killed my best tenor!"

Where else would someone shout that as they commit multiple murder with telekinesis.

WORST LINES
Johnny: "Yeah, like they say - the show must go on."

In The Pages Of '2000 A.D. And Starlord' Next Week?

CATCHPHRASES
Johnny says "Drokkit!" (see CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS below), the Gronk "hears s-singings" and "bugses", while Wulf says der, haf, ve, veapon, verr, vill, vos, vot,

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
"Drokkit!" is almost the expletive of choice in Judge Dredd.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
One of the Dictators of Larg regards the Brain creature as being "s-smarter that a hundred Einsteins"

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
Holding a planet to ransom over a joke and the Merry Xmas reveal are fantastic moments. It's the end of an era and yet it's not played as such.

Join Johnny & Co. In The Pages Of '2000 A.D. And Starlord' Next Week!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'The Brain', Part 1

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'The Brain', Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 21

DATELINE
30 Sept 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny Alpha is hired to destroy the ultimate weapon designed by a criminal mastermind.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of a Brain Creature and Waterworts.

INFORMATION
Larg is an inhabited planet with its own government, known as the Dictators of Larg. Niblitz Square is near their briefing room. The Byknl is the Largan unit of currency. Mutants are not usually permitted on Larg, but Dictators can make exeptions.

Fauna from Planet Q17 include: Brain-creatures, humans cannot stand the smell of their slime, and Waterworts, semi-intelligent creatures which can be taught to mimic.


JOHNNY ALPHA
The Dictators of Larg summon him to their planet and offer him 50,000 Byknls to destroy the Brain's ultimate weapon. Johnny demands an extra 25,000 Byknls every time they insult him. According this raises the price to 100,000 Byknls.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He travels with Johnny to Larg. He keeps a running total of the number of times the Dictators of Larg insult Johnny and the Gronk.

THE GRONK
He travels with Johnny to Larg.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE BRAIN
A brain-creature from Planet Q17. A criminal. He keeps Waterworts as pets and teaches them to sing for him. The Dictators of Larg receive a note asserting that he has created the ultimate weapon and demanding 1 billion Byknls in exchange for not destroying the planet. His men deliver a device to Niblitz Square causing panic.

CORNELIUS
Waterwort. He is the Brain's best tenor.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Johnny: "The trouble is, gentlemen, I'm kind of a sensitive guy...you gentlemen have been calling me all sorts of names. And when my feelings get hurt, my price goes up...Shall we say an extra 25,000 Byknls for every insult?"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
The Gronk says "Gronkses" and "heartses".

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The Waterworts sing "There's a bright golden haze on the meadow" from Oklahoma! (1943), the first musical written by Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
The extended Oklahoma! opening takes up three fifths of the page count here and could easily have outstayed its welcome, but it's wonderful and here particularly the artwork gets to shine. The pettiness of the Dictators of Larg and Johnny sensitivity is a great scene.

Next Week: 'The Fun's Over, You Scum!'

Monday, 5 May 2014

Judge Dredd: Monkey Business At The Charles Darwin Block, Part 2

NAME
Judge Dredd: Monkey Business At The Charles Darwin Block, Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 185

DATELINE
8 Nov 80

This prog featured Dash Decent, The Mean Arena, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon and Strontium Dog strips with a Strontium Dog cover by Carlos Ezquerra.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 9, Judge Dredd Classics 66, The Complete Judge Dredd 17, Judge Dredd Definitive Ed. Bad Science, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 2, Judge Dredd 13, Judge Dredd Paperbacks Monkey Business and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd gets back to the beginning of the problem.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First destruction of a city block.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One's Charles Darwin Block has at least 66 floors and a Block Park.

The stronger the contamination of Fribb enzyme, the further the evolutionary regression of the subject.

Named Judges: Judge Carsonovitz, Judge Martin, Judge Nestor, Judge Smith

JUDGE DREDD
He survives the explosion, but his lawmaster is destroyed. He climbs through the block on foot to Floor 66 and Fribb's apartment. He order the evacuation of the block, the abandonment of the effort to put out the fire and let the block burn and arrests the amoeba that was Professor E. Northcote Fribb.

OTHER CHARACTERS
PROFESSOR E. NORTHCOTE FRIBB
He de-evolves back to a giant amoeba. Dredd arrests him nonetheless.

ARRESTS
One. Dredd arrests Professor E. Northcote Fribb in his de-evolved amoebic form.

DEATHS
At least three. Dredd kills the three members of the de-evolved unemployed acrobatic troupe, The Flying Hendersons, when they try to eat him.

BEST LINES
Caption: Paid with thanks (below)


WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
A Judge says "Stomm!", Dredd says "Drokk!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unemployed "olive oil importer" Cosmo Corleone shares his surname with the family from The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather, Part II (1974).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
A nice exploration of a simple idea as the citizens each deal with their de-evolution differently and Dredd's destructive actions are a great example of his attitudes "Better safe than sorry" indeed. More fantastic artwork as McMahon's exploits the opportunity provided here for all it is worth and both the three wise de-evolved Judges and Cosmo Corleone's paid toll re great moments.

The End

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Judge Dredd: Monkey Business At The Charles Darwin Block, Part 1

NAME
Judge Dredd: Monkey Business At The Charles Darwin Block, Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 184

DATELINE
1 Nov 80

This prog also bore a Judge Dredd cover by Mike McMahon and contained Dash Decent, The Mean Arena, Meltdown Man, Ro-Jaws' Robo-Tales and Strontium Dog strips and a Torquemada Star Pin-Up by Kevin O'Neill.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 9, Judge Dredd Classics 66, The Complete Judge Dredd 17, Judge Dredd Definitive Ed. Bad Science, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 2, Judge Dredd 13, Judge Dredd Paperbacks Monkey Business and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 04.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd is forced to deal with a block full of de-evolved citizens.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time T.B. Grover is used for both John Wagner and Alan Grant.

INFORMATION
Mega-City One's Charles Darwin Block has a school, a garage. Sweetair Ventilation Co. carry out maintenance on the block's ventilation ducts.

Throwing Caretaker Droids out of windows is a reportable offence.

Fribb enzyme reverses the process of evolution and smells like spaghetti sauce. It was discovered by Professor E. Northcote Fribb and has been described as the greatest breakthrough since inflatable kneecaps.

Named Judges: Judge Rioch


JUDGE DREDD
He attends the scene at Charles Darwin Block and armed with respirator and lawmaster he enters the block. He is caught in an explosion caused by the combination of a de-evolved Bob Kempinski, a flaming torch and a petrol tank.

OTHER CHARACTERS
PROFESSOR E. NORTHCOTE FRIBB
He lives in Apartment 66c of Charles Darwin Block. He discovers an enzyme which reverses the process of evolution. It will later become known as the Fribb enzyme. The smell of it de-evolves him. The smell of the Fribb enzyme spreads through the entire block de-evolving everyone inside.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
Two. A de-evolved Theodore Wainwright shoots himself in the face with an antique hunting gun, while a de-evolved Bob Kempinski blows himself up with a flaming torch and a petrol tank.

BEST LINES
Caption at a de-evolved waves a flaming torch around his home: "Always quick on the uptake, Bob lost no time experimenting with his dangerous discovery"


WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was a naturalist and the author of On The Origin Of Species (1859) and The Descent Of Man, And Selection In Relation To Sex (1871).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
This is great fun. A Brilliant set-up as science runs amok, then its victims run amokker and with Dredd in the middle of it all. The artwork is wonderful, particularly Fribb's transformation.

Next Prog: The Origin Of Species!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'Demon Maker', Part 3

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'Demon Maker', Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 19

DATELINE
16 Sept 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk save Marci from Sadan.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last Ian Gibson art for Strontium Dog.

INFORMATION
Millions died in the Great Atom War. A bomb hit the countryside around Charity Valley making it radioactive. Atomic shelters are equipped with chambers to isolate contaminated individuals from the rest of the population. Shelter C73 had a faulty sealing mechanism and three hundred people were killed.


JOHNNY ALPHA
He, Wulf and the Gronk track Sadan to Shelter C73. Johnny and Wulf fight the reanimated corpses that litter the shelter until they can trap Sadan in the shelter's contamination chamber.

WULF STERNHAMMER
He, Johnny and the Gronk track Sadan to Shelter C73. He and Johnny fight the corpses reanimated by Sadan. Wulf rescues Marci from the contamination chamber and traps Sadan inside.

THE GRONK
He, Johnny and Wulf track Sadan to Shelter C73. He looks after Marci after she has been rescued.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SADAN
He uses a vision of Johnny to fool Marci into leaving the protection of the Telekin shield and one of his demons kidnaps her. He takes her to Shelter C73 and holds her in the Contamination Chamber. When they are discovered he reanimates the corpses of those that died in the Great Atom War. Wulf traps him inside the lead lined contamination chamber.

MARCI WEBSTER
Sadan uses a vision of Johnny to fool Marci into leaving the protection of the Telekin shield and one of his demons kidnaps her. Sadan takes her to Shelter C73 and holds her in the Contamination Chamber.

RUTH WEBSTER
Scared by her daughter's kidnapping, she asks Johnny to leave her family alone.

MR SOFTEE
He has been repaired.

DEATHS
None. Although a number of the reanimated corpses die again.

BEST LINES
Wulf: "Der boney men - they collapse!"

WORST LINES
Johnny: "Dead men take a lot of killing, Wulf!"

CATCHPHRASES
Marci screams an "Aieeeee!" and brilliantly Wulf says "votefer" instead of "whatever"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: David Gould

David Gould also provided letters for Mind Wars and a one-off called Skirmish!

REVIEW
The story here is better than anything on offer in Part 2, but it suffers from feeling rushed. Ruth's ultimatum is dramatic, but unfortunately somewhat curtailed.

Johnny Alpha Takes A Break! Next Week: 'Skirmish!'

Friday, 2 May 2014

Strontium Dog: 'Demon Maker', Part 2

NAME
Strontium Dog: 'Demon Maker', Part 2

FIRST PUBLISHED
Starlord No 18

DATELINE
9 Sept 78

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 01.

SYNOPSIS
Johnny and Wulf track Sadan, but the Telekine visits the Websters instead.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Ian Gibson art for Strontium Dog and first Strontium Dog story drawn by more than one artist.

INFORMATION
(This strip begins with a flashback to 2176)
Earth's Atlantic Zone contains an underwater hyper-security prison within the planet's northern hemisphere. Charity Valley has a business sector.

The Telekines from the Troges System possess telekinetic powers, they can move objects and warp matter with their minds.

A Psi-Tector is a device for homing in on brain waves. A wave reflector can be used to redirect brain waves and fool Psi-Tectors.


JOHNNY ALPHA
In 2176, he and Wulf delivered Sadan to an underwater hyper-security prison in the Earth's Atlantic Zone. In 2176, he and Wulf track Sadan.

WULF STERNHAMMER
In 2176, he and Johnny delivered Sadan to an underwater hyper-security prison in the Earth's Atlantic Zone. In 2176, he begins repairs on Mr Softee, before he and Johnny track Sadan.

OTHER CHARACTERS
NIGEL
He lends Johnny his car.

MARCI
She is kidnapped by Sadan.

MR SOFTEE
Wulf begins repairing him.

SADAN
A Telekine from the Troges System. In 2176, Johnny Alpha and Wulf Sternhammer delivered him to an underwater hyper-security prison in the Earth's Atlantic Zone. A lead mask prevented him from using his powers. Four years later, he convinces a new warder to remove it briefly and escaped. He left the prison in chaos and sent every detection device in the northern hemisphere haywire. In 2180, he uses a wave reflector to fool Johnny and Wulf that he is in Charity Valley's business sector while he kidnaps Marci Webster.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Ruth: "Another mask! Won't it be dangerous putting it on this Demon Maker?"
Johnny: "Like capping a volcano. But it's got to be done!"

WORST LINES
Johnny: "The Banister rails - turning into serpents!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
The first caption labels Johnny as a "Mutant/Search/Destroy Agent", Johnny says "when Sadan stikes again"

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: T.B. Grover
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Peter Knight

REVIEW
Ian Gibson's art jars with that of McCarthy (and Ezquerra for that matter) and despite its flashback and kidnap this part adds very little to the story.

Next Week: 'Bring My Baby Back, Johnny...Do You Hear?'