Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Prog 9 - Judge Dredd

Our story opens up at the 'Robot of the Year' show. An onlooker comments that the robot looks like it's crying tears. The salesman confirms it. Yep! It's crying's a new model of robot that's almost human! It can think, it can feel, but most of it obeys!

Dredd and another Judge observe this hideous act.
Suddenly, the perp they were looking for makes his play and starts gunning down guards at the robot show. Dredd and fellow Judge, Diablo, respond.

Their perp is a cripple in a robo-chair! The judges bullets can't penetrate the chairs shield. The perp is angry because the ransom wasn't paid and releases a poison gas into the air. Dredd manages to pull down his respirator but for Diablo, it's too late. To save the rest of the people at the show, Dredd blasts a hole in the showdome and the gas is let out. Mega-City's air purification system should take care of it.

But it's too late...
The perp had dropped a blanket in the confusion and now Dredd has a 'Police Bloodhound Robot' to take up the scent.
The bloodhound follows Dredds orders and informs Dredd that they'll intercept the perp in a matter of seconds but, disturblingly, asks Dredd in a proud way 'Am I not clever?' Dredd tells the machine to get on with it's job.

Dredd catches up to the perp and realising that he can't shoot through the robo-chairs shield...he can still shoot the robo-chair!
The robo-chair swerves off the road and crashes, killing the perp, and Dredd makes an astute observation.
A nice precursor to the first Dredd 'mini' Epic 'The Robot Wars'.

The Robot Wars signals the return of John Wagner to writing Dredd although this wasn't his first Dredd script. His first was 'Brainblooms' from Prog 18.

Typical early Wagner Dredd is Dredds comment to Diablo after they see the show robot melt...'I prefer old fashioned robots! Stupid things with no feelings. They cause no problems!'. Which probably goes a long way to explain Dredds 'relationship' with Walter.

The artwork on this strip is by Ron Turner. Turner is totally unsuitable for a Dredd strip and tries his best but it's not's awful. He even manages to make Kevin O'Neills designs for the Heavy Metal Kids look dull and lifeless and that 'Bloodhound Robot' looks all kinds of out of place.
Turner is probably best known for his Rick Random:Space Detective strip, which is quiet good...but his Dredd...the less said the better.


Ian Hewitt said...

Nice post... but you've got a few busted links.

I agree with you regarding the artwork.. it is pretty poor.

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