2000 AD Prog Slog

Monday, March 26, 2007

Prog 59

Judge Dredd's return to Mega City One after six months seconded to Moon Base Alpha, I mean, Luna 1 is commemorated with a return to the traditional cover splash for 2000 AD and the demotion of Dan Dare to within the comic. McMahon draws Dredd on the front towering over the city he calls home pointing down with authority at some muggers. This strip's golden age is already underway. Bolland is now regularly associated as an artist while Ian Gibson and Mike McMahon, who have been drawing it since the early days, now draw in their own styles rather than being seemingly under pressure to replicate the character's co creator, Carlos Ezquerra.

John Wagner's getting to write the Judge Dredd we all know more often now. Last prog, Dredd's fascistic side is portrayed at its most overt for one of the first times. He catches a suicide leaper with his hover bike that he then charges with attempted littering. When a passerby objects, saying that the leaper needs psychiatric help, he charges her with interfering with the course of justice.

However, this prog, Dredd's return to MC1 sees him strolling through the streets, smiling, blissfully ignoring all the crimes that are happening around him. Once Dredd has been sworn in by another Judge, the smile disappears and he's away dispensing instant justice on those criminals he grinned at earlier.

I thought the law was a vocation to Dredd but seeing him behave like this the first time he is off duty suggests otherwise. Having read a lot of Judge Dredd stories set after this over the years, it's as jarring, I imagine, as seeing Mother Teresa going on a slot machine spree in a Las Vegas casino after being given a week off by God.


  • This JD story, strangely enough, feels rather like a Silver Age Superman one, with its wildly out-of-character behaviour on cover/splash page that's explained by the twist in the tale. Of course, the particular twist is pure Dredd....

    By Blogger James Moar, at 4:32 pm  

  • Wow, just wow!

    Stumbled upon your blog by accident and am already addicted to it.

    What an idea!

    Good luck and roll on Prog 149 (big favourite of mine for obvious reasonsssssssssssssssss).

    By Blogger Dom Sutton, at 5:28 pm  

  • WTH is Prog 58?

    By Blogger supatyp, at 10:38 am  

  • James, you're right. You put you finger on it totally.

    Thanks, Dom. I'll watch for Prog 149 :-)

    Supatyp, I'm reading them all but not reviewing them all. At the moment I seem to be averaging very other issue.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 2:32 pm  

  • Very strange to hear Dredd ignoring crime - he would never do this off duty now, I would imagine. But early Dredd was less the fascistic automaton he was to become.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 12:30 pm  

  • It's not that he was 'off duty' - it was that he had no jurisdiction. Arresting any of the perps before he was sworn in would have been... illegal.

    I liked what this revealed about his character - Dredd isn't about right and wrong, he's about the law ("I AM the law").

    By Blogger DPT, at 10:18 pm  

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