2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, July 06, 2007

Prog 151

It's the Judge Dredd story that went on to become, for many readers, their first exposure to the strip; Judge Death. Death, the twisted judge from a dimension that reasoned, as all crime issss committed by the living that life itsssself sssshould be a crime. It's the tale where you can't help but think, yeah, Mega City One might be a sub fascist future state but it can't be nearly as bad as the place that Judge Death is from.

As well a meeting Judge Death for the first time, we also get to meet Judge Anderson; the highly-strung and, let's face it, very attractive operative from Psi Division. I am now torn between the very wriggly Angelina from The Stainless Steel Rat (who, this episode, is operated on and has all murderous tendencies removed, thank God) and the Brian Bolland drawn Anderson. There's something about the way that she totters around in her high heeled judge boots, the faces she pulls when she's being processed by Death and the way she teases Dredd that I find irresistible.

It seems ages ago now, it might even have been as far back as when The Day The Law Died was running, that Tharg addressed a reader's concern at the lack of women judges by saying that script robot Howard (script robot Wagner's writing pseudonym at the time) was in the process of creating a major female character for the thrill. If that character is Judge Anderson, then those readers looking forward to her arrival must have found it frustrating especially when, one prog after her eventual appearance, the story ends with her processed by Judge Death and encased in Boing, the miracle spray.

Judge Death; this is the story that goes on to become the ideal starting point for many future new Judge Dredd readers. Here, both Wagner's writing and Bolland's art are at their tightest yet. In relation to the rest of the strips in 2000 AD at the moment, the current Judge Dredd thrill definitely stands out. It's no wonder really that it is used for years to come as a shining example of what the Galaxy's greatest comic is capable of.

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  • Cassandra v Angelina? The blonde may have the edge on looks, but Ang is definitely more pneumatic. Probably tells a good blue joke too.

    By Blogger Ken Davidson, at 4:29 pm  

  • Yeah Anderson really does leap off the page in this one.

    A friendly warning,however: Mega City Intellectual Property Enforcement droids are currently on standby to dispense some justice, perp. You failed to include the statutory 'TM' suffix to the licenced trademark of 'Boing'.

    PS: (TM)

    By Blogger Stavros, at 11:14 pm  

  • Ken, I'm not so sure that Angelina tells a good blue joke. Not since the opperation, anyway.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:48 am  

  • Stavros, you're right. I'll try to correct that in all future referances to Boing.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:50 am  


    By Blogger Stavros, at 2:10 am  

  • Yup - the first Judge Death story was Bolland's finest work. And Judge Anderson's introduction was just brilliant - the way she breezes in and wisecracks and breezes out. And her sacrifice was just superb. Hotter than Hershey?

    By Blogger Ben, at 6:58 pm  

  • I'm wondering if Wagner's new female judge was actually Hershey, considering, as you've pointed out, Paul, that Anderson ends up in suspended animation in break neck speed here and Hershey had a good long run in the Judge Child quest. All that said, this is one of the few instances where they were right to bring back a character from the (not quite) dead as Cassandra Anderson is such a brilliant contrast with Ol Stoney Face and has become a fantastic character in her own right. Bolland's young, sexy Anderson was great but the best drawn Anderson? Has to be Arthur Ransom - what a guy.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 2:11 pm  

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