2000 AD Prog Slog

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Prog 161

Two major thrills end this prog, Fiends of the Eastern Front and Blackhawk. I'm reticent to say, "never to be seen again" because Wolfie Smith and MACH Zero return next issue and I didn’t expect to see them again while doing The Slog. Both strips end suitably grim. In Fiends, Schmitt is turned into a vampire. In Blackhawk, the cast tries to escape the pull of a black hole by clinging to a network of logs tied together. Well, it was worth a try.

My favorite Judge Dredd multi part epic, The Judge Child, is now under way. This episode, Dredd has tracked the child down to Mutieworld in Texas City only to see him being dragged into a car by The Angel Gang while trapped inside the head of a very tall statue. First time around in 1980, I only got to read episodes sporadically because of buying 2000 AD in fits and bits. I didn't get to read The Judge Child Quest, as it was later renamed, until it was re-reprinted as an American Eagle Comics limited series years later during the mid eighties. McMahon's art looks amazing now, printed big, even though it’s on newsprint brittle with age.

Already in The Judge Child we've seen Dredd's Lawmaster bike become a personality, moving independently and wise cracking as it shoots dead mutants. Some long standing characters make their first appearances in this epic but, interestingly, outside of it, I have no recollection of Dredd's bike ever behaving in such a way again. This is a shame because I always liked his smart-ass motorbike.

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  • yeah, the AI in the Lawmaster bikes doesn't get used often. I do recall one bike that went nuts and was gunning down citizens and judges aplenty, but the last time they got a mention, IIRC, was a McNeil-painted episode where Dredd ordered his to kamikaze attack an armoured mutant, and the bikes response was "Wilco. Thanks a bunch"

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 2:39 am  

  • drhoz, that's funny. Personally, I prefer the lawmaster bike as a character to Walter the Wobot.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 11:36 am  

  • I'm inclined to agree. Altho Walter does get some good scenes.

    I suspect we don't see more of the Lawmaster AIs because the riters would rather focus on Dredd, and not use *too* many gimmicks if they can avoid it.

    Plus, Dredd is famously against robots doing their own judging, for good reason given the Mechanismo disasters and any number of homicidal AIs he's had to deal with.

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 3:27 am  

  • Poor old Blackhawk - stuck in a black hole forever. Though, having said that, considering that Fiends of the Eastern Front recently reappeared in the Judge Dredd Megazine, you never know...

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 2:22 pm  

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