2000 AD Prog Slog

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Prog 250

In Judge Dredd, multi part epic The Apocalypse War is well under way and Mega City One has taken one hell of a nuclear beating from East Meg One. In this prog, Mega City’s retaliation has been redirected by the Russians to an alternative Earth which has enjoyed hippy peace for years and cracked the planet in half.

It’s the start of 1982 and if you’re not experiencing regular nightmares about walking around your school playground with no clothes on and nuclear Armageddon then you are a total grexnix. I wasn’t reading 2000 AD at this time but I was still aware of the existence of The Apocalypse War storyline. Judge Dredd has been established as the most popular thrill in 2000 AD by this time and it baffled me that the writers could conceive of a story where the city, on of the stars of the strip, gets nuked to hell. Nuclear war means the end of everything surely, everyone knows that.

The Russians being the enemy was equally wrong to me. Although the cold war is still chugging along in 1982, generally we didn’t think of the soviets as different to us anymore thanks entirely to the Sting single Russians (released three years later). “Do the Russians love their children too?” sex athlete Sting sings. What a revelation! I didn’t even know that they reproduced the same way we did let alone loved their offspring!

There is an important moment in Part One of The Apocalypse War that makes it clear that the use of the Russians as the enemy isn’t lazy writing on the part of Alan Grant and John Wagner. A Russian judge asks if they should notify the people that they are about to experience a nuclear attack. The response is a quick rebuke along the lines of, “The people? What has it got to do with them?” The same question is asked in Mega City One and Dredd gives virtually the same response. This isn’t a war between us and Russia. This is an oversized fight between the two posturing powers from which there will almost certainly be some fallout from onto us. Thinking about it, I’m not sure that we are ready to be treated like adults by our comics.

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  • up to the Apocalypso show tune?

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 2:19 pm  

  • Is that when a bunch og citizens dance around, singing a song, seconds before being nuked?

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 5:57 pm  

  • yup

    "Population going SPLAT!"

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 8:58 am  

  • I think it troubled me :-)

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 6:09 pm  

  • heh. wait till you see the Euro-Cit Song Contest in Robo-Hunter

    By Blogger Drhoz, at 4:06 am  

  • the whole thing was horrific, tanks rolling over judges, Dredd shooting all the collaborators in that hole.
    sends a shiver down my spine even now..

    By Blogger mr wheatley, at 9:03 am  

  • I'm with you, Mr Wheatley.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 7:24 pm  

  • Is this the issue with the amazing centre spread with the nuclear bombs seeming to cause fissures on the earth's surface. Amazingly scary stuff.

    I must admit, though, that, in general, I found the Apocalypse War one of the least successful of Dredd's multi-part adventures. 'Block Mania' that preceeded it was far superior, in my opinion.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 4:28 pm  

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