2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, February 01, 2008

Prog 382

Judge Dredd Dredd Angel, currently up to part six of its seven parts, must have had one of the most thrilling opening episodes in 2000 AD history. In it we learn that Dredd and Mean Machine Angel are to team up on a mission in The Cursed Earth, that Mean thinks Dredd is his father, Pa Angel, because of an operation Justice Department did on his brain, that Mean believes he and his dad are looking for an aircraft carrying the Treasures of Liberace’s Tomb (including his jewel-encrusted death mask) that was brought down in territory familiar to him but that, actually, the real mission is to retrieve five cloned judge babies that were gestating inside robot midwives which were also onboard and, to top it all, that Mean's brain is slowly healing, placing an even greater sense of urgency on the mission. Wow. All this in just six pages.

If authentic American deep South dialect and head butting frenzies seem like too much fun for the reader then script robots Wagner and Grant and artist Ron Smith provide a downer that, this time around, made me wonder if appropriate for a boy's comic. Dredd and Mean locate a dead judge baby after a dust storm. It's a grim moment that, if the reader had any doubt before about the importance of this mission, then they shouldn't have now.

This is another of those Judge Dredd stories, like The Haunting of Sector House Nine, that I feel is under appreciated. Everything about it is perfect. I'm sure, after finishing the final part of Dredd Angel in 1984, I let out an audible sigh of satisfaction that made my parents, who were in the same room at the time, slightly uncomfortable. Weather it has the same affect on me this time, I don't know yet, but the signs are looking good.

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  • I always loved the post-apocalyptic historical mash-ups depicted in Dredd's world, such as Liberace's jewel-encrusted death mask, city-blocks named after insignificant 20th century TV characters and so on.

    It really does feel like what would happen if a nation like America tried to re-build itself nuclear destruction; attempting to construct a sense of history from the left-over tatters of popular culture.

    I remember a prog from (I think) the late '80s when a historical drama is broadcast on MCTV about a Boudicca-esque Margaret Thatcher leading a horde of punk-rockers to defeat the Argentinians.

    By Blogger Stavros, at 9:00 pm  

  • stavros, that Thatcher story sounds great. Anyone know which prog its in?

    By Blogger Simon C, at 8:34 am  

  • Hey, something interesting in Tharg's nerve centre in prog 382: He answers a letter and says that the Slaine covers on progs 355, 357, and 358 are all by Cam Kennedy. I picked 357 as his, but thought the other two were McMahon. Amazing likeness to McMahon's work, especially on 358, cover of which is reproduced elsewhere on this blog.

    By Blogger Simon C, at 8:38 am  

  • I must confess to feeling a bit disappointed in Mean Machine stories post his original Judge Child appearance. I remember being really excited about Dredd Angel and whilst I can't now remember what happened in the thrill, I do know that I didn't think that much of it. I've always gone along with the line that it was good that Mean Machine was brought back from the dead but I don't know. The Angel Gang was pretty damn perfect as it was. Anyway, perhaps they should have brought the venomous Junior back instead?

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 3:52 pm  

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