2000 AD Prog Slog

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Judge Dredd The Megazine 2.16 28/11/92

The real reason I have included the second volume of the magazine in The Slog isn’t because of the shameless Judgement Day cross over with the weekly but because of the nuggets of John Wagner gold that appears here. Wagner seems pretty much absent from 2000 AD at this time with the majority of his work appearing in the fortnightly.

Last issue there was a neat little epilogue to Young Death with Dean Ormston in which Mrs Gunderson, Judge Death’s landlady, visits him in the cubes and asks about unpaid rent while this issue sees the start of the return of Al’s Baby. It’s nearly possible to forget how insubstantial The Megazine can be when half of the comic strip content is being written by John Wagner.

First time around, I was a little disappointed by Mechanismo, Wagner’s current Judge Dredd story painted by Colin MacNeil. I think it was the long publicity the story endured thanks to the empty pages left to be filled by editorial content in previous issues. That and the fact that it is by the same team that brought us the outstanding America; Mechanismo would find it difficult not to seem a let down when compared to it. MacNeil’s artwork is looser while Wagner’s pacing is extended giving the impression that it lacks the same consideration when read in fortnightly chunks. The fact, however, is that when read within a contracted period of time, like, for example, for The Slog, the story has a sense of foreboding.

In Mechanismo, to combat the shortage of Judges, Justice Department puts Robo-judges onto the streets. Dredd is very much against the idea but his protests are ignored. Very quickly, the Robo-judges start to malfunction and begin to humiliate and kill innocent citizens. The obvious comparison to draw here is with the Robocop films and the malfunctioning robot police officer from them, ED 209. However, Robocop is itself at best a tribute to Judge Dredd and, more accurately, plagiarises heavily from it. Wagner deciding to loosely satire the film in his comic strip is completely legitimate even if it is six years after the first movie’s release.

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