The quality is better this time around and we’re gearing up to something big. Before then, it’s the Robot of the Year Show and those metal pricks are never going to rise up and fight against their puny fleshbag masters. Pffft. There’s as much chance of that as a lying, sex pest reality TV star getting his tiny hands on the nuclear codes…
John Wagner takes command of the strip and Ron Turner throws some old school sci-fi to the art.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT (IN ONE SENTENCE)?:
Dredd and Diablo stake out the Robot Of The Year Show where a blackmailer has threatened to strike.
WHO’S THAT IN THE HELMET?:
The moustachioed Diablo dies after inhaling deadly myclon gas.
ANY LAW LORE?:
The Bloodhound Robot used by Dredd can catch a scent at 20 miles. Regardless, that robot is a flying machine and the only passenger area seems to be a small space for standing up and holding a rail, so it is an accident waiting to happen.
Diablo uses the word “stomm” which is a nice first and the potty mouth Judge pays the price for it.
IT’S CULTURAL, INNIT?:
The Heavy Metal Kid has a scantily clad woman in his hand just like a certain movie gorilla.
ANY TEETHING TROUBLES?:
The Police Bloodhound Robot is apparently a new invention but the Police have supposedly been phased out by this time.
WHAT THE DROKK?:
The perp is an unnamed apart from being “a cripple in a robochair” which seems very un-PC, even for a strip written in the 1970s. What were you thinking, Johnny?
Robots are cruelly given emotional circuitry and self-awareness. As they are slaves, isn’t this morally questionable, especially when ordering them to die?
Diablo is too busy chatting instead of getting his respirator down. Maybe he didn’t want to mess up his face pubes.
WHAT’S THE ART LIKE?:
Well, the Bloodhound looks utterly ridiculous but the layouts are fine and dandy. It’s a shame that Turner is not suited to the strip though and the shift in artistic styles that plagues these early stories really does impact the overall narrative.
HOW MANY LINKS?:
The strength of the script shines through despite the slightly ill-fitting art and the un-PC element. Cleverly it ends on what is essentially a dangling question for the next instalment and that’s a smart hook.
A standard is also set that meets two of the golden rules of the strip; have a tache- get the lash, stand next to Dredd; you’re fucking dead.