Mutants. They’re all fine and dandy with their webbed feet, extra digits and rat-like eyes, but would you really want to live next door to one? This is the question that preoccupies the minds of those who live in the Big Meg and the counties that border Wales. In short, the answer is no. And here’s Dredd to explain what to do with the abominations…
July 2099 (Prog 22).
John Wagner writes it down, Ian Gibson draws it up.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT (IN ONE SENTENCE)?:
Dredd goes in search of a murder gang run by the mutant Mr Buzzz.
ANY LAW LORE?:
Dredd invokes the Public Health Act of 2087, giving him the legal right to destroy a building to kill a rat. Yes, a rat.
Mutants are banned from the city.
Someone drops the “Dok” bomb.
ANY TEETHING TROUBLES?:
Policemen are still employed as an apparent second tier of law enforcement for carting away the criminals.
The reason for banning mutants (they hate humans) is quite remarkably racist. Later it is established that genetic purity laws are the reason but both are pretty rotten.
The general citizenry seem glad that Dredd is on their side. This is in contrast to the later stories where the citizens tend to be downtrodden by the constant yoke placed upon them by the Judges.
WHAT THE DROKK?:
Dredd’s tactic of torching a hotel to get Mr Buzzz seem harsh to the point of criminal. Though legal it does seem to be a sledgehammer/nut scenario and doubly insulting as the city will pay for its rebuilding. The Big Meg taxpayer therefore has to pay for his inability to find another solution.
If Dredd cannot see in the dark, how does he know what he is shooting at and more importantly why the fuck would he use hi-ex in this case?
One lawbreaker instructs his fellows to “go for their rods”. Dude, there is a time and a place.
WHAT’S THE ART LIKE?:
There’s a brilliant panel of Dredd driving through the shop front but on the last page the colours are still not quite settled. Apart from that though this is a welcome return from Gibson.
HOW MANY LINKS?:
Dredd demonstrating his badassery with reducing a perp’s sentence by one day is bedding in the man’s character as an utter bastard, plus he isn’t afraid to blow people away if they fuck around. I also liked the early development of his humour with the “yeah, it just burned down” line that preempts his wanton destruction. The fact that Dredd is still seen here as the people’s hero is a nice sense of the duality of the man. Three links.