Partnering up with an enemy is never easy. There’s a point in the partnership where mutual respect rears its ugly head. Generally it is wise to ignore this and then put the situation in perspective before moving on with the temporary team up. Unless the enemy is James Corden in which case you must immediately kneecap him and then leave him to be eaten alive by Ebola rats.
August 2106 (Progs 377-383).
John Wagner and Alan Grant go up to four but Ron Smith adds a half to it.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT (IN ONE SENTENCE)?:
Dredd recruits Mean Machine Angel for a mission into the Cursed Earth.
WHO’S THAT IN THE HELMET?:
Chief Judge Hilda McGruder sends Dredd on the mission and authorises brain surgery on Mean Angel.
It later transpires that Judge Rico is one of the Judge clones rescued and gifted to Texas City.
Chief Judges Clarence Goodman and Eustace Fargo have been added to the clone banks. The latter I get, but the former appears to have been an incompetent buffoon.
Judges Hansar, Rubins and Mandela have been added to the clone banks.
Judge Warden has the perfect name for the job he does. That’s a shitty soul patch though.
IT’S CULTURAL, INNIT?:
Liberace was an American pianist famed for his flamboyance and resemblance to a living waxwork.
24 Hours from Tulsa was a hit for warbler Gene Pitney.
ANY LAW LORE?:
Emergency flares are carried on the Lawnmaster.
Fargo’s face is seen here for the first time. As Dredd is a clone of Fargo, this must be what Dredd looks like sans helmet.
Dredd’s Lawgiver is in the wrong boot.
WHAT THE DROKK?:
The mobile midwives are not very well named as they appear to be more like portable wombs than robots that deliver a newborn and care for both it and the parent.
Mean hears Pock Mark call Dredd “Judge” from quite a distance away as well as over the sound of bike engines.
The emergency flares seem to have a multi-launch capability, which is extraordinarily wasteful.
Apparently, an explosive force won’t splatter Mean and Dredd onto the nearest wall, but will instead knock them around a bend.
Dredd gets a round through the right thigh before Mean breaks some of his ribs.
WHAT’S THE ART LIKE?:
Though Dredd seems taller than Mean Angel in some panels, the design work here (especially the mutants) is excellent. The detail on the whole is likewise fabulous, made all the better in panels such as the destruction of the water tower. The splash pages are also spectacular with the one of Tulsa getting nuked being the stuff of Cold War nightmares. It isn’t all perfect though and there are some panels that don’t work, such as the ridiculous angle Dredd leaps onto his bike from. Still, it is vintage Smith.
HOW MANY LINKS?:
This flows very well and despite a few hiccups in the tale it actually has some excitement to it. Dredd torching a dead baby strikes an odd note and we get a little bit of Justice Department operations with their clone stock. Five links, not least for featuring a dead baby- a brave and gut wrenching choice.