Prog 493 – Dead Ringer

Story: Dead Ringer
Appears: 2000AD Prog 493
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Barry Kitson
Dated: 25 October 1986

Potentially a juicy little mystery but sadly it is given away on the third page. With some restructuring this could have drawn the suspense out for longer. But it ends up more of a crime documentary albeit with a strong ending.

Prog 492 – Attack of the 50ft Woman

Story: Attack of the 50ft Woman
Appears: 2000AD Prog 492
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Garry Leach
Dated: 18 October 1986

Another classic film gets given the 2000AD treatment. But it isn’t a single borrowed joke stretched paper-thin. Even in seven pages we have a sophisticated structure that re-arranges the timeline. Narration is provided in the form of a letter written after the events too so there is there is a great deal for your mind to get its teeth into.

Garry Leach has only ever done one Dredd strip before (Prog 138 – Night of the Bloodbeast) but his art is great with fantastic lines, great characters and a real organic feel to things. The framing and close-up action is fantastic.

 At eight pages this is one of the longest single issue stories.

Prog 491 – The Peeper

Story: The Peeper
Appears: 2000AD Prog 491
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Barry Kitson
Dated: 10 October 1986

If you are going to borrow, then borrow from the best, and Hitchcock’s Rear Window is just that. The real meat of the story comes as it ends with the narrator telling us about “…the secret army of criminals sanctioned by the Justice Dept to ply their trade.”

Prog 489 – Block Rite

Story: Block Rite
Appears: 2000AD Prog 489
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Cliff Robinson
Dated: 27 September 1986

This is a great little story that shows Dredd isn’t just a fascist robot but does look at the bigger picture. There is a great gag about the block names although overly explaining it lessens the value. Some great art by Robinson.

Progs 485 to 488 – Atlantis

Story: Atlantis
Appears: 2000AD Progs 485-488
Issues: 4
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Brendan McCarthy
Dated: 30 August 1986 to 20 September 1986

This is a great little murder mystery/ thriller with some complex motivations. It is an unusual setting and introduces a Brit Cit Judge too. The art is also noteworthy because of some thumbnail sized panels.

Prog 484 – Fists of Stan Lee

Story: Fists of Stan Lee
Appears: 2000AD Prog 484
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Barry Kitson
Dated: 23 August 1986

For a single issue story this causes a lot of fuss. Once again we see the return of Dredd’s racism against those of Far Eastern descent. Obviously you expect Perps to show such behaviour as it is a shortcut to telling you they are the bad guys. A technique slightly better than making them have a black hat or a disability. But Dredd is famously neutral in his treatment of all criminals and citizens. How does calling people Charlie Chan as a denigration reflect this? If it is revealed later that Dredd has some bias about a particular ethnic group this would make an interesting story but I suspect that won’t be the case.