Prog 193 to 196 – The Fink

CF04Story: The Fink
Appears: 2000AD Prog 193-196
Issues: 4
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Mike McMahon
Dated: 3 January 1981 to 24 January 1981

The Angel gang were too good to die and it is nice to have another helping. The previously unknown extra son doesn’t feel contrived and the flashback to his childhood allows us to see all the Angels in action as well as learn Mean Angel’s origins.

Likewise it is good to see previous judges in addition to Giant once in a while. Shame Hershey still doesn’t get much to do. We see Resyk for the first time and it is a great sci-fi concept and cool backdrop for a fight scene.

The art is strong with Fink Angel having a distinctive and dramatic look. Some of the strip’s pages were in colour and unfortunately don’t come out very well when reprinted in black and white. We are very far from the early days of Dredd and its crazy layouts. Straight edges are king and the only regular bleeds are the sound effects and speech bubbles. There is one incredible panel where the smoke from a chimney below rises to the frame above and cracks Fink’s face in two just as he is remembering his childhood. Genius!

There are lots of neat little touches in art, ideas, and dialogue. Including the killer line “”Pa! Fink’s gone! He’s taken his hole with him!”

Prog 186 to 188 – Otto Sump’s Ugly Clinic

CF04Story: Otto Sump’s Ugly Clinic
Appears: 2000AD Prog 186-188
Issues: 3
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Ron Smith
Dated: 15 November 1980 to 29 November 1980

So nice to see Otto Sump once more and in an intelligent story about vanity and the fads of modern society. The art is great at depicting all the horrid ugliness too. Stars of the show are the fake adverts for all the ugly products that were inspired by real commercials of the day.

Prog 184 to 185 – Monkey Business at the Charles Darwin Block

CF04Story: Monkey Business at the Charles Darwin Block
Appears: 2000AD Prog 184 to 185
Issues: 2
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Mike McMahon
Dated: 1 November 1980 to 8 November 1980

At first glance this is little more than an excuse for the funny title and a picture of three judges in the three wise monkeys pose. But it is not a bad little adventure and certainly well structured. A pleasing touch is the occupations of the citizens in the block that raise a smile, and which all have the prefix “unemployed.”

Prog 182 – Block War

CF04Story: Block War
Appears: 2000AD Prog 182
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Brian Bolland
Dated: 18 October 1980

A tightly crafted story that shows Dredd on the streets introducing us to the concept of Block War. This alternates with a meeting of the Council of Five discussing Dredd’s previous mission. Here is a great example of what you can achieve in only six pages.

Judge Giant appears, for only two panels, but it is a nice reminder not to forget about him, and good for Dredd to have a friendly face around. In one of the many quirks of Mega-city law it seems if you crash your vehicle you get ten years and are banned for life but if you engage in block war with guns and explosives then you only get five years. Go figure.