Prog 412 – Monsteroso

Story: Monsteroso
Appears: 2000AD Prog 412
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Robin Smith
Dated: 6 April 1985

Here is the very opposite of the previous story and the epitome of filler. As it concerns an out of control construction robot there is no characterisation, no empathy and no reason for this story to exist. The only point of note is the ‘playboy’ style vertical double page spread which may have caused some mothers a moment of consternation.

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Prog 407 to 411- The Hunters Club

Story: The Hunters Club
Appears: 2000AD Prog 407- 411
Issues: 5
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Ron Smith, Steve Dillon,
Dated: 2 March 1985 to 30 March 1985

This is a very mature storyline that spotlights both the allure and seduction of violence and the stomach turning reality. You really feel sorry for the citizens caught between the inflexible justice department and the craziness of the city they live in. Best of all everything isn’t neatly wrapped up and you are looking forward to the return of this sinister organisation.

Prog 393 to 406 – City of the Damned

Story: City of the Damned
Appears: 2000AD Prog 393-406
Issues: 14
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Brett Ewins, Ron Smith, Kim Raymond, Ian Gibson
Dated: 24 November 1984 to 23 February 1985

This is a strong mini-epic that despite digging up and beating the dead Judge Child villain is a tense and rewarding read.

The alternate/ future setting allows the writers to run riot and kill off major characters to up the stakes. Despite the citywide disaster backdrop this feels extremely personal. Anderson gets a chance to shine and behave like a real human being which is something we rarely have opportunity for in a Dredd story.

For the unique tone and creepy setting this is definitely a classic.

Prog 390 to 392 – The Wally Squad

Story: The Wally Squad
Appears: 2000AD Prog 390-392
Issues: 3
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Brett Ewins
Dated: 03 November to 17 November 1984

Two undercover Judges go off the rails.

This story not only broadens the depth and detail of the Justice Department but it also allows Wagner a different perspective to write from. What we have here is a gangster story in which Dredd is supporting actor rather than the lead and it works just fine.

The art is strong stuff with plenty of cinematic close-ups and bizarre Mega-city fashions. There are some stereotypical accents for the foreign criminals but nothing that you haven’t seen before.

Prog 389 – A Case for Treatment

CF08Story: A Case for Treatment
Appears: 200AD Prog 389
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Ron Smith
Dated: 27 October 1984

Dredd goes to see the shrink. This is more tone poem than adventure story as we delve into Dredd’s clone childhood.

The interesting part is the discussion between the psychiatrist and the Chief Judge about how all Judges deteriorate after prolonged service and what they can do about it.

This is another great performance from Ron Smith on art duties. Each of Dredd’s memories is graphically heralded by a picture of a cassette tape with the session number intended to show you that this is taking place over a long period of time. Sadly it is easy to miss these and you just assume on first reading it all comes out in one big stream.