There are a lot of stories where citizens lose their marbles and even Lawmasters but now we have one where a Judge does. We have seen Judges turn criminal before but this looks like a clear case of Futsie. What is telling is that this is apparently so common there is a code and a procedure for it. And rather than shipping them off to Titan they get some pinpoint brain surgery and are back on the streets again. Like the use of sleep machines and stimulant drugs you get a glimpse of the tiny cracks in the monolithic Justice Department.
The nature of publishing means some stories will need to serve as filler. This doesn’t mean they need to be worthless however as a good storyteller can do a lot in just a few pages. We have some action, some social commentary and a bit of world building. And it appears 20 years in isolation (an ISO Cube) isn’t as psychologically debilitating is you would think it is. Maybe they have HBO.
The appearance of Cadet Judge Harry Brisco is a great vehicle to peek into the Academy of Law once again. This is a great story where we see the dictatorial ethos of the Judges being trained into them. Echoing the Dredd/ Rico conflict of family verses the law we see Brisco become one of the few people to ever earn Dredd’s praise and respect. It also prompts the most amazing cover.
This is related to a Judge Anderson story that would have appeared elsewhere in 2000AD. The fact that the Dark Judges are running amok and Dredd is ordered investigate some con-artists instead is a bit of a stretch.