It’s a modest action romp that does actually see Dredd take his helmet off!
Although the war is over it is still a mine of great stories. Although this one is probably lifted from a real life Japanese soldier.
Some interesting points to note are cutting-edge technology was magazines on audio tape. And also Dredd also appears to admire the East Meg soldier saying ‘he doesn’t have the heart to tell him the war is over.’
Story: Block Mania
Appears: 2000AD Prog 236-244
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Mike McMahon, Ron Smith, Steve Dillon, Brian Bolland, John Cooper.
Dated: 31 October 1981 to 26 December 1981
It has been a while since the Big Meg faced a citywide threat. Here is a real treat.
This is an excellent story. It builds slowly and methodically ramping up the stakes and delivering twists and shocks with rapid and deliberate precision. The antagonist and the motivation is hidden right up until the final page when it launches an even more epic tale.
Here is a neat little story that introduces those cursed earth assassins the Gila-Munja. A bit more colour and variety is injected into what is essentially a two issue punch-up. The story is most remarkable for its unusual narration that speaks as an omniscient character – bizarre. There is a nice twist at the end too.
This week’s Cause célèbre is animal rights. Wagner puts his own twist on things but stamps down hard on any kind of discussion with a clearly black hatted villain and Dredd making our moral choice for us. Perfect for a fascist police state n’est-ce pas?
Plot: Dredd delivers justice to muggers and poetic justice to the citizens who looked the other way.
Verdict: The fact that a brand new writer and artist can pick up and succeed with Judge Dredd is a testament to the strong concept and great editors at 2000AD. This is a strong story with an equally strong moral sting to it. Could it be Dredd joins the biblical parables and Greek morality plays as an expression of our social conscience? Or is this too highbrow for a kid’s comic.
Drawing night scenes in black and white is tricky but John Cooper does a great job and really gets his teeth into the dynamic layout idea. The dialogue is slightly Shakespearian but eminently readable.
We see Lawgiver setting 6, the heat seeking bullet or “hotshot” for the first time.