Progs 531 to 533 – Revolution

Story: Revolution
Appears: 2000AD Progs 531-533
Issues: 3
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: John Higgins
Dated: 18 July 1987 to 1 August 1987

This is possibly the most grown-up Dredd story ever. Maybe too grown up for a children’s comic.

Here is the Justice Department at its most underhand and controversial. It really makes you wonder if they have crossed the line completely and they are only selfishly serving their own agenda. Which is one of the duties of art, to make you think and question. There is no doubt that the techniques that the Judges employ will have been used by real world powers. Its scary stuff indeed and superbly demonstrates just how much narrative range the writers have within the setting.

Progs 529 to 530 – Fairly Hyperman

Story: Fairly Hyperman
Appears: 2000AD Progs 529-530
Issues: 2
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Mike Collins & Mark Farmer
Dated: 4 July 1987 to 11 July 1987

What would happen if Superman came to Mega City One? 2000AD would get sued. So they come up with quite a cute and clever allegory involving some wordplay. Because the whole thing isn’t meant to be taken seriously (thank goodness) it is easy to swallow this humorous diversion.

Unfamiliar artists Collins and Farmer deliver a technique very different from the house style. This transformation from the usual heavy blacks is striking and may have been for time reasons.

Prog 528 – Reasons To Be Fearful

Story: Reasons To Be Fearful
Appears: 2000AD Prog 528
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Robin Smith
Dated: 27 June 1987

Once again we see the Black Ops of the Justice Department going to any lengths. Not to protect law and order but to protect itself. This is definitely a cautionary tale of government powers and real examples of the Judges becoming thought police. Scary stuff.

Prog 527 – Simp

Story: Simp
Appears: 2000AD Prog 527
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Cliff Robinson
Dated: 20 June 1987

Another outlandish craze for the Mega-city. Maybe there is moral message here too but we are probably too distracted by the canoe.

Interestingly it advertises a follow-up story that would not appear for more than six months.

Progs 525 to 526 – The Raggedy Man

Story: The Raggedy Man
Appears: 2000AD Progs 525-526
Issues: 2
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: John Ridgeway
Dated: 6 June 1987 to 13 June 1987

Can the Cursed Earth ever fail to produce a good story? Not yet it seems. There is some fairly odd character design and narration underpinned by a solid plot. It builds on previous themes, has a tiny appearance by Chief Judge Silver, and features some Helltrekkers. It does its best to have some tense and scary atmosphere but lacks the page count to sustain it.

Progs 523 to 524 – Pit Rat

Story: Pit Rat
Appears: 2000AD Progs 523-524
Issues: 2
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Brett Ewins & Jim McCarthy
Dated: 23 May 1987 to 30 May 1987

A plain little action story with a classic Mega-city twist. Unusually we see Dredd expressing enjoyment at a tasty burger. A burger made from rats. Also unusual is the fact that artists Ewins and McCarthy sign the opening pages in addition to the usual credits box. Possibly the sign of something amiss at head office.

Prog 522 – So You Want To Be A Judge?

Story: So You Want To Be A Judge?
Appears: 2000AD Prog 522
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Paul Hardy
Dated: 16 May 1987

This is a great peek behind the scenes of the Academy of Law. It fills in some blanks in the Judge Cadet system and provides some of the famously dark Dredd humour at the same time.

Newcomer Paul Hardy delivers some distinctive art both in colour and black and white.

Prog 521 – What If… The Judges Did the Ads?

Story: What If… The Judges Did the Ads?
Appears: 2000AD Prog 521
Issues: 1
Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
Art: Brett Ewins, Ian Gibson, Robin Smith, Kevin O’Neill, Cam Kennedy
Dated: 9 May 1987

Possibly inspired by the Marvel “What If…” comics of the period this is a series of parodies of advertisements that would have been on British television at the time. Because the title prefaces the nature of the stories you know not to take it seriously. Unlike the clanger “A Real Xmas Story” from Prog 502.

If you aren’t familiar with the actual adverts themselves, which are now at least 20 years old they won’t make any sense. But if you are there is some sharp humour in here. Each of the five stories is drawn by a different artist helping to keep them separate.