This is an unassuming, and rather short, beginning for one of Megacity One’s recurring characters – PJ Maybe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.