Prog #21: Halt! Or I Use My Law Rod! (The Solar Sniper)

Case File

Hitman Gorilla – AKA The Solar Sniper – uses a super-solar-powered gun to take out Judges, and Dredd is next on the Hit List. Dredd manages to make some changes to the scheduled weather, and Gorilla ends up getting a close tour of his weapon’s energy source.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd is fourth on Gorilla’s hitlist, but is able to easily turn the tables by utilising the City’s weather-control systems.

The Big Meg

Apparently violence has reached “endemic proportions” in Mega-City 1, and is one of the reasons for the creation of the Judges.

The Weather Congress is the ground station for the floating Atmosphere Control centres, one of which Dredd used to end the robot revolution. According to the Controller of the station, the citizens vote on the weather they want for the day. This can be overruled with a Weather Warrant from the “Department of Grand Judges”.

The Meg has rocket technology, and is still using monkeys in scientific experimentation. Sunprobe 9 is now on course for a 3-year orbit of the Sun to determine the feasibility of a weather station near to the Sun.

The Law

Judges have access to “Law Rods”, which appear to be more powerful shotgun-style versions of their pistols. It’s kept in a handy holster mounted to Dredd’s Lawmaster.

Creeps

Gorilla considers himself the best hit-man in Mega-City, and is referred to by the Judges as The Solar Sniper. His Solar Gun is powered by the sun’s rays, and is apparently “capable of incinerating a tank!”. No tanks were harmed in the making of this prog however, as for reasons unknown he is taken out Judges instead. In alphabetical order (Abel, Baker, Carter, Dredd). Before taking out the Judges, he supplies them (or at least Dredd) with a “Death Note”.

His comrades taken out by Dredd, Gorilla plans to ambush Dredd in the Weather Congress, but accidentally locks himself in a rocket about to launch to the Sun. I hate it when that happens.

Resyk

Gorilla’s two lackeys are dispatched by Dredd’s Law Rod. Not a sentence I ever thought I’d had to write. It’s uncertain if Gorilla will survive his voyage to the Sun.

Verdict

Another by-the-numbers case, with a fairly obvious (and stretched) “hoist upon your own petard” ending. Given the length of these single-adventure issues, they rest almost entirely on the character of the main villain. Gorilla is another one-note goon, with no motivation or character personality beyond what we’ve already encountered in previous issues.

The idea of voting for the weather is bizarre and interesting, but this is hardly enough to elevate the issue. Not terrible, but I’m ready for something new.

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