Prog #24: He Won’t Deserve the Name of Judge! (The Wreath Murders)

Case File

Dredd and the Judges have failed to put a stop to a series of murders, where the victims are found with a lovely decorative wreath. Dredd gets a hot tip from his mechanical friend (not Walter) and takes down the two creeps posed as med-techs who’ve been commuting the crimes.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd’s stumped, so he tries what he considers a “long-shot” – asking the Justice HQ computer for help. This works with 2 questions. That is not a long-shot, it’s probably something he should do every case he has.

Dredd calls M.A.C a “pal” and talks to him like a buddy. He could try being that nice to Walter is all I’m saying.

The Big Meg

Mega-City 1 is getting pretty stressed out by the ongoing wreath murders. A few citizens, usually big Dredd fans, are even starting to doubt the Judge’s ability to catch the perp.

The Law

Based at Justice HQ, M.A.C. (Micro-Analysis Computer) is the Judge’s Central Computer. It’s your standard 70s wall of circuits and a screen, and CANNOT COMPUTE FRIENDSHIP.

Interestingly, we see Justice HQ again and it appears to be a separate building from the Grand Hall of Justice. HQ looks like a collection of spherical pods with teeth bolted together. It’s guarded by Wardens.

Judges’ pistols are programmed with their operators hand print, and not only don’t work by actually self-destruct if they’re used by someone else – taking out the person in the process.

Creeps

The pair of unnamed med-techs have killed 20 citizens, and left floral wreaths with “RIP” on the front on the bodies. Their disguise (or jobs) as med-techs means they can blend in and presumably can dispose of the bodies as well. Their motive seems to be just plain robbery.

Resyk

We see the aftermath of the 20th wreath attack, and also witness the death of both of the med-techs: one is taken out by an axe accidentally thrown by his pal after being knocked down by Dredd (I think, I’m a tad confused by that panel); the other blows himself up by trying to use Dredd’s pistol.

Verdict

An improvement on yesterday’s disaster, and we get a different variation on the criminals instead of the usual “gang bosses”. Still, this one doesn’t quite hold up for me. The central “twist” is interesting enough, but doesn’t stand up to anything beyond the surface.

The first victim we see appears to be in the middle of a street (from what I can see). So the med-techs murdered him (in broad daylight), went away to get their van, and then drove back? With no witnesses? There also appears to be very little time between Dredd seeing the victim, checking in with MAC, and then heading to the next potential victim. The med-techs already had another wreath! They stopped at a florist?

Also – are they real med-techs gone rogue, or pretending to be med-techs? If they’re real, how do they make sure they get assigned to those murder victims? If they’re not, presumably real med-techs were called – what happened to them?

This might be hard to believe after the last 2 paragraphs, but I don’t really mind too much about plot holes. I’m actually dense enough that I can miss glaring ones. But if all those stood out to me, it’s obviously a problem.

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