Dredd’s tracked down Gibson, but the bent Judge wants to settle this old-school with a 1-on-1 battle at the Academy of Law. Gibson lets Dredd take him down rather than spend 20 years on Titan.
Ol’ Stoney Face
Dredd reveals here that he suspected Gibson was behind the Mutie the Pig disguise, set himself as a target and “felt” the laser sight, allowing him to pull away at the last second before Gibson fired… Yeah that makes no sense, let’s just move quickly along.
Dredd once again faces the corruption of a Judge close to him, and is just as resolute. He will send Gibson to Titan for 20 years, just like he sent his brother. He chooses to honour the somewhat strange promise he and Gibson made as cadets however to always settle their differences with a violent fight.
We get more parallels to Rico here as Gibson comes out slightly ahead of Dredd, but seems to allow Dredd to take him out rather than go to Titan. Dredd then literally uses white paint to take Gibson’s name off the 2079 Honour Roll. It’s 2099 – and he actually uses a big tin of paint and brush. Love it.
Dredd is apparently a master of the ricochet spray, and we learn that in the Academy he was given the nickname “Old Stoney Face”.
We’re back at the Academy of Law, and learn that Rico Dredd’s name used to be on the same Honour Roll as Joe but it was struck off after his arrest.
The Academy has some sort of tradition of settling disagreements by fighting called “Cadet’s Rights”. The Head of the Academy apparently thinks this will be a worthy demonstration, and gets the current cadets to watch Dredd and Gibson go at it in the mini-City training area.
We don’t get a motivation for Gibson’s corruption here, although we learn he’s a bit more complicated than we may have thought in the last issue. He knows Dredd well enough to be sure that he’ll be sent to Titan without a second thought, and plays on Dredd’s sense of honour to take part in the 1-on-1 fight.
Gibson gets the jump on Dredd, but in a well-realised moment can’t bring himself to shoot his friend again. He prefers to be killed by his old friend than endure Titan.
It’s a quick moment, but I love the bit where we realise that Rico Dredd was taken off the honour roll. A great addition to a previous issue, and another burden for Dredd to carry.
Gibson is shot down by Dredd, and doesn’t have to face the torment of life on Titan.
When I saw a 2-part story called “Mutie the Pig” coming up, my expectations were not exactly sky-high. But I really enjoyed this – it’s a great balance of the ridiculous elements (the Academy of Law is so OK with this Judge-on-Judge battle that they allow an audience) with good drama and world-building.
The resolution to the “but Dredd was dead!” part is weak, and we still get no real motivation for Gibson to go corrupt (just like Rico), but the more the series is willing to reflect and build on previous elements, the more interesting it’s getting.