Trillionaire “business-punk” Hugh Howards is kidnapping the children of his business rivals and replacing them with robot duplicates to gain a market advantage. Dredd and a team of Judges surprise Howards with a hostile takeover.
Ol’ Stoney Face
Dredd’s previous sympathetic feelings for robots don’t give him pause before helping Judge Giant rip off the head of the robot impersonating Billy Jones.
Dredd is happy to pretend to be a sleeping child to facilitate a trap.
Friends of Dredd
Cadet Giant is back working with Dredd, and gets to use his inherited aeroball skills to save little Billy Jones from a deadly plummet. He’s a bit keen though – some experience might persuade him that yelling “taste the strong right knuckle sandwich of the Law, dude!” during a raid may be a bit too much.
The Big Meg
Mega-City One has extremely tall buildings called “strato-scrapers”.
It seems like more than a few families use the idea of “Judge Dredd coming to get you” to keep kids in line.
There are at least 312 TV channels in the City.
Hugh Howards is an eccentric trillionaire and, apparently unhappy with that amount of money, has replaced the children of 20 of his competitors with robot spies. He seem to keep the kidnapped kids in his boardroom, strapped to the wall and minded by machines. To be fair, it looks like they’re being fed jelly and cream. Swings and roundabouts.
Howards is a rotund gentleman dressed like a 19th-Century general, and with a badge on his jacket proclaiming “CALL ME BOSS”. He’s nasty enough to threaten to throw a child off his building – but gets his comeuppance when he slips and falls off himself.
Howards’ Board of Directors end up in cuffs…
…while Howards himself doesn’t fare so well, ending up decorating the pavement far below.
I liked this one – there’s actually a good amount of plot for 4 pages and the humour works well. Dredd as a bogeyman for the citizens is played for laughs here, but has a bit of a dark side to it as well if you think about it. It’s then utilised really well when Dredd actually does burst in looking for a child, then proceeds to rip his head off!
It’s let down by a couple of awful lines given to him, but it’s also good to see Giant back and the world-building continuing.