Prog #49: He Dun’ Hung Up His Guns! (The Oxygen Desert, part 2: Down and Out!)

Case File

Dredd returns to Luna-1 broken after letting Carmody escape him in the Oxygen Desert. He turns in his badge and becomes a street sweeper – but is this all a cunning ruse to draw Carmody out of hiding? No prizes for guessing.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd sure goes out on a limb here. He’s apparently out in the Oxygen Desert for 36 hours before returning, and embarks on a lengthy subterfuge by pretending to resign as Judge-Marshal. He thinks that if he seems to be a broken man, Carmody will come to him – rather than the Judges engaging in a fruitless search for the outlaw.

Dredd hands in his helmet along with weapon and badge, but sticks to the shadows immediately after and then dons a street-cleaner helmet so we don’t get a view of his face.

This marks Dredd’s second resignation that doesn’t stick. He’s also fired from being a street sweeper, so probably best that he never actually resigns for good.

He plans to remain a Judge until the day he dies.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

Street-cleaning squads patrol the streets of the colony, using backpacks with long hoses that suck up rubbish and then fire it out the back into a floating collector. The squad seems to be entirely robots, and the one Dredd signs up for is run by Big Sid. He runs a tight ship, and sadly has to tell Dredd that he’s not cut out for it.

The Law

Judges’ hover bikes can be controlled by voice – but you’ve got to remember to leave the audio circuit lever on! The bike actually responds with a voice of its own.

As with the Judges back in Mega-City 1, Luna-1 law enforcement is fairly useless without Dredd around. Deputy Tex makes a 4-day effort to find Carmody but is unsuccessful. Tex displays a lot of respect and admiration for Dredd here.

Even though Dredd’s resignation was a ploy and only lasts 4 days, he gets to have the whole epic ceremony again to be re-appointed Judge Marshal. I think he just likes the attention.

Creeps

Between last issue and this, Bill Carmody now appears to go by Butch Carmody. Carmody is good at lying low and avoiding the Law, but can’t resist coming after Dredd when he hears that he’s been brought low. Which begs the question why he didn’t just kill Dredd when he had him at his mercy in the Oxygen Desert.

Dredd turns his garbage equipment on the outlaw, destroying his weapon, and then laying him out with a right hook.

Rap Sheet

Wild Butch/Bill Carmody will be doing time.

Verdict

OK this one really won me over. It’s obvious and cliched, but there’s just something great about seeing Dredd resign (again), miss a few days shaving and become a terrible street sweeper. There are parts that raise a few questions, but they’re not worth over-thinking.

The Luna-1 stories have really played into the “Wild West” themes, which aren’t really my thing, but I think I like the slightly different take considering the first 40 progs were very much rooted in the “New York Gangster” vibe. The Sherriff turning in his badge is a classic trope of Westerns, and works well for me as comedy here.

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2 thoughts on “Prog #49: He Dun’ Hung Up His Guns! (The Oxygen Desert, part 2: Down and Out!)

  1. Okay I’m getting nervous. I really enjoy this blog and as a dedicated 2000ad fan I always enjoy the thoughts of people outside ‘the bubble’ of fandom. BUT my fear is – well aside from the fact you really seem to enjoying the Luna One stories which in my recent re-read where a bit of a low point, art aside – … no my fear is I seem to recall you saying you’d be doing this project for Case Files 1. Which you have nearly finished. Tell me you’ll be continuing.

    I can promise you there’s good stuff not too far away.

    Like

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