Prog #51: Waste Bullets, Fools! (Luna-1 War)

Case File

Luna-1 and the Sovs are at war! Well, sort of. The war is fought in a more “civilised” way – but Dredd will need to get sneaky to turn the tables.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd, if not exactly wistful for the good old days of utter carnage, is not a fan of the “war as sport” thing. He gets to go on a nice televised rant at the end about taking war, and those that died, seriously. War should never treated as fun.

Having said all that, he’s not having the Sovs win this war. He subs himself in to the contest and exploits a weakness in the Sov’s electro-beam weapons.

He wears his Judge helmet under his war suit. Which has a helmet.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

So. By 2100, wars are not fought as they are now. Wars are now a 4-a-side sport, televised for the masses by broadcasters like LCTV’s Kenny Armstrong in his hovering camera platform. 4 soldiers and a reserve from each side fight it out – whichever “team” wins, they get to claim territory from the losers. Good war, clean war.

Creeps

The Sovs seemed to come very well-prepared for battle here, with anti-blast suits that resist all weaponry and electro-beam guns that fire through anything to a specific range and then explode.

Dredd is able to exploit the specificity of the weapons by moving fast enough to ensure they can’t be targeted.

Rap Sheet

2 of the Sovs surrender, and along with the reserve will face justice…

Resyk

…while the other 2 Sovs are blasted by their own weaponry. Before that, they take out 3 of the Luna-1 soldiers with their electro beams including Sgt. Sam Stone.

Verdict

There’s a real sense of anger to this issue that almost carries along the entire thing, papering over the far-fetched nature of the plot. This prog is all about making a specific point about war, politics and society that would have rung close to home given the politics of the late 1970s. I really like the angry satire element.

But, I think the anger obscures any subtlety that may have made a bigger impact. Just being whacked over the head with a message isn’t the best way to sell that message. It’s an intensity we haven’t seen from the strip before, and I appreciate the experiment, but hopefully we get a bit more nuance as we go forward.

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