Prog #59: Judge Dredd’s Back in Town! (Return to Mega-City)

Case File

Dredd’s time on Luna-1 is up, and he’s on his way back to the Big Meg. But he doesn’t seem the same – has he gone moon-crazy? Or is he just waiting on paperwork?

59Ol’ Stoney Face

Internally, Dredd describes the 6 months he’s spent on Luna-1 as 6 months too long away from where he belongs – Mega-City One.

The entire joke of this issue is that Dredd resigns his commission as Judge-Marshal, becomes a happy smiling citizen that cannot prevent crime and stays that way until he literally signs a form back on Earth reinstating him as a Judge.

Let’s look at that a bit deeper for a moment though. Dredd states clearly that he could not act against criminals while he technically wasn’t a Judge. That doesn’t mean he has to wander around smiling. Is the suggestion here that Dredd is actually, at his core, a happy relaxed person and just has to wear this hard-bitten Judge persona as part of his work? If so – that is deeply sad.

Dredd loves the City despite it being hard work. He considers any citizen a potential criminal.

Friends of Dredd

Walter seems to be happy about heading back to Terra Firma as well, although he reflects it will be strange to be back after their time on the Moon.

He’s not that happy about seeing Maria again. Neither am I, Walter. Neither am I.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

According to Dredd, MC-1 has 800 million citizens and is “crime-torn”. There is one particular area that sees over 4000 crimes committed every day.

The Law

Dredd was assigned as Judge-Marshal as part of a 6-month rotation system – but on his word alone he apparently stops this system and good ol’ Judge Tex is made permanent Judge-Marshal.

Dredd is sworn back in as a Mega-City Judge on Volume 12 of the Juro-Penal Code. He then appropriates a Rookie’s bike and lays down some Law.

Creeps

The Suction Gang are named for their habit of smashing into stores with a giant tube and sucking loot out into an automobile. A fairly blunt approach to crime, I guess.

Strangely, the Suction Gang first cause trouble on the Moon, then go to Mega-City One at the same time as Dredd? I’m a bit confused by that part to be honest.

Anyway, they think they’re off the hook with Dredd, but once ink is on bureaucratic paper they quickly find themselves in his sights.

Dredd also takes out some baddies running a protection racket.

Holy Grud!

“Mega-City 1… 800 million people and every one of them a potential criminal. The most violent, evil city on Earth… but, God help me, I love it.” Basically a mission statement for Dredd as a character, and a comic series. Very, very good.

Rap Sheet

The protection-racketeers are “kayoed” by Dredd mid-looting, and are booked by a Rookie Judge. Dredd then tracks down the Suction Gang on the road, and they’re also taken away.

Verdict

So I think to even begin talking about this one, you just have to accept the insane premise that Dredd literally stops being a Judge between Luna-1 and Mega-City 1 until he signs a form.

That aside, this kind of works as a quick bit of fun. Seeing Dredd strolling around smiling is worth the price of admission alone, and its always amusing to see him as a stickler for the details of the law.

The 6-month excursion to the Moon was a strange detour, but entertaining overall. Good to be back in the Big Meg though.

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