Dredd’s trying to clear his name, and realises it must have been a robot replica that committed the murders. Investigating, he’s forced to take on the Dreddbot – he comes out on top, but realises that there must be a traitor within Justice Central.
Ol’ Stoney Face
Hunted and on the run, Dredd turns to his old informant Max Normal for information. We don’t get any real indication of where gets his hypothesis that this is a robot from, but he is of course right.
Friends of Dredd
Max Normal is back – and this time gives up some info for Dredd without a price tag. Maybe Dredd swings by later and drops him some credits.
On Deputy Chief Judge Cal’s orders, Judges are sweeping the streets for Dredd in what is billed as “the biggest manhunt in Mega-City history”. Chief Judge Goodman is still not doing so great, apparently affected by all this craziness with Dredd. Cal is now going on an internal monologue about taking over as Chief Judge whenever he gets the opportunity.
Cal is still pretty crazy, and is convinced that once he’s gotten rid of Dredd his ascension to power will be assured.
He contracted Chick Parker at Moderna Robots to design and construct the Dreddbot – Parker was deep in debts, which must have been payed off by Cal. Dredd’s a bit too late to interrogate him though – he’s already been silenced by the Dreddbot.
RoboDredd has been programmed with every available scrap on information on Dredd – which in most “robot duplicate” stories is a bit of a cliche that doesn’t really hold up, but in this case as Dredd is a clone shaped and moulded by the Justice Department from birth, this could actually be a reasonably close duplicate.
We don’t get to find out too much about that beyond some basic fighting styles before Dredd destroys his robot doppelgänger with a scrap metal magnet. He keeps a bit of it as evidence to clear his name.
RoboDredd takes out Chick Parker before it is melted down in an open furnace.
A solid conclusion to this little 3-episode arc, with Dredd’s name cleared but Cal’s involvement not yet known. Dredd’s conclusion that it must be a robot is arrived at a little too quickly without much specific evidence, but put that in the very minor quibble column.
It’s good to see Max Normal again, if only very briefly, and Dredd’s battle with the robot is fairly well realised. I would have liked to have seen that play out a bit longer, as the idea of Dredd having to battle himself is inherently a great one.
There’s a new artist on display here (although the “Art Robot” for this one is apparently two artists, McCarthy and Ewins? Is it common to have two artists on a single issue?), with a much darker and grittier take on the characters and locations. I quite like it, and it sits well alongside the work from McMahon and Bolland.