Cal’s reign of terror over Mega-City One begins, as he imposes new draconian laws and begins rounding up citizens. Dredd is dragged from his hospital bed to face Cal – but help comes from Judge Giant.
Ol’ Stoney Face
Dredd has barely begun to recover from his near-death experience before he’s grabbed by Judges and brought before Cal. Dredd doesn’t know why so many of the Judges are supporting Cal, and fears that it may just be that they are lacking courage.
He seems particularly upset that Giant may have joined Cal’s ranks, but given how see-through Giant’s performance was we may just have to put that down to Dredd still not being very well.
Friends of Dredd
Walter is once again left helplessly behind as the Judges drag his beloved master away from his sick bed.
Giant cleverly plays off Cal’s vanity to spare Dredd from being shot right in front of him, and then takes out two Judges before beginning an escape attempt with his mentor.
The Big Meg (and Beyond)
Life is changing very quickly under Chief Judge Cal for the citizens of Mega-City One. They are clearly very unhappy with the new laws being passed and implemented by the Judges, but are unable at the moment to do anything about it. Cal’s forces seem to be beginning with shutting down unfriendly news organisations, so they’ve obviously been to Totalitarian Dictatorship 101.
Dredd is patched up after his brush with death by a gang of robot doctors, and their “speed-heal” machine.
Cal wastes no time in instituting some harsh new laws, such as reintroducing the death penalty (mainly for criticising the Chief Judge) and having a curfew for all citizens from 1800 hours. The Judges that we see seem very happy to enforce these measures.
It’s really unclear here how Cal is sitting with the Judges, but all we see so far is outright obedience. We get some rumblings that many of them feel Cal is insane, but they don’t seem willing to do anything about it right now. I’ll assume this is picked up over the course of this epic, but I think we can assume this is probably due to Cal having control of the Special Judicial Squad.
With the rank of Deputy Chief Judge now vacant, there’s only one person that Cal can rely on to be entirely loyal: His goldfish. Salute Deputy Chief Judge Fish! To commemorate his promotion, he gets a special eagle badge added to his bowl.
Judge Cal is now Chief Judge, and he’s wasting no time in going full tyrant. He’s proclaiming himself to the City as the living embodiment of the Law, and seems to have the support of at least a core contingent of the Judges in enforcing his new draconian policies. He claims this is about addressing being “too soft on crime”, but it is very clearly just about his own lust for power.
Cal’s insanity is now such that he believes appointing his goldfish as Deputy Chief Judge is entirely appropriate. Judge Fish gets to pass Dredd’s sentence, which is translated by Cal as death.
Judge Quincy is still wandering around enforcing the Law in his underwear.
Arrests are beginning across MC-1 for breaking Cal’s new edicts, and we see the host of Hot News taken away for criticising the new Chief Judge. One of the Judges on the scene also claims, through the live feed, that all those watching are also arrested.
Another plot-heavy instalment as Cal’s reign begins, but as with the last prog it’s got a lot of momentum and energy. Cal’s descent into utter insanity is great fun, and his appointment of Deputy Chief Judge Fish is inspired lunacy.
It’s great to see Giant back, and working with Dredd on taking on their own people – it’s not so great that some of his dialogue, particularly right at the end, is so poorly written.