2000AD Summer Special 1977: Death By Your Own Hand! (The Judge’s Graveyard)

Case File

After recovering from a case, Dredd has to be tested to ensure he’s street-ready. But someone’s out for revenge, and wants to ensure Dredd doesn’t survive his assessment.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd starts this one in surgery – badly wounded stopping a terrorist bomb from exploding in Times Square. Apparently this event is important enough to televise live. His powers or recovery are “phenomenal” according to the surgeon, and as soon as he’s awake he’s begging the Chief Judge to get back on the street.

Dredd’s injuries included his right hand being shattered, and the surgeon isn’t sure whether Dredd’s trigger finger will ever be the same again! Dredd has to be re-assessed to make sure he’s ready to be on duty.

Despite Dimitrov’s best attempts, Dredd scores 100/100. Show off. He then somehow knows that Dimitrov is out to kill him just because he goes in to shake him with his right hand. On that tiny hunch alone, Dredd damages his robot arm enough that the arm kills Dimitrov. He literally has no other evidence that the guy did anything.

The Big Meg

Times Square is still around, and still has large TV screens with ads and live broadcasts.

The Law

The Judge Assessment Centre in Washington Sector is also known as the Judges’ Graveyard. There are no second chances, and has ended the careers of many Judges.

The tests include android assassins (using live ammunition), fire in a confined space and an atmosphere chamber.

Creeps

Dimitrov is in charge of the Assessment Centre. Five years ago, he got his arm accidentally blown off by Dredd. Strangely enough, Dimitrov is now no longer Dredd’s #1 Fan.

He’s had his arm replaced with a robot one.

Resyk

Dimitrov is killed by his own hand (yes, we get it Dredd).

Verdict

The idea of Dredd’s critical surgery being televised live is a great moment of Mega-City insanity. The rest is basically Dredd-by-Numbers, although we get a bit of world building with the Assessment Centre.

It’s let down by the strange ending where Dredd somehow knows Dimitrov is the bad guy despite no evidence whatsoever, and the odd way Dredd is drawn in this one.

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