2000AD Annual 1978: He’s Rubbed Out Four Judges! (Videophones)

Case File

Someone has used the video phone systems to hypnotise a Judge into killing other Judges. Dredd has a plan to stop them, but will he resist falling under the spell?

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd’s quick thinking saves many Judges as he doesn’t hesitate to take Judge Steele down after he opens fire. Dredd then essentially disobeys the Chief Judge’s orders and tracks down the controlling influence. He apparently has the technical skills to rig up a hologram of himself to fool Sansky.

Dredd lives in Apartment 430231 in Complex Omega.

Friends of Dredd

Maria is here and really annoying and thinks Dredd should eat better and I just can’t talk about her anymore.

The Big Meg

Video phones are common and, hilariously, use operators to connect calls. Operators who are occasionally too busy smooching to connect those calls.

The Law

Apparently all the Judges of Mega-City 1 are brought together to discuss crime statistics. That does not seem like a good use of time. Is anyone patrolling the streets?

Judge Steele is programmed to kill Judges through a video phone call he received. The call included “deep-psyche hypnosis” which was banned 50 years ago by international convention. There is apparently no way to stop it.

Creeps

Igor Sansky is, according to Dredd, the “original mad scientist” – whatever that means.He invented the hologram projector.  He was presumed dead, killed by a Judge. Sansky is still alive but not in a good way, electrodes and things attached to his head and his body encased in some sort of medical device up to his chest. He is (all together now) out for revenge.

The medical cocoon thing spits bullets at Dredd, but the Judge flicks a convenient live wire his way and Sansky ends up smoked.

Resyk

Sansky is electrocuted – saving Mega-City Law the job.

Verdict

Put simply, not great. It seems to have been written by someone with only a passing understanding of Dredd. The pieces are all there but don’t come together very well. The conceit – Judges being hypnotised to kill other Judges – is fine but is over too quickly. We then waste a lot of time with Maria. Never a good sign.

Starting to see why some of these stories were relegated to annuals and specials.

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