2000AD Sci-Fi Special 1978: I Can Crush You Now As Easily As I Crush This Oil Can! (The Purple People Breeder)

Case File

An old enemy of Dredd’s is back (again) and out for revenge (again). Android X-13 is using “living bombs” on his victims, and Dredd finds himself under threat from something close to home.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Continuing the glimpses into Dredd’s rich and fulfilling personal life, we see here that he relaxes at home watching police bulletins. Dredd is able to put in a Priority ‘A’ request to take the “Purple People Breeder” case. Even drugged, Dredd’s skills see him overpower X-13.

Dredd just admits flat out here that he’s mean to Walter to stop the robot getting any more sentimental. Not cool, Joe.

Friends of Dredd

It’s ups and downs for Walter this issue. Maria is out of the house and he gets to do more work for his favourite Judge, but he’s also captured, tied up, duplicated and used to help assassinate his master.

He’s able to heroically break through a floor in his captivity, then break through a wall into Dredd’s apartment to save the Judge. Walter gets a bit exploded in the process, but is on the mend at the end.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

Mega-City 1 has a “Rehabilitation Centre for Delinquent Androids”. Let’s hope there’s some sort of review of their work as 10 years there doesn’t seem to have improved X-13’s murderous tendencies.

One of X-13’s new victims is Howard Surb, who was apparently a Presidential candidate. This is confusing, giving what we learnt in Fort Knox during the Cursed Earth.

Mega-City has docklands where X-13 is hiding out.

The Law

Dredd’s worried that if they don’t catch the murderer soon, there could be riots.

Creeps

X-13 is an android with some less-than-healthy tendencies towards killing people. Ten years in the Home for Bad Androids didn’t solve this, and now he’s after the Judge who put him away – Dredd.

Before he gets to Dredd, he takes out five citizens and earns himself the nickname “Purple People Breeder” due to the tint on the corpses left behind. He somehow builds living bombs, replicas of people that explode on touch.

X-13 adds a couple of extra steps to Dredd’s planned demise, getting Evil-Duplicate-Walter to drug his synthi-caff then torment him with a 10-second countdown before going boom.

Rap Sheet

Dredd indicates that X-13 will be going to jail this time, not the Naughty Android’s Retirement Home.

Resyk

X-13’s takes out six citizens, including at least two Presidential candidates, before being shut down by Dredd.

Verdict

It’s becoming seriously strange that the only plot that the annuals can seem to come up with is “someone from Dredd’s past seeks revenge on him”. This one has a little more style than the others, but is let down by some poor interpretations of Dredd in the artwork.

The idea of androids and living bombs are interesting, but aren’t really death with in anything but surface ways. Another disappointment overall.

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