2000AD Annual 1979: Here Comes the Judge! (Dr. Panic)

Case File

A lot of “down and out” citizens are turning up dead. Dredd chases some leads to an illegal gambling arcade, where people are gambling with their very lives.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd has access to the Mega-City Morgue (security pass number A14472).

Dredd’s solo raid on the Arcade goes pretty badly, ending up overpowered by miscellaneous goons before having to face a Robo-Judge.

Friends of Dredd

Walter knows enough about the Morgue to be frightened by it. Given Dredd’s relationship with Walter, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d taken the robot there as a threat.

Dredd gets some info from his old informant Max Normal, for the price of 2,000 credits.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

The Mega-City Morgue appears to be run by civilians, but they are most certainly subservient to the Judges. Dredd is called in when 14 members of the “dregs of society” are found dead in 10 days.

Creeps

They were all victims of Dr. Panic’s illegal gambling arcade in a warehouse on the Lower Eastside, where the punters put up their own lives as collateral. Dr. Panic himself is a cyborg with a pretty high opinion of himself, although given the metal and surgical accompaniments to his face he’s unlikely to be winning any beauty awards.

Dredd is put up against the Robo-Judge, part of a game where you have to out-draw the machine. Dredd pulls a fast one by taking out the lights, and uses the confusion to take down the Robo-Judge and Dr. Panic.

Rap Sheet

Dr. Panic is facing 20 years in the Time-Stretcher Jail.

Resyk

The Gambling Arcade claims at least 14 victims before Dredd shuts it down.

Verdict

Hey, at least someone isn’t out for revenge on Dredd for a change! That isn’t quite enough to elevate this though – the general idea is good, but the execution again seems to have been handled by a team with only a cursory understanding of the Dredd series.

Dr. Panic is a least a more menacing-looking villain, and it’s kind of cool to see Max Normal again even if it is for just literally a single frame.

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