Following the death of Cal, the Judges are working to reinforce law and order in the City. One sector has been taken over by street gang the Cosmic Punks. So Dredd decides to take them on. By himself.
Ol’ Stoney Face
I hope Dredd got some time off after The Cursed Earth and The Day the Law Died! Somehow I doubt it.
Dredd is in pure enforcer mode here, determined to ensure that the Law is put back over the City as soon as possible. He makes the call to take on an entire street gang by himself, to send a message that one Judge is enough to deal with these creeps.
Interestingly, he displays some very questionable approaches to the Law here. He deliberately humiliates and taunts a perp, forcing him to call himself a punk. This is far cry from the Judge who followed the Law to the letter. His sentencing of the gang to exile in the Cursed Earth is also very different behaviour than we’ve seen before.
It seems that Dredd is willing to bend the letter of the Law to ensure it is uphold in its totality.
The Big Meg (and Beyond)
Mega-City One is slowly recovering from the wounds inflicted on it during Cal’s reign. Some areas of the City are still “no-go zones”, with depleted Judge forces allowing gangs to take over. Gangs like the Cosmic Punks have even set themselves up as parodies of Judges, with their own “Justus Central” preying on citizens who wander into that area.
We see Chief Judge Griffin and Deputy Chief Judge Pepper in their new roles here, coordinating attempts to return the Big Meg to normal. They still allow Dredd a very free reign to act as he sees fit.
In addition to the “hotshot” heatseeker bullets we’ve seen before, we learn here that Judges’s pistols can fire steel-tipped high penetration bullets.
The Cosmic Punks have taken over Southside Sector 41. They’re lead by “Gestapo” Bob Harris (subtle), along with his apparent “chief enforcer” File-Tooth. They’re a pretty nasty bunch, nabbing any citizens they can and literally stripping them of their possessions.
Dredd manages to round up the entire lot of the Cosmic Punks – but they’re not headed for a cell. Dredd strips them of their citizenship and sends them in to the Mutielands – the Cursed Earth.
Dredd takes out at least two of the Punks.
Most of this works really well. It’s effective as an epilogue to The Day the Law Died, and it’s good to see that the series acknowledges the impact of that epic on the ongoing story. Dredd taking on an entire gang with a garbage truck, literally taking out the trash, is just fantastic. I also like the darker edge to Dredd here, with his humiliation of the Punks’ leader and his “sentence” of the gang to exile essentially.
There’s just a couple of niggles – a few examples of bad dialogue (“I wasn’t talking for the good of my health pal!”) and a bit of an uncomfortable feeling that the episode is celebrating Dredd’s hard line with the Punks.