Prog #111: I Don’t Come Easy, Buddy Boy! (The Exo-Men, part 1)

Case File

The Exo-Men – a gang of bank robbers using exo-skeleton suits – are on a bank-robbing spree. Dredd tracks them down, while being scrutinised by some bleeding-heart lefty civil rights people.

492509-67027_20061017192149_largeOl’ Stoney Face

Dredd is not happy being lumbered with the two members of the civil rights brigade, and finds them foolish and naive. He has no time for being soft on criminals, and doesn’t care what led them to criminal acts. He is the Law, and they better believe it.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

Meet the Citizens’ Committee for Compassion for Criminals (CCCC), represented here by Mrs Marjory Blackshack and Councillor Frank Petty. They find the justice system too harsh, and apparently have the right to follow Dredd around and check how nasty he’s being. It’s a bit unclear whether this indicates there is some sort of civilian body that has power over the Judges, or that Chief Judge Griffin just allows this.

Blackshack and Petty aren’t too impressed by Dredd, finding him to be too tough on just a “teensy-weeny” robbery. Presumably their tunes will change after Mrs Blackshack is herself kidnapped.

Banks are still a thing (and not just on the Moon), although the Managers are now Manager-Bots. The First Mega-City Savings and Loan is run by a SR1400 Series Manager.

Creeps

The Exo-Men are a gang (remember those?) who utilise mechanical exo-skeletons used in construction to rob banks. They give them additional strength and protection, and come with fun accessories like mini-wrecking balls.

The gang don’t last too long against Dredd though, with one taken down by Dredd on his Lawmaster, one put down in a shootout and one knocked off a monorail line.

The Exo-Man that Dredd captures manages to escape, taking Mrs. Blackshack with him as a prisoner.

Verdict

A weird combination of old, pre-Cursed Earth Dredd, but with a bit more polish and an interesting satirical streak. Being a Doctor Who fan, I finally get a direct reference here with Marjory Blackshack being a fairly blunt parody of Mary Whitehouse, the self-appointed moral crusader for children who seemed to hate anything they found vaguely entertaining.

It’s an interesting move for the series to directly denigrate civil rights people, with Dredd stating frankly that they do things the totalitarian way now. We may get a little more subtlety as the story progresses, but it’s a bit uncomfortable to just see the “respect for criminals” idea mocked.

But, looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

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