Prog #139: I’ll Disturb Him, Alright! (The Great Plasteen Disaster)

Case File

A bacteria is eating away all the plasteen in the City – and most of the City is made of plasteen!

Ol’ Stoney Face

While the rest of the Judges seem happy to just stop any further damage and deal with the damage once the initial disaster is over, Dredd is determined to hold someone accountable.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

Plasteen is the “miracle product” of the 22nd Century, and due to its versatility is used in almost everything from construction materials and hardware to clothes and medical devices.

The Inter-Space Corporation has a new cargo terminal at the Mega-City Spaceport, where it is assumed the plasteen-devouring bacteria first arrived in the Big Meg. Half of the City ends up debilitated by the bug.

The Law

Dredd tries to pin the blame for the disaster on Inter-Space Corporation and its owner K K Danvers, but doesn’t appear to have a whole lot in the way of evidence. We learn that the litigation system is still very much alive and well in the 22nd Century as Danvers faces a bunch of lawsuits from affected businesses.

Creeps

We don’t actually get any specific detail on how and when the bacteria arrived, but we’re meant to assume that Danvers and his corporation are responsible. It turns out that Danvers has an artificial heart made of plasteen, and has put himself in an isolation tent. This is torn away by the angry members of the other companies of MC-1, leading to the end of Danvers.

Rap Sheet

Danvers is technically killed after his isolation tent is breached – will the angry would-be-suers be arrested?

Resyk

The disaster has to cost a lot of lives – including Danvers himself after his artificial heart dissolves.

Verdict

This one is very strangely structured. I would have expected a disaster like this to be told over a few more parts – trying to condense it into 6 pages, and still have a “twist” ending, just makes it all feel inconsequential. There are some good moments played for broad comedy as people’s clothes and even dentures dissolve, but overall it just feels like they come up with the ending first and tried to fit everything around it.

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