Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Judge Dredd: 'The Academy Of Law', Part 1

Judge Dredd: 'The Academy Of Law', Part 1 (according to Barney this strip is also known as 'Rookie')

2000 A.D. Prog 27

27 Aug 77


This prog featured a supercover by Brian Bolland and Invasion, Tharg's Future Shocks, Harlem Heroes, M.A.C.H.1 and Shako strips.

Judge Dredd Annual 1985, Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2) Issue 20,
Judge Dredd: The Early Cases 4, The Complete Judge Dredd 2 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.

Dredd is accompanied by a Rookie Judge.

First explicit reference to another 2000AD strip, first appearance of Judge Cadets, a Rookie Judge, Giant and the as-yet-unnamed principal of the Academy, first Futsie.

In Mega-City One, the Academy Of Law is a giant building where Judge Cadets receive their training. It has a robot receptionist. Cadet's uniforms are essentially white versions of those worn by Judges with Cadet written across an eagle on the chest. Cadets are enrolled as children and graduate at the age of twenty. They have no contact with their family whilst at the academy. Ninth year cadets undergo combat training in an arena-sized reconstruction of part of Mega-City One. They use live ammunition against robotdummies and can get expelled for being careless. After the cadet's graduation ceremony they become Rookie Judges and wear black uniforms with white helmets and Half-Eagle badges. When awarded these the Cadets shout "Hail Rookie Judge [Insert name]! May your Lawgiver always fire true". They are then paired with a serving Judge for on-the-street training. The black helmet and full Eagle badge are only received after testing under actual combat conditions. Tutor's uniforms have Tutor written across an eagle on the chest.

The visors on Judge's helmets are bullet proof. Named Judges: Rookie Judge Giant, Judge Mills (deceased), Judge Moore (deceased), Judge Steele (deceased), also Cadets Hunt, Wagner and Gibson (all Class of '79, Judge status unknown), Cadet Wilson (Class of '78, Judge status unknown) and Cadet Bobbie Smith (enrolled this year).

The city is also the location of Nixon Plaza (presumably not in Sector three), the site of Space Hop travel office from where you can purchase travel to Mercury, dubbed the Sunshine Planet, and also get cheap day returns to Mars.

Futsies are people who suffer from Future Shock illness, are unable to stand the pace of 21st century living and go on mad killing frenzies. The minimum penalty for mass murder under Penal Code Eleven is thirty years imprisonment, but a future shock sufferer would get medical treatment rather than a prison sentence.

A neat aeroswerve is a useful manoevre in Aeroball. 'Giant', the captain of the Harlem Heroes was known for scoring quick airstrikes.

He graduated in the honour roll of the class of '79 alongside Cadets Hunt, Wagner and Gibson. Dredd has only passed one Rookie Judge before. He's aware of the Harlem Heroes and their captain 'Giant'.

He is twenty years old (presumably born in 2079). His father was the Captain of the Harlem Heroes Aeroball team and he calls him Pappy Giant. He has graduated with honours and as a Rookie Judge he is paired with Dredd. Dredd initally fails him, but gives him a second chance.

He wears an eye patch over his right eye.

Presumably Happy Harry is still arrested.

It appears that Happy Harry has killed at least two during his Futsie.

Dredd (of a cadet): "Careless, very careless. When he's recovered, he'll be expelled. He wouldn't last a minute against hardened Mega-City criminals."

Futsie: "Hunnnn! Hunnnn! Can't catch me Judgo Boy! I gotta lot more happiness to spread around! Hunnnn!"

A cadet says "Drokk!"

Judge Alvin from Judge Dredd: 'Judge Whitey' is mentioned as lost in action and apparently graduated as part of the Class of '78. The Academy Of Law combat training arena is similar to that seen in Judge Dredd: 'The Judge's Graveyard'. Rookie Judge Giant is the son of John Clay, nicknamed Giant, captain of the Harlem Heroes whose story began in the first Prog, ran for 27 parts and draws to a close in the same prog as this very strip. There were previous references to Mega-City One in Harlem Heroes, but this is the first time they have been reciprocated.

The term Future Shock was coined by Alvin Toffler in his 1970 book of the same name. He defines it as a psychological state of a personal perception of "too much change in too short a period of time". Futsie sounds like footsie and FTSE, below table flirting and the Financial Times Stock Exchange respectively.


Both the tutors we see here are disabled in some way, one wears an eye patch while the other is missing an arm, whilst not not explained as such here this will turn out to be Academy Of Law policy.

The relationship between Futsie Future Shocks and Tharg's Future Shocks, which began in Prog 25, is unclear.

There are no credits printed in the strip itself and so the following are taken from Barney.

Script: John Wagner
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Bill Nuttall

The artwork is great and it's nice to see a bit of Dredd's past. Bringing Judge Dredd and Harlem Heroes together into one continuity is not in itself a huge step, but it is the first step towards Dredd being 2000 AD's main strip with a shared universe around him.

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