Monday, 7 January 2013
Judge Dredd: 'Frankenstein II'
Judge Dredd: 'Frankenstein II'
2000 A.D. Programme 6
2 Apr 77
This strip featured alongside a M.A.C.H.1 cover by Mike Dorey, Invasion, Dan Dare, Flesh, Harlem Heroes and M.A.C.H.1 strips, as well as a Harlem Heroes Futuregraph.
Judge Dredd Annual 1983, Judge Dredd (Volume 2, Issue 21), The Complete Judge Dredd 1 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.
Dredd follows a gang of bodysnatchers back to their hideout and defeats Frankenstein 2.
FIRSTS & LASTS
First Tony Jacob letters. First attempt to bribe Dredd.
Transplant surgery has been perfected and as a result people could almost live forever. This has lead to it being made illegal.
Mega City One is made up of at least six sub sectors and has at least ten subways. Subway Ten is in Sub Sector 6 of the city. Auto Medics are ambulances, which carry a nurse as standard. The Justice H.Q. controllers have access to the city's control cameras and LWAY control. The Judge's helmets have anti-dazzle visors which protect the wearer's eyes.
Dredd witnesses the theft of an ambulance and the corpse within, but doesn't step in because he wants to bust the whole operation. He locates Frankenstein 2's hideout and arrests him for engaging in transplant surgery (and presumably attempted bribery) and his millionaire patient for receiving stolen goods. He has a another Lawmaster bike (see Judge Dredd: 'Krong') and uses its cannon to shoot five of Frankenstein 2's henchmen.
He performs transplant surgery for the rich from a secret hideout inside Mega-City One's Subway Ten in Sub Sector 6, with cold storage and surgical facilities. He has a gang of at least five members who steal corpses for him. Frankenstein 2 tries to bribe Dredd to no avail and surrenders.
Two. Frankenstein 2 and his patient.
None that we see. The body in the ambulance is presumbly recently dead and Dredd shoots Frankenstein's five henchmen, but we don't see if they are killed (below).
Frankestein 2: "I gave you your chance, Judge - And now..."
Dredd: "And now - Nothing!"
Frankenstein 2's Henchman: "Outta the way! Our boss Frankenstein 2 wants that body! He makes the original Frankenstein look like a jelly baby!" (below)
Dredd's "You can't bribe a judge!" is probably a refrain he will return to.
CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Is Sub Sector 6 a reference to Section Six from Judge Dredd: 'Judge Whitey'?
INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Presumably Frankenstein (1818), and to give the strip its dues there's no implication that Frankenstein 2 takes his name from the monster, but instead from the creator, which is the mistake that practically everybody else makes.
If Judge's helmets have anti-dazzle visors, why does Dredd shout "The light!" if he is unaffected?
It's interesting that the strip ends whilst focussing on the bigger picture of supply being dictated by demand, with Dredd saying "It's rich cats like you who kept Frankenstein 2 in business. You are the real villains!"
The panel of Dredd riding straight towards the reader was used in the preview in Prog #1. It also seems that the script accompanying the panel of Frankenstein 2 surrendering was altered and Dredd probably killed him in the original.
There are no credits on the original strip itself, these are from Barney. The reprint in The Complete Case Files 01 features a 2000 A.D. Credit Card Compu-73E.
Script: Malcolm Shaw
Artwork: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tony Jacob
Tony Jacob would letter 22 more Judge Dredd strips, as well as the likes of Ace Trucking Co, Invasion, Dan Dare, Flesh, Tharg's Future Shocks, Harry Twenty, The Helltrekkers, A Joe Black Adventure, Judge Anderson, Max Normal, M.A.C.H.1, The Mean Arena, Mean Team, Nemesis The Warlock, Shako, Skizz, Tharg The Mighty, Shok!, Ro-Busters, Strontium Dog and Timequake.
It's surprising that a strip that begins with a such a ridiculous opening line could build to a genuinely interesting ending. Although not dealt with in depth, the concept of outlawing the prospect of immortality is a fascinating one.