Sunday, 13 January 2013

Judge Dredd: 'Robot Wars', Part 3

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Robot Wars', Part 3

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Programme 12

DATELINE
14 May 77

PAGE COUNT
5

This prog has another Dan Dare cover, this time by Mike Western, a Dan Dare Futuregraph as well as Invasion, Dan Dare, Flesh, Harlem Heroes and M.A.C.H.1 strips.

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD, The Complete Judge Dredd 1 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01


SYNOPSIS
The robot war continues and it goes badly for humanity.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time that a story has lasted to three parts. First appearance of Judge Jack.

INFORMATION
(The events of this part apparently take place seven days after Part 2)

Thousands have died in the Robot War, including 104 Judges. Many Judges have been wounded. The Judges have erected robot proof steel barriers in an attempt to contain the robots. Named Judges: Judge Jack.

Among the robots fighting are marked with slogans which show their intended function:
Dig We Must for Mega City (a gardening robot), Repair Team, Garbage Crew and No Parking.

Industrial robots, the Heavy Metal Kids are regarded as indestructible. They have three arms: one with a hand, one with a pincer and one with a wrecking ball. They can breach the robot proof steel barriers and roadways. There are at least four in Call-Me-Kenneth's army.

There is a robotic factory in Sector 9, Call-Me-Kenneth uses it as his command post.

Mega City 1 Tri-D is a TV channel.

One of the battles takes place on a roadway at least a mile up.

JUDGE DREDD
Dredd leads the war against the robots. He hasn't slept for seven days and eventually collapses from exhaustion. He goes after Call-Me-Kenneth alone.

OTHER CHARACTERS
MARIA
Considers her minestrone to be able to cure exhaustion. She worries about Dredd.

CALL-ME-KENNETH
He has sent a crack robot squad against the Judges and set up his command post in a robotic factory in Sector 9.

JUDGE JACK
Judge Jack is among Dredd's troops and looks after him when he collapses.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
We see three humans being killed by robots (one set upon by Garbage crew robot, one stepped on by a Heavy Metal Kid, another crushed in its hand). Also, four of the Heavy Metal Kids fall a mile to what Judge Jack calls their death.


BEST LINES
Heavy Metal Kid: "Hello Fleshy Ones."

I don't know why, but this phrase seems all the more impressive coming from a Heavy Metal Kid. Also the 'Make War - Not Breakfast!' placard is great.

WORST LINES
Police officer: "It's squeezing the life out of me!"

CATCHPHRASES
The robots say, shout, chant and scrawl variations on "Fleshy Ones" seven times including another appearance for Fleshy Scum and now Fleshy Trash as well.

The heavy metal kids sales pitch returns from Judge Dredd: 'Robots' with a slight variation.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
I can can't imagine Dredd collapsing with exhaustion now. It seems quite brave to show such vulnerability.

NOTES
None.

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

Script: John Wagner
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Jack Potter

Jack Potter would go on to letter for six more Judge Dredd strips as well as A.B.C. Warriors, Invasion, Dan Dare, The Dead Man, Flesh, Tharg's Future Shocks, M.A.C.H.1, Mean Team, D.R. & Quinch, Shako, Tribal Memories, The Visible Man for 2000 AD, Holocaust, Mind Wars, Ro-Busters, and Timequake for Starlord and Strontium Dog for both.

REVIEW
In Part 2, Dredd only appeared on the first and last pages, with everything in between being Call-Me-Kenneth's story. This part reverses that trend with the robot leader only seen in one panel and Dredd in practically all the others, which reinforces the Judge's exhaustion when it hits. The massed army of robots and the battle sequence look great, but the rhyming robots are very, very odd.

Do Not Let Your House Robot Read This Story - It Might Give Him Bad Ideas!