Judge Dredd: Elvis, Part 1
(according to Barney this strip is called 'The Killer Car' and also known as Elvis, but since Part Four is explicitly labelled with the latter I have plumped for that for the first three as well)
2000 A.D. Prog 53
25 Feb 78
The Complete Judge Dredd 5, Judge Dredd Annual 1991 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.
Elvis, the robot car, goes on a killing spree.
FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Judges Chico and Che.
Robot cars have responsibility circuits.
Ejector seats are fitted to cars as an anti-theft device
Luna-City has parking towers for cars.
Named Judges: Judge Sa... (partial name only), Judge Gosne... (partial name only).
Dave Paton dies in his arms and he goes after Elvis.
He saved for ten years to buy his robot car, he chose the personality of a child for it and named it Elvis. He attempts to work on the car himself, but accidentally damages its responsibility circuits. Elvis kills him when he tries to turn it off.
Dave Paton's robot car refers to him as Dad. When his owner accidentally damages his responsibility circuits, he drives faster, with less care, refuses to turn off. Elvis strangles Paton in the driving seat, ejects him and crushes him under its bonnet. Elvis drives off on a rampage, takes refuge in a parking tower and reprograms the other robot cars.
At least two. Elvis crushes Dave Paton in his bonnet and runs the parking tower attendant over. It's not clear if Elvis kills another member of the public, but he certainly picks one up with his claw.
Elvis: "I've never strangled you before, how do you like it, Dave? I find it...quite pleasant..."
Dan Paton: "Whoops...I dropped my spanner."
We get another "Aieeeee..."
CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Killdozer (1974) and The Car (1977) are both films concerning 'possessed' and homicidal vehicles, while Elvis' conversation with Dave alludes to 2001: A Space Odyssey. James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger (1964) is probably the most famous car with an ejector seat. Elvis sings of 'Red Rover' which is a song that is part of the game of the same name dating from the 19th century.
Which of the equally slender Judges is the fat one?
Judge Gosne... is presumably another reference to 2000 A.D.'s editor Kelvin O'Gosnell.
Script: John Howard
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Tom Frame
The artwork and layout of the opening two-page spread is great, but later pages feel somewhat cluttered. So far this story feels a bit silly and as though it would probably have had more resonance if it took place in Mega-City One.
Next Prog: Rampage!