Judge Dredd: The Oxygen Desert, Part 1
2000 A.D. Prog 48
21 Jan 78
The Complete Judge Dredd 4, Judge Dredd: The Early Cases 5 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 01.
Dredd recounts the events that left him dying of asphyxiation on the lunar surface.
FIRSTS AND LASTS
First Part 1 of a strip specifically labelled as such.
On Luna-1, causing an accident while driving can result in a driving ban of five years and a fine of 73,000 credits. The sentence for armed robbery is ten years on a dome repair gang. There is a sin bin in Luna City for depositing arrested criminals for later collection. A priority 1 call means life is in danger. A Judge's hover bike has an oxygen supply which connects to valves on their helmets and when accompanied with an airtight vacuum visor makes them self-sufficient on the lunar surface. Named Judges: Judge Wimpey.
Apollo territory is outside the domed area and the current site of road building. Badlands gangs live out in the Hills of Ipsimus.
Plasti-Tar is road surface. Low Tension Cellu-Foam is used for dome construction and a breach is automatically sealed.
Dustboards are devices shaped like surfboards that hover.
As part of his duties as Marshall, he presides over a minor complaints court. Frustrated with it, he abandons it in favour of patrolling Luna City. He is called to an attack on a roadmaker crew in Apollo Territory. Afterwards he goes in search of the gang's leader, Carmody, but instead finds a dummy. Carmody shoots Dredd and falls from his bike and oxygen supply.
WALTER THE WOBOT
He attends to Dredd's needs, whilst the Judge is at the minor complaints court.
Dredd leaves him in charge of arbitrating at the minor complaints court.
The leader of the Badlands gang. His gang attacks a roadmaker crew in Apollo Territory. Carmody escapes arrest and Dredd goes after him. He prepares a successful trap with a dummy for Dredd. He shoots Dredd off his bike and out of reach of his oxygen supply. His referred to as both Wild Bill and Butch.
The bandidos are rounded up.
Three judges and a whole road crew die during the Badlands Gang attack, whilst one of the gang members falls headfirst into a vat of Plasti-Tar.
Dredd: "If we let danger stop us running down a lawbreaker we're not fit to wear the Judge's badge...remember that Judge Wimpey."
Armed Robber: "Don't nobody call the law or...Erk!"
Walter says fwesh.
CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Carmody's nicknames recall Wild Bill Hickock (1837–1876) and Butch Cassidy (1866–1908 or 1866-1936 depending on who you believe).
Dredd says "all Judges to dome perimeter", but without being more specific, surely this would have the opposite effect of concentrating them in one place. Later he has "to wait 'til nightfall", but day and night on the Moon both last 14.7 Earth days, which although not impossible makes waiting until after dark seem less likely.
Script: John Howard
Artist: Ian Gibson
Letters: Tony Jacob
Dredd's oxygen starvation isn't really at the core of this story at all. Who is Dredd talking to? If he was recording a log of some description then this would all be far more plausible and perilous. Dredd's dismissive attitude to the Bullock's potential domestic violence is astonishing.
Next Prog: "Down And Out"