Saturday, 23 November 2013

Judge Dredd: The Billion Credit Caper

NAME
Judge Dredd: The Billion Credit Caper

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Sci-Fi Special 1979

DATELINE
1 June 79

1979's Sci-Fi Special also featured Strontium Dog, M.A.C.H.1, Dan Dare, two Tharg's Future Shocks and a pair of one-offs called A Breath Of Fresh Air and The Kids From Kosma, all behind a Judge Dredd cover by Brian Bolland.

PAGE COUNT
10

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files Restricted Files 01.


SYNOPSIS
Dredd investigate attempts on his life.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Judge Dredd strip by Alan Grant.

INFORMATION
(The year is 2101)

The new Mega-Way Code is essential reading for Mega-City One's drivers. Many buildings in the city have grav-chutes.

Despite most gambling being illegal, Mega-City One has an annual lottery, the first and only prize is a plasteen piggy bank containing one billion credits. This year's winning lottery number is 554387677XX, but the winner was unable to claim without a ticket.

Synthi-Marge and Synthi-Tea are artificial foodstuffs.

Judges can jam elevator doors when required. A wounded perp would go to a prison hospital.

The sub-sonic signals of a bleep cannot be traced.


JUDGE DREDD
There are at least twenty unsuccessful attempts on his life in a single day. Dredd discovers that Don Uggie Apelino has offered one billion credits to whoever can kill Dredd. Knowing the Don cannot have the money, Dredd convinces Walter to pose as his kidnapper to force the ape to steal it. Dredd waits inside the plasteen piggy bank containing the Annual Lottery's prize and pounces as Uggie attempts to steal it. When the ape wins the lottery fair and square, Dredd burns his ticket.

OTHER CHARACTERS
DON UGGIE APELINO
His bleep number is PA984533. He offers to pay one billion credits to whoever can kill Dredd and plans to steal the annual lottery prize to pay the assassin. Dredd arrests him. He also bought a lottery ticket with the number 554387677XX, he wins, but Dredd destroys his ticket.

MAX NORMAL
He has heard about the price of Dredd's head and knows Don Uggie Apelino's bleep number.

WALTER THE WOBOT
He gives Dredd a massage. Dredd convinces him to pretends to have kidnapped him nd posing as Wicked Walt he calls Don Uggie Apelino to force him to steal a billion credits.

ARRESTS
Five. One human with a traffic violation and four apes attempting to steal a billion credits.

DEATHS
Five. Dredd appears to kill one of his would-be assassins. An ape shoots dead a citizen and Judges kill three apes in flashback.

BEST LINES
Dredd: "You haven't read your Mega-Way Code, Citizen. You're driving the right way up a wrong-way street!"

Max: "Hey, man! Don't leave your nark in the dark!"

WORST LINES
Dredd: "Got to roll...and come up shooting!"

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd gives us "Drokk" twice, "I am the law!" once and accidentally "wough", Walter says cwedits, dwink, invigowating, pwoof, sowwy, stwong, vewy, weally, wopes, wough, woughly and wowwy.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
This strips takes take at least two years after Judge Dredd: 'The Ape Gang'.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The reference to Synthi-Tea commercials recalls a famous series of PG Tips adverts. Max Normal sings 'The Best Dressed Chicken In Town', a song first released by Dr. Alimantado in 1978 on the album of the same name. The lottery entertainment features girls singing 'M.C.A.L.' to the apparent tune of 'Y.M.C.A.', also released in 1978 by the Village People.

MISTAKES
It's odd that regarding the annual lottery's acronym the artwork tends toward AMCL, while the script favours MCAL.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: A. A. Grant
Artist: B. Ewins
Letters: Thom

A. A. Grant is Alan Grant. This is the first of many Judge Dredds and he would go on to write for the character in 2000 A.D. itself, the Judge Dredd Megazine, Rock Power and the Daily Star, as well as crossover stories with Batman and Lobo. He also wrote for spinoffs Judge Anderson, Cadet Anderson, The Helltrekkers, Tales Of Mega-City One, Judge Dredd: The Lost Cases, Tales From The Black Museum, Judge Hershey, Max Normal, Mega-City One and Mean Machine. Away from Dredd he has also written for Ace Trucking Co, Apocalypse Soon, Armageddon, Bad City Blue, Bad Company, Blackhawk, B.L.A.I.R.1, Bob The Galactic Bum, Bogie Man, Durham Red, Gil Hazzard - Codename Scorpio, Mazeworld, Middenface McNulty, Mean Team, Juliet November, One-offs, Robo-Hunter, Strontium Dog, Tharg's Future Shocks, Tharg The Mighty, Time Twisters, Whatever Happened To? and What If...?

REVIEW
This is lot of fun. Walter, Max Normal, Don Uggie and Don Uggie's mother make for an impressive supporting cast. It's a shame that the only actual policework is done by Dredd's lawmaster computer, rather than the Judge himself.

The End.