Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Judge Dredd: 'Christmas Comes To Des O'Connor Block'

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'Christmas Comes To Des O'Connor Block'
(according to Barney (the website), this strip is also known as The Day Barney Went Haywire)

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. and Tornado Prog 144

DATELINE
22 Dec 79

This prog also featured Blackhawk, Captain Klep, Ro-Jaws, The Stainless Steel Rat and The Mind Of Wolfie Smith strips and a wraparound super cover poster by Brian Bolland and John Burns.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best Of 2000AD 2, Judge Dredd Classics 66, The Complete Judge Dredd 13, Judge Dredd Definitive Ed. Metal Fatigue, Judge Dredd Chronicles Book 2, Judge Dredd 15 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 03.

SYNOPSIS
Barney declares it Christmas at Des O'Connor Block.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
(Apparently it's not Christmas)

Des O'Connor Block has at least 63 floors, a school, a plaza, a penthouse and a feedway that heads directly into the block. Barney, the town hall computer, starts a fire in the block school, sends letters to the residents and invites them to a Christmas party in the block plaza.

Toy Universe supply toys in Mega-City One.

Named Judges: Judge Lee, Judge Roper, Judge Shapiro, Judge Telfer.

JUDGE DREDD
He is trapped in Des O'Connor Block when Barney declares an early Christmas.

OTHER CHARACTERS
BARNEY
The town hall has a down-home voice and a video smile. It starts a fire in Des O'Connor Block school, sends letters to the residents and invites them to a Christmas party in the block plaza. Barney can erase government records and is in charge of every other computer in the city. He can electrify himself to prevent tampering and he can turn himself off.

ARRESTS
Plenty. Smythe is arrested for murder. Another citizen is arrested for theft.

DEATHS
Two. Hunk Smythe stabs Mr. Gregori from 32-112 to death. A little girl gets trampled to death.

BEST LINES
Dredd: "Merry Christmas, Creep!"

WORST LINES
Barney: "Aw, heck...I'm sorry..."

CATCHPHRASES
A Judge shouts "Dok!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
Barney was previously seen in Father Earth, part 2.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Des O'Connor Block gets its name from Desmond O'Connor (born 1932), a British entertainer and singer who had a number-one hit with 'I Pretend' and was the butt of many of Eric Morecambe's jokes (1926-1984). A citizen sings 'Happy Days Are Here Again', a song copyrighted in 1929 by Milton Ager (1893-1979) and Jack Yellen (1892-1991).

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: John Howard
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
There's a nice bit of social commentary here as Barney gives the people of Des O'Connor Block everything they want and chaos ensues. McMahon's art is wonderful. Dredd says it's not Christmas, so Christmas is an odd time to schedule this strip.

Next Dredd: Uncle Umpty's Magic Candy!