Friday, 7 November 2014

Judge Dredd: 'The Psycos', Part 1

NAME
Judge Dredd: 'The Psycos', Part 1

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD Featuring Judge Dredd Prog 216

DATELINE
13 June 81

This featured one of the all time great Judge Dredd covers by Brian Bolland, a Rogue Trooper preview and Tharg's Future Shocks, Meltdown Man, Return To Armageddon and Strontium Dog strips.

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Best of 2000AD 28, The Complete Judge Dredd 21, Judge Dredd's Crime Files 5, Judge Dredd Mega City Vice Book 1 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 05.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd investigates a death caused a Psyker.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First part of 'The Mega-Rackets' not labelled as such. Last part of 'The Mega-Rackets' not labelled as such.

INFORMATION
Synthetti is synthetic spaghetti. Crepetto is a dish.

A hover taxi is taxi that hovers. Whizz bars are a automobile component.

Individuals with Psi powers, or Psykers, have been used by criminal gangs to ensure loyalty among members, to predict potential failure and to broadcast directly into the minds of individuals to convince them to pay protection money. A Psyker can confuse the senses of its target. The Justice Department's Psi Division can detect psionic interference in a corpse.

Third Eye Insurance is an insurance company that employs Psykers to force individuals to take out policies.

JUDGE DREDD
He is called to scene of Aldo Pollo's death. Under Section 59(d) of the criminal code he undertakes crime blitz search of Rex Squeers' home. Dredd later has him followed by spy-in-the sky cameras and strip-searched when he arrives at work.

OTHER CHARACTERS
ALDO POLLO
Wealthy restaurateur without insurance. He owns Aldo's Sintheria on the 698th floor of a high rise building. He hallucinates a synthetti monster and steps on an equally illusory hover taxi and falls to his death. He was subject to psionic interference that burnt out half his pineal cells.

FINGERS
Member of a criminal gang that was loyal to Low-Side Larry instead.

LOW-SIDE LOUIS
Fingers really works for him.

REX SQUEERS
Third Eye Insurance's top Psyker and Psi Division's top suspect for Aldo Pollo's murder. Dredd undertakes crime blitz search of Rex Squeers' home. Later Dredd has him followed by spy-in-the sky cameras and strip-searched when he arrives at work.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
One. Aldo Pollo fell to his death.

BEST LINES
Gangster: "Put it this way, Bud - if you don't buy one of our policies, you're gonna have an accident for sure!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Squeers says "Rot you"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Squeers shares his surname with a character from Nicholas Nickleby (1838).

MISTAKES
Sintheria was presumably meant to be spelled Syntheria.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: John Wagner/Alan Grant
Artist: Barry Mitchell
Letters: Unknown

REVIEW
Sadly, Barry Mitchell's Synthetti monsters in the strip fail to live up to Brian Bolland's amazing cover and that is the general tone of this strip. It doesn't quite live up to the other 'Mega Rackets' that we've seen so far. The script gives us an interesting character in Aldo Pollo, but he doesn't survive past the second page. Rex Squeers, however, seems fairly unremarkable despite his abilities and isn't shown in close-up until the final frame at which point his desire to exact revenge on Dredd falls pretty flat.