2000AD Prog 5: Dredd’s Attacking the Cyborg!

Dredd makes the cover!  He’s a tiny dot on a Lawmaster, but he is there!  He’s not attacking a cyborg either, whatever the strapline says – it’s a plain old giant robot, albeit covered in fur.

The intro for Invasion! is over, with Savage now being part of the Resistance the Mad Dogs have entered London, ready to start causing trouble for the Volgs.

The resistance is going strong in the next story as well, but this time the dinosaurs are fighting (well, biting) the humans in Flesh.  Once again, Old One Eye is toppled, but this time she doesn’t stay down for long.  The poorly programmed Robot Marshall won’t let anyone have their guns back, so it’s going to be up to Reagan and Carver to burn down Carver City to drive the dinosaurs away.

I like the intro page for Harlem Heroes, bordered along the bottom of the two-page spread by the Harlem fans – that Dave Gibbons is going places!  The next page sees our introduction to the wild staring eyes of Ulysses Cord, offering a sparkly new superliner with a chopper and other satellite vehicles, with no strings attached.  Not at all dodgy then.  The first mention of a Transatlantic Tunnel as well.

Three chameleonic Biogs greet us on the next page, communicating with each other through changing colour.  If they turn red, then get away quick.  Monday and Dare defeat one, not that it makes any difference as they end up captured in a stomach prison cell anyway.  Back on the Odyssey, Ziggy Rodann tries to make the supreme sacrifice for the good of the ship, but acting commander Milton hesitates and she lives.

The next page sees the Nerve Centre, and the first appearance of the voting coupon – ‘This is what I like best…’ – kindly, the mighty one has filled in the first choice for us – that’s one vote for Tharg then!  Tharg isn’t a hands-on kind of editor apparently, as he has a letter-reading robot and a popularity programmer.  On the same page is an odd advert from the Home Office to answer questions on the police.  I forgot to mention, the previous prog saw an ad for the Air Training Corps.  Not seeming so anti-establishment now!

We get another Futuregraph – this one is for ‘War is the Volgan way of life’.  There seems to be a two-tier system in Volgan society – peasants work in the fields and factories while everybody else gets into fatigues and marches off to war.  There’s another secret message for those lucky souls who have a Red Alert Survival Wallet.

M.A.C.H.1 is off on holiday (recuperating from being shot the previous week) and showing off to Karen, who he asks too many questions when he shows off his hyper-power.  He can’t step on to a beach while on holiday without running in to an illegal weapons dealer though.  Towards the end of this episode he has a few doubts about his position as a man with a non-conscience in the form of his on-brain computer (Probe has the conscience, the computer tries to get him to ignore his emotions).  Pictorially this is an inauspicious start for the art droid who later will bring us talking cats, displaced Sov Judges and the Gila Munja, though its not every day you’re asked to draw a secret agent punching two people out of opposite sides of an aircraft…

Finally we get Dredd, in an Ezquerra-illustrated story featuring Kevin O’Neill, but as a character, not an artist!  I bumped into O’Neill last year, and he seemed completely unaware that there was a Dredd villain with his name (or he’d blocked it out).


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