2000AD and Starlord Prog 117: I’ve already got you for Theft, Kidnap and Assault, Lawbreaker! Don’t add Murder to the List!

This week’s cover is a dynamic (and very yellow) image from Ron Smith, of Dredd jumping from one ambulance to another.

The Nerve Centre trails a Starlord spaceship feature later in the same prog.

Judge Dredd: Cityblock 1. Ron Smith’s splash page shows, in order, a portrait of Judge Dredd, a view of the outside of Charlton Heston Block and a view of a mall inside the block. This is the first named cityblock to be shown, and so one of the most iconic features of Mega-City One is in place. In the foreground is Dredd chasing a citizen through the mall, a park (including beach), hospital and the streets of Mega-City One. In the background are a myriad of nice touches: Fergee, The True Story at the cinema; an Approved Bookshop; robo-ducks in the park (residents only)… The story is perfectly matched with the art, with the final page listing the citizen’s crimes, most of which are an escalation of the original offence which prompted Dredd to call out to him (punchline) – dropping a candy wrapper. Next prog: Cityblock 2. I’ve read it, but can’t remember any details – maybe a scene with a robot careers advisor which gets destroyed with the vandal taking on the role (until they get arrested). I may be mixing it up with a later story though…

Rick Random and the Riddle of the Astral Assassin Part 5. Is it the last episode yet? Nope. Through a few leaps of logic Random guesses that the Guebin’s home planet is undergoing a coup and that all the murders in the sphere have merely been a distraction. Everyone heads off to Shova, the home planet but are intercepted by battleships as they approach. From there it’s a sneak landing on the planet, but not sneaky enough. Next prog: The Final Solution! (does that mean the final episode?)

Starlord’s Spaceship Special contains four pieces of reader’s art of spaceships, one looking like a photo of a rather competently constructed model. Perhaps too competent – it wouldn’t look entirely out of place in a Star Wars knock-off film or TV series.

Strontium Dog, Journey Into Hell very conspicuously moves towards an end. Flash Harry runs off and is taken by a swamp monster, Alpha gets snatched, losing his blasters (but not his electronux) then Don gets taken by snapping skulls. Finally the devil makes an appearance. I’m going to have to remember to keep an eye out for the devil that Dredd will meet in an annual in about five years time. I’m thinking they might share some similarities though won’t be exactly the same (they’re also not meant to be the same being, for reasons which will become apparent before the end of this story).

Tharg’s Future-Shocks: Hand of Friendship with script and art by J Richardson and lettering from P Knight. Brant and Jones are in a survival pod, having broadcast a distress call. An alien warship answers their call but cannot rescue them, but they can send them some food supplies. They request a hand with bread and water. Can you guess the pun-tastic punchline? The bread and water are the starter…

Dan Dare: Servant of Evil the battle between Dare and Co with the Guardian continues, while the Mekon arrives at the crystal (taking out those who helped him get there – though I suspect Hagnar may survive, buried under rubble. The Mekon bathes in the light of the crystal and gets rejuvenated. Meanwhile, Dare goes for the power terminal in the heel of the Guardian (with shades of Talos from Jason and the Argonauts).

The Mighty Tharg’s Reader Survey, back when reader’s surveys meant something! Out of the choices at the time I’d say Ro-Busters was my favourite, Rick Random my least favourite, favourite type of story is ‘robots’ (other options included ‘future sports’, ‘life in the future’, ‘monsters’, etc). Though only Ro-Busters / Robot Wars / Robo-Hunter types of robot story, and not Walter the Wobot Fwiend of Dwedd. Favourite story ever, at this point? The Fall and Rise of Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein.

Other than an advert on the back page, the final pages are given over to the Laugh In and Ro-Jaws Robo-Round-Up, featuring reader’s art for the second time this prog – Starlord’s page was spaceships, Ro-Jaws page is, of course, robots. One of B.O. the sewer robot from Robo-Hunter (very obviously copied directly from an Ian Gibson picture), Tyranno-Mek (looking less copied) and a few other pictures.

Grailpage: Ron Smith’s opening page to Cityblock 1 – it has everything: a portrait of Dredd, a perspective view of a cityblock and a detailed view of a mall inside the block.

Grailquote: Tom Tully, The Mekon: “He should not have referred to me as a dwarf who floats on a cooking pot!” though also tempted by John Howard, Judge Dredd: “I’ve tried hard not to kill you, but set this thing down now – or I’m gonna save myself some paperwork!” – Dredd’s first mention of paperwork?

2 thoughts on “2000AD and Starlord Prog 117: I’ve already got you for Theft, Kidnap and Assault, Lawbreaker! Don’t add Murder to the List!

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