2000AD and Tornado Prog 163: “Ug!” Dredd draws another blank in his search for the Judge Child

Black Boab takes the cover this week (along with Dredd and that photo / holo of Owen Krysler).

Tharg’s Nerve Centre trails the Summer Special, in about 8 weeks’ time (and teases that the secret of his powers will be revealed).

Sam Slade: Robo-Hunter Day of the Droids! continues from TB Grover and Ian Gibson. Legs leads Slade to Robo Land, where all the humans who have been replaced by robots are held. Robo Land itself is an amusement park based on robot simulacrums of famous people, as well as set-pieces such as the Vikings invading Britain. While distracted by a Clark Gable robot, Sam Slade finds first the dead body of Legs Latuna, then five robot Sam Slades (in a panel not dissimilar to Dave Gibbon’s panel of Dare being confronted by the plant body-snatcher copies of Bear.

MACH Zero: The Final Days by Ian Rogan and Mike Dorey. Tommy tries to escape from the mansion that his foster family live in, but gets punished for it. Zero has somehow managed to find his son in the lonely house in Dartmoor – this is completely hand-waved away as some sort of primal instinct. The previous episode had a nightmare montage, which will no doubt prove to be a similarly primal premonition of events later in the story. Tommy has no idea that Zero is actually his father, so at the first opportunity leaves Zero lying around in agony as the long term effects of compu-puncture hyper-power overcome him. Almost at the station, he comes up to a roadblock at the exact moment that Sir Miles Rathbone and Doctor Moran arrive to exposite about how Zero is Tommy’s father. Tommy starts the long run (three miles) back to where he last saw Zero…

Two pages of editorial next – the first is six Design an Alien readers’ art while the second is a page of Classified Ads which looks like it was great fun for the editorial staff of 2000AD to come up with. My personal favourites are the ad for Mac Mac and R. Random’s job wanted ad.

Judge Dredd: The Judge Child has John Howard sharing creator duties with Mike McMahon on Part 8: An Alien Tale. This is a weird one – it has nothing to do with the Judge Child Quest and the world of Mega-City One intrudes only tangentially (though crucially for Buggo). I like prehistorical stories, and this is a tale of primitive hominids (called Oms, of the planet Ombra) and a fight between Buggo (an artist) and Black Boab (a warrior). Odds are on Boab to win until Dredd’s Justice One causes a distraction where Buggo can push Boab into the path of his stampeding steed. Mike McMahon’s tribal stylings in this prog show an inkling of what we’ll get on Släine in about three or four years time.

The Mind of Wolfie Smith by Tom Tully and Redondo. Wolfie almost gets caught but thinks that because he can teleport objects (can he? Don’t remember that one) he can attempt to teleport himself, which he does. Seeing as this is his first time he gets a little off target and materialises on the bonnet of a taxi. On the run, a shopkeeper throws his pursuers off his scent, due to problems that the rescuer has had with the law in the past. After a demonstration of psychic powers, the shopkeeper (Rumbold) mentions his boss – next prog: “Enter the Bogieman!”

The V.C.s from Gerry Finlay-Day (in a rare instance of having his full name in the credit card) with Cam Kennedy taking over art duties from last prog’s Gary Leach. Smith saves Ringer’s life, not that he’s particularly grateful (remember, it’s not long since Ringer tried to kill Smith, then got the two sentenced to death). The pair infiltrate a huge geek base, but a general arrives following the discovery of their equipment capsule. Once again, Ringer gets caught by geeks, begging Smith to save him. Smith ponders how he could do nothing and rid himself of the problem that is Ringer – and to honest I can’t see what Smith could do to save Ringer’s life, being surrounded, as they are, by an entire geek army. We’ll find out what Smith does next prog (I’m going to guess that he’s too heroic to let Ringer die).

Tharg introduces some of 2000AD’s stable mates. I’d have said 2000AD and Tornado, like it says on the cover, but Tharg neglects to mention the Tornado bit… The companion titles to 2000AD at this point in IPC’s history (in the boy’s comics dissection, anyway) are Tiger, Speed, Roy of the Rovers and Battle. Around the time that I started reading 2000AD I was also reading Tiger and Battle (not sure on exact timing but 1983 was the year).

The back cover is given to Kevin O’Neill’s The 7 Wonders of the Galaxy No 2: Valley of the Gods. For reference, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were: the Great Pyramid of Giza; Hanging Gardens of Babylon; Temple of Artemis; Statue of Zeus; Mausoleum at Halicarnassus; the Colossus of Rhodes (which sci-fi version we got last week) and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. This week’s entry is a riff on the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

Grailpage: Mike Dorey, Dartmoor mansion almost won, but I’m going for Kevin O’Neill’s giant aliens fossilised in an alien valley.

Grailquote: Mac Mac “Refreshes the parts other drinks daren’t go near!”

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