nomadicwriter: Judge Dredd age 6 (Dredd)
[personal profile] nomadicwriter posting in [community profile] scans_daily
More Dredd! The third and final part of my series of posts on Dredd's family. (See links for parts one and two.) A tale of terrorist plots, cloning experiments gone wrong, Christmas gatherings and tea breaks.

About 20 pages of scans beneath the cut. (Warning for discussion of euthanasia, brief reference to a possible suicide attempt.)

Total War and Beyond

The year is now 2126 (making Dredd 65, if you're counting) and it's been a few months since the events of "Brothers of the Blood". In "Total War", progs 1408-19, Mega-City One comes under threat by a terrorist group who have planted nukes in the city. Meanwhile, Dredd also has a more personal matter to deal with.

Dredd is told about Nimrod

Naturally, Justice Department's attempts to create a super-clone went Horribly Wrong, and Nimrod suffered increasing neural decay, eventually setting himself on fire in what may or may not have been a suicide attempt.

Dredd refuses to take responsibility

When Dredd makes it clear he doesn't consider Nimrod to be his responsibility, the Judges attempt to get Vienna to act as next of kin in his stead.

The Judges contact Vienna Vienna is informed about Nimrod

Struggling to know what to do, Vienna contacts Dredd for his advice.

Dredd advises Vienna to stay out of it

Travelling to the facility to see Nimrod, Vienna is caught up in the edge of a bomb blast. Nimrod saves her, but suffers a seizure while he's attempting to carry her to safety, putting her life at risk and prompting the Judges on-scene to shoot him. When Dredd arrives, Vienna tries to tell him that Nimrod was looking out for her.

Vienna tells Dredd Nimrod saved her

Nimrod has survived the shooting, but the medics don't think they can do anything to help him. Dredd finds himself forced to take responsibility after all.

Dredd speaks to Nimrod

Whether the incident weighs on Dredd's mind, we don't know, but something else is definitely bothering him. During the crisis, he prioritised saving Vienna over helping other citizens, and he's not happy with himself for having behaved so unprofessionally.

Dredd tries to resign

At this point, for the first time, a writer other than John Wagner takes on the story of the family Dredd, when Gordon Rennie picks up the tale in the aftermath. In "Visiting Hour", prog 1423, Rico visits Vienna during her recovery.

Rico visits Vienna

It seems Dolman's been keeping in touch, but Vienna's not feeling so friendly towards the rest of her relatives after being confronted with Dredd's colder side.

Vienna speaks to Rico about Dredd killing Nimrod

Rico sticks up for Dredd

Dredd shows up to see Vienna, but Rico advises him that he should probably let her be for a while. Unfortunately for Vienna, the unusual event of a Judge making a family visit has already drawn attention to her, and one of the medical staff sells this valuable info on to an interested party.

In "Blood Trails" (progs 1440-49) the Sovs try to get an agent close to Vienna. After she repeatedly shuts down their attempts to have someone pick her up in a bar, they call in their top man, Pasha. Armed with a fake Brit-Cit background and a face change that makes him look suspiciously like George Clooney, he meets with greater success.

Vienna meets Pasha

The Sovs hack Vienna's address book

Dredd sends Rico to check on Vienna. He's immediately suspicious of her new boyfriend, but by this point the Sovs have traced the identity of Vienna's uncle and it becomes a race against time.

The Sovs identify Dredd

The Sovs kidnap Vienna, intending to use her as a hostage to get their demands met. Naturally Dredd refuses to even pretend to negotiate, and tracks them to their base to try and rescue her. In the end, however, Vienna's own Dredd traits come to the fore and she ends up freeing herself and saving him instead:

Vienna escapes

Vienna shoots Pasha and reunites with Dredd

(Is that a tiny little fraction of a smile from Dredd in that last panel there? You be the judge.)

The aftermath of events in "Blood Trails" leaves several Judges injured, including Rico, who has to have a titanium replacement jaw put in. In the follow-up story, "Matters of Life and Death" (prog 1452) we learn that Vienna has some issues of her own to deal with:

Vienna discovers she's pregnant

(Note: next scan apparently has a typo in the first panel; the second balloon should probably read, "there's no sign of this 'bloodline' flaw".)

The medical droid gives Vienna her options

The medic explains pre-natal adoption

Vienna agrees to the procedure

(These events occurred in 2127, around six years ago Dreddverse time, but so far the plot thread of what happened to Vienna's child hasn't been explored.)

After Rennie's tenure writing for the Dredd family, John Wagner revisits them again in "Class of '79", a one-off story in the end-of-year special Prog 2006. In the midst of investigating a former Academy classmate for embezzlement, Dredd drops in on Vienna for a Christmas visit, and we see the entire clan gathered for the first and as yet only time.

A Dredd family Christmas

About six months after this came the Wagner-penned epic "Origins", which revisited the past of the Dreddverse in flashback and fleshed out a lot about Dredd's childhood and his clone-father Fargo. Too much ground to be covered within the scope of this post, so I'll just leave you with my favourite scene: little baby Dredds (they're about ten years old here) eating sandwiches and being bros.

Joe and Rico

The fallout from "Origins" has been huge; during the story, Dredd gets a chance to speak briefly to Fargo when he's pulled out of stasis, learning that the sainted father of the justice system is horrified to see what it's become, and also discovers he has some mutant relatives living out in the Cursed Earth. The revelations start some wheels whirring away in Dredd's brain that eventually kick off the next major storyline, "Tour of Duty".

But before that, a one-shot story from the Judge Dredd Megazine. (Meaning this was a ten-pager rather than the usual six, so we can have a slightly longer excerpt.) In "Night School", Meg 260, we see a young man fight back very effectively against a gang of thugs who attack his classmate. He turns out to be somebody familiar...

Dolman calls in the attack

Vienna asks Dredd to check on Dolman

The Judges have arrested Dolman for using excessive force against the muggers; although most of his actions were clear self-defence, he crossed a line cracking a guy's skull against a wall to make sure he stayed down. Dredd's reluctant to intervene to help his clone, worried about how it would look.

Dredd is reluctant to intervene

Vienna points out how little reason there is to accuse Dredd of nepotism

Ultimately, Dredd does intervene, telling the arresting Judge that Dolman's Academy training is to blame for his actions. (It's made pretty clear that regardless of whether the original sentence was overly harsh, Dredd's using pure intimidation to get it quashed.)

Dredd gets Dolman released

This story, from 2007, was the last glimpse we've had so far of Dolman, but the rest of the family have continued to pop up in cameos from time to time.

In prog 1536, "Fifty Year Man" (marking the milestone of Dredd's 50th year on the streets since he graduated) we get to see how Dredd and Rico have become more comfortable with each other over the years, to the point where Rico's quite happy making fun of his old man:

Rico teasing Dredd about his age

And in another of the end-of-year specials, prog 2008, there's evidence that the tradition of Christmas visits continues:

Dredd visits Vienna at Christmas

Short and sweet

Prog 2008 also starts events rumbling in the brilliant "Tour of Duty" epic. Dredd decides to put his money where his mouth is and make a stand for mutant rights, prepared to resign if the law isn't changed to allow mutants access to the city. Chief Judge Hershey stands by him and pushes the law through, but ultimately loses her position over it. When the popular Judge who replaced her is injured in a shootout, his hardliner deputy Sinfield steps in. He has the mutants moved out to townships and puts Dredd in charge of the project, effectively exiling him from the city.

Dredd's supporters are also on thin ice, and in prog 1656 Rico gets himself in trouble after pronouncing a clone of Sinfield unfit to be a Street Judge.

Sinfield confronts Rico

Rico joins Dredd in his exile, and when they work together in "Gore City", progs 1664-67, we see more signs of the distinctly snarky streak he's been developing towards his clone-daddy.

Dredd requests a little help
Rico teasing Dredd

Briefly back in the city in prog 1674, Dredd takes the opportunity to drop in on Vienna. It's a visit that makes it clear that while they care about each other, they really are coming from two quite different worlds...

Vienna causes Dredd to do a spit-take

The "Tour of Duty" arc came to a close in prog 1693, and was followed not a year later by the start of the current epic, "Day of Chaos", in which just about everything has been hitting the fan. With the city a disaster area, the question of what had happened to Vienna was left hanging for a long time. It was finally answered a couple of weeks ago in prog 1785, in the shape of the awesome interlude "Tea For Two". Despite the state of chaos, Dredd astonishes his fellow Judges by taking some personal time to go and check up on his niece.

Dredd drops in on Vienna

Vienna is reluctant to leave her apartment, but the anti-judicial feeling going around encourages some opportunists to make an ill-advised attempt to take out Dredd.

Dredd and Vienna ride off together

And that's where we leave the family Dredd in current continuity. One of my favourite plot threads running through the strip's 35-year history, and it's only getting more interesting as time goes on.

Date: 2012-06-10 03:17 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
This is a great title, through all the years.

Date: 2012-06-10 04:56 am (UTC)
jkcarrier: me, at my old office (Default)
From: [personal profile] jkcarrier
Thanks for sharing these, I haven't looked at Dredd in years. I was a regular reader back in the '80s, when the "Eagle Comics" reprints were going, but I eventually drifted away. But this makes me want to start picking it up again. I wouldn't have thought it was possible to give Dredd this much depth and nuance of character without ruining him, but they seem to have managed it. I dig it.

Date: 2012-06-10 07:47 am (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
You know, that "permitted to snow" line gets me. It's a wonderfully sentimental slip from a facist police state.
And you'd think they'd be ok with a little excessive force used in self-defence, considering their "extreme prejudice" approach to law, sorry, LAW enforcement.

Date: 2012-06-10 09:45 am (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
That's one way to pull off political satire...

Date: 2012-06-10 03:26 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
The new Terry Pratchett book "Snuff" has a comment about that when Vimes (a policeman who Dredd would probably, if not get on with, at least have a nodding respect for) is explaining how far Police authority goes compared to civilian actions.

"Every now and again I have to sack a decent copper for police brutality, and I do sack them, you may be sure of that, for doing what the average member of the public might do if they were brave enough and if they had seen the dying child, or the remains of the old woman. They would do it to restore in their mind the balance of terror.’ .... ‘Often the law treats them gently, if it worries about them at all, but a copper, now, he’s a lawman – certainly if he works for me – and that means his job stops at the arrest"

Date: 2012-06-10 06:30 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
There's another book where Captain Carrot (For non Discworld fans, I mean THIS guy, not THIS one) mentions, throughout the book, and to anyone who will listen, about what being a policeman means;

"I'm a policeman... that means 'man of the city'"

Only for the last person he tells to be Lord Vetinari, who simply replies

""Have you ever wondered where the word 'politician' comes from?"

Date: 2012-06-10 09:54 pm (UTC)
kamino_neko: Tedd from El Goonish Shive. Drawn by Dan Shive, coloured by Kamino Neko. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
Captain Carrot (For non Discworld fans, I mean THIS guy, not THIS one)

As a non-Discworld fan, I am delighted that Mr Ironfoundersson has not taken over the Captain Carrot wikipedia page. I've seen too many pages given over to a more popular concept that's commonly referred to by the page title than the one that should precedence due to actually being called by that name. (Can't remember any examples, offhand, but it always annoys me when it happens - 9 times out of 10, I'd expect 'Captain Carrot' to redirect to 'Discworld characters' (where Carrot Ironfoundersson redirects), and Captain Carrot getting relegated to 'Captain Carrot (DC Comics)'.

Date: 2012-06-10 10:14 am (UTC)
damar148: (Default)
From: [personal profile] damar148
Abortion is illegal in MegOne? I'd think the opposite would be encouraged, unless they've taken so many bad losses that the city is getting low on people.

Date: 2012-06-10 02:13 pm (UTC)
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
From: [personal profile] skjam
I've seen some of the very latest stuff, but still very nice to know where it's coming from.

Date: 2012-06-10 03:17 pm (UTC)
nyadnar17: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nyadnar17
I awlays liked Dredd, but these books have made me fall in love with him. Are any of these digital. If I wanted to but them is there an omnibus edition still in print? I love this.


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