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WAGNER, JOHN & CURRIE, ANDREW – JUDGE DREDD – DOOMSDAY FOR MEGA-CITY ONE. 2001 Hamlyn Books. –

 

 One of two companion books, which look at the Doomsday War from different points of view. The companion volume, Doomsday For Judge Dredd deals with the Law Enforcer’s own direct involvement in events. This version looks at the epic battle from the POV of the citizens of Mega City One, and especially from the perspective of Galen DeMarcio. Galen was once a Judge, but she was dismissed for allowing her feelings for Judge Dredd affect her judgement. That Dredd was clearly moved by her too has not affected his career. Now, still caring for her, he fixes her up with a job as a private detective. On her first assignment, she is asked by a Femme Fatale to seek her missing fiancée. DeMarcio uses lock-picks and computer equipment that she should have handed back in from when she was a judge, (risking criminal charges herself0, and finds out that the man had no connection with the woman who hired her.  He was actually gay and a gangster. DeMarcio, realising that she is getting in deeper than she expected, tips off Dredd, and together they find the man. Hey discover, too late, that he is a minor player in a large-scale war that is about to be waged against the Judges by a madman, Nero Narcos. The madman has armed thousands of robots as an army with which to take over the city. He has also reprogrammed many new guns issued to the judges so that the guns blow up in the hands of the men trying to shoot the robots.  Dredd hasn’t got one of those guns, but in the heat of the truly epic battle, he is injured. DeMarcio recovers in a heap of rubble to find herself alone. Dredd has disappeared. He has been captured by Nero Narcos and put on trial for his life, an event DeMarcio only sees on television.  As Mega City virtually falls into the hands of the villains, DeMarcio helps her former allies in the Judges to lead a resistance movement.  There are now some neat cuts to the citizens themselves, with a doomed voluntary civil defence team getting killed holding off the robot army. There is also a horribly funny sequence about a young couple who euthenise the starving civilians with soup and wine that they take round as an act of charity, before faking their own deaths to escape. Hopefully, they will return for adventures of their own one-day.  Meanwhile, the news tells of Dredd’s escape, and he returns to Mega City One with an army of robots of his own, from England. He reprogrammed Nero’s army of robots to turn on each other. Nero, realising that he is finished, calmly lets Dredd finish him off.  There is a great and chilling finale in which the Chief Judge, having killed himself with his gun to escape the blame for failing to stop the war, is turned into a hero by Dredd. The Judge makes a film showing the Chief fighting valiantly to the death against Nero personally.  Dredd now invites DeMarcio to rejoin the Judges properly, but sickened by Dredd’s lie, she declines the offer.  A thoughtful and fast paced drama that takes the war to as great an extreme as could possibly be imagined. http://www.2000adonline.com/

 

© Copyright. Arthur Chappell

 

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