Fantasy Girls – Top 10 Girls of Comics

 

FANTASY GIRLS – TOP 10 GIRLS OF COMICS

 

I’ve revised my Top 10 Girls of Comics to place Harley Quinn as its new bronze medallist. To paraphrase Zoolander’s Mugatu: “That Harley – she’s so hot right now!”. Interestingly, that gives DC Comics all three top spots. As usual, you can access the longer version through the link or page menu, but here’s the TL;DR version

 

 

 

(10) BLACK CAT

(9) BLACK WIDOW

(8) EMMA FROST / WHITE QUEEN

(7) WITCHBLADE (HONORABLE MENTION – ANGELUS)

(6) LADY DEATH (HONORABLE MENTION – PURGATORI)

(5) VAMPIRELLA (HONORABLE MENTION – PANTHA & BLOOD-RED QUEEN OF HEARTS)

(4) RED SONJA

(3) HARLEY QUINN

(2) CATWOMAN

(1) WONDER WOMAN

 

Fantasy Girls – Top 10 Girls of Comics (Honorable Mention): Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch

 

FANTASY GIRLS – TOP 10 GIRLS OF COMICS (HONORABLE MENTION): WANDA MAXIMOFF / SCARLET WITCH

 

A witch called Wanda…

 

Outside of comics, Wanda Maximoff or the Scarlet Witch is best known as superheroine and Avengers team member played by Elizabeth Olsen in Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or not, since she’s not exactly prominent there, surfacing only as recently as Avengers: Age of Ultron. Perhaps you might know her better as the female other than Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow breaking up the Avengers’ sausage party.

 

 

Which is unfortunate, because in the comics, Wanda is one of the most powerful superhumans on the planet – with her power of being able to alter reality in unspecified ways, so…magic! It was originally written as her hex power – or dare I say it, hex appeal? – which consisted of pointing in some direction and some unfortunate event would occur. (Although that pretty much sounds like my everyday life). That then evolved into a mutant power of probability, which in turn evolved into actual magic – and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having red glowing light from her hands and being “weird”.

 

Art by Greg Horn

 

 

Like anything else in the Marvel Universe, her backstory is incredibly convoluted and subject to change, even more so when you factor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She originated as a mutant – which is complicated in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Marvel sold off its mutants or X-men to Twentieth Century Fox. That typically included the actual mutant characters themselves, but through some strange loophole Marvel retained the rights to Wanda and her brother Pietro or Quicksilver – although there are two versions of Quicksilver, a Twentieth Century Fox Quicksilver (in the X-men films) and a Marvel Cinematic Universe Quicksilver, with the former being much cooler (and less dead-er) than the latter.

 

 

Art by ‘Artgerm’ or Stanley Lau

 

In the comics, they were famously the children of recurring X-men adversary (or ally as it keeps changing) Magneto – but Fox owns him too so they’re orphaned in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, Marvel could have gone with the cinematic adaptation reflecting that she was originally the daughter of Golden Age superhero the Whizzer – but no one could have referred to her as the daughter of the Whizzer without laughing. She and Quicksilver have been subsequently ret-conned as non-mutants kidnapped and experimented on by the High Evolutionary, which makes one glad that they keep this sort of crap out of the cinematic adaptations. They were then misled to believe that Magneto was their father. Well, that was needlessly complicated.

 

 

In the comics, she has a relationship with the Vision, the Avenger’s resident android – and it looks as if she’s headed that way in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the Vision (played by Paul Bettany) wearing his best sweaters to impress her.

 

 

Speaking of clothing, Wanda has had a variety of costumes, if by variety one means primarily variations of swimsuit. Her signature costume in the comics is ridiculous, although in fairness all costumes in comics are ridiculous, but arguably more so for female characters. In this case, it essentially consists of a red leotard, pink stockings and…what is that, a wimple? Anyway, in the words of TV Tropes, “Wanda has the dubious distinction of being one of the least dressed Avengers”, which led to her more practical design in the cinematic adaptations in which she dresses in everyday clothes. Apparently director Joss Whedon reassured actress Elizabeth Olsen that she would never wear the “red bathing suit”.

 

 

I have to confess that I’m almost more intrigued by the guys in the background – who are they meant to be?

 

Interestingly, the “red bathing suit” style of costume seems to be the costume of choice for cosplay models.

Mega-City Law – Otto Sump’s Ugly Clinic (Complete Case Files Volume 4: Progs 186-188)

 

MEGA-CITY LAW – OTTO SUMP’S UGLY CLINIC (COMPLETE CASE FILES VOLUME 4: PROGS 186-188)

 

Judge Dredd gets ugly!

 

When I introduced that recurring Judge Dredd storyline motif of those dangerous or disastrous consumer fads that periodically sweep Mega-City One due to the stupidity of its citizenry, I joked that many of them are attributable to Otto Sump. That’s not quite true, although Sump does seem to have the reverse Midas touch in all his business ventures. Actually that’s not quite true either, since those ventures tend to be profitable despite being toxic in one way or other to consumers.

 

And I introduced Otto Sump himself in Sob Story – about a televised talent show where the talent was misery, with contestants ‘winning’ on the basis of who was the biggest loser, evoking the most pity in audiences (and received the most money sent in by those audiences). Dredd had planted Sump to lure out a criminal organization targeting the winners, but Sump’s misery was genuine – as the ugliest man in Mega-City One, he had the, ah, sobbiest story ever on the show, raking in 66 million credits in winnings. And so he became an entrepreneur, making even more money through a literal ugly fad that swept Mega-City One, popping up again every now and then as one of the city’s insane subcultures.

 

It is a theme I’ve seen in other science fiction, typically to comic or satiric effect – that people in the future are so beautiful or perfect, that being ugly becomes a highly desirable fashion. Typically, that universal beauty or perfection is from genetic engineering or similar biotechnology, although in Mega-City One it seems to be from cheap cosmetic surgery, with face change surgery as cheap and commonplace as hairdressing. I know it’s played for comedy or satire, but I’m not persuaded that this theme would ever apply in reality. Also, from what I’ve seen of Mega-City One residents, I’m not sure anyone would describe them as universally beautiful or perfect in appearance, although they do seem to have a higher average appearance than contemporary society.

 

In fairness, Otto Sump’s Ugly Clinics do not seem to be marketed as a counterpart to universal beauty, but to universal mediocrity – that is, standing out from the crowd, because we’re talking grotesquely ugly or virtual disfigurement. As the giant ad of Otto Sump speaks to passers-by – get ugly! Ugly clinics open all over the city, with slogans such as “one visit and no-one will ever forget you” and “be the talk of your block”.

 

Also in fairness, Otto Sump’s Ugly Clinics didn’t start that way. Indeed, Sump started with a chain of beauty clinics, so “no-one will ever be as ugly as me”. (Aaw…Sump continues to be the sobbiest person in Mega-City One). Unfortunately, he insisted on personally attending to clientele, despite his lack of any training and despite having robotic staff. Not surprisingly, he botches things – but perhaps surprisingly in an incredibly botched way, such that his clientele are rendered grotesquely or monstrously ugly. Well, no-one ever went broke underestimating the taste or intelligence of the average person, a maxim that applies even more so in Mega-City One – and his fortunes reverse when an attractive woman begs Sump to repeat (or even exceed) one of his botched treatments on her. And so the ugly fad is born.

 

Eww!

 

The ugly fad brings with a veritable empire of, ah, anti-cosmetic products – pimplex, scum roll-on deodorant, sump paste for stale breath and tooth decay, scab powder, wart inducer, blemish cream, dandruff shampoo, lip chapper and flab-on (the last something of a prelude to another incredibly unhealthy fad subsequently in Mega-City One).

 

Apart from the, ah, ugliness of the fad (as well as its hygiene and health problems), it does create social problems – juvenile delinquent gangs of ‘puglies’ and more seriously, anti-ugly clinic terrorists bombing the clinics. One such occurs when Dredd visits Sump to investigate and the story diverts from the social satire as Dredd first pursues the bombers and then (after they are killed trying to evade pursuit) plants a false story that they are hospitalized to lure the true culprits, mob bosses running a protection racket.

 

However, once that is defused, Dredd is determined to drive Otto Sump out of business from sheer distaste – through the legal means of the Justice Department. What are you, Dredd – a commie? What do you have against free enterprise? Actually, for a fascist state, Mega-City One retains a surprising degree of its American capitalism, seemingly with little Justice Department interference into businesses or corporations. I suppose someone has to pay the taxes that support the city’s massive welfare state (with its 90% unemployment).

 

Anyway, where I have previously joked that Justice Department’s consumer protection division must be one of its most overworked divisions, here we are actually introduced to that division in the form of standards officers, who are brought to bear on Sump’s lurid advertising claims. Dredd also supervises crime blitz searches on clinics and their customers. Sump has enough money to fight back with media campaigns (although what self-respecting fascist state tolerates such media campaigns against it?) and mass demonstration of the so-called uglies. Dredd however unleashes that standard economic weapon of the state – a massive ugly tax on all the products or services. And so the clinics close down – except for the rich: “For now, only the rich could afford to be ugly”.

 

TO BE CONTINUED – LOONIES’ MOON!

 

Mega-City Law: Monkey Business at the Charles Darwin Block (Complete Case Files Volume 4: Progs 183-185)

 

 

MEGA-CITY LAW: MONKEY BUSINESS AT THE CHARLES DARWIN BLOCK

(COMPLETE CASE FILES VOLUME 4: PROG 183-185)

 

After the epic mode of the Judge Child Quest, Judge Dredd returns to its usual episodic storylines – and these episodes see one of my classic Dredd favorites, Monkey Business at the Charles Darwin Block, in which Dredd arrests the origin of the species. Literally.

 

However, it is preceded by another storyline in episode of prog 183, Aggro Dome, which involves yet another consumer fad for Justice Department’s overburdened consumer protection division. This particular fad seeks to cash in on that universal aggression constantly simmering under the surface of Mega-City One’s 800 million citizens, with boiling point only a block war away. The Aggro Dome is a place where Mega-City One citizenry can work off their aggression harmlessly in nerfed ways, rather like foam bats but on a wider scale. Citizens feel better, the city is safer and the company is richer – it’s win-win-win, right? Wrong

 

Of course, Dredd doesn’t like it, seeing it as a powder keg waiting to explode. Mega-City One has a lot of aggression and it’s only a matter of time before someone strips the foam from the bats, so to speak. And of course it happens during his visit – a riot ensues while he’s there and he has to shut the dome down, arresting the occupants: “There is no easy way, citizen. You’ll have to learn to control your own emotions. Until then, the Law will do it for you”. And how!

 

 

And now we come to our main attraction, set in one of the most aptly and conveniently named blocks in Mega-City One history – “Mega-City One had seen some strange disasters, but none so bizarre as the day evolution ran wild – and a whole city block became…the naked jungle”.

 

Well not so much evolution but devolution. It starts with Professor E. Northcote Fribb, who has just “isolated an enzyme which can reverse the process of evolution” – because, uh, science! However, for someone who is intelligent enough to succeed in such an unprecedented discovery, he is remarkably stupid in taking no basic precautions – or indeed, outright sniffing his test tube (which smells rather like spaghetti sauce). The scent immediately starts to devolve him. Worse, he drops the enzyme on the floor and ventilation spreads it throughout the block, devolving the rest of its population into hominids or ape-like primates, even Judges sent in without respirators.

 

 

Dredd of course figures out it’s an airborne contaminant and heads into the block to root out the source of contamination – quickly identified to be the block’s notoriously mad professor on the 66th floor. Dredd slowly makes his way through the apes of wrath to the 66th floor, impeded somewhat as the apes set fire to the building in an inversion of that black monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. As he nears that floor, the devolution has, ah, regressed further from ape-like primates to “lower animal stages”, from recognizably mammalian to unrecognizably reptilian on the 66th floor itself.

 

What the hell are those things?

 

And finally, in the professor’s unit 66C itself, the professor has kept devolving right back past any vertebrate ancestry to the origin of the species itself. As Dredd exclaims (after the usual “Drokk!” of course), it’s “some kind of giant amoeba”.

 

Eww! And why does it still have eyes?!

 

Kill it with fire! Not the amoeba, but the enzyme – as Dredd instructs the fire-fighting crews to withdraw to eliminate any trace of the devolutionary enzyme. As for the now protoplasmic perpetrator, Dredd arrests him or it of course, presumably to do a few billion years in an iso-cube to evolve back to humanity.

 

TO BE CONTINUED – OTTO SUMP’S UGLY CLINIC

Top 10 Girls of Fantasy & SF (Special Mention) – Redux

 

 

TOP 10 GIRLS OF FANTASY & SF (SPECIAL MENTION) – REDUX

 

After all that, I forgot to add Sucker Punch’s Babydoll in my cinematic or screen Top 10 Girls of Fantasy & SF (Special Mention). Nobody puts Babydoll in a corner! Well, the film sort of did, but anyway…

 

So here it is again – as usual, the you can access the longer version through the page itself through the link or menu, but here’s the TL;DR version:

PRINCESS LEIA (PADME AMIDALA & AAYLA SECURA) – STAR WARS

BUFFY SUMMERS – BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

NYOTA UHURA – STAR TREK

BARBARELLA

SANTANICO PANDEMONIUM – FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

LEELOO – THE FIFTH ELEMENT

BABYDOLL – SUCKER PUNCH

Fantasy Girls – Top 10 Girls of Fantasy & SF (Special Mention)

FANTASY GIRLS – TOP 10 GIRLS OF FANTASY & SF (SPECIAL MENTION)

 

With my recent fantasy girls entry, I have compiled my page for my Top 10 Girls of Fantasy & SF (Special Mention), particularly for the girls of cinematic or screen fantasy and SF, given the literary focus of the top 10 itself. You can access the longer version through the page link or menu, but here’s the TL; DR version:

PRINCESS LEIA (PADME AMIDALA & AAYLA SECURA) – STAR WARS

BUFFY SUMMERS – BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

NYOTA UHURA – STAR TREK

BARBARELLA

SATANICO PANDEMONIUM – FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

LEELOO – THE FIFTH ELEMENT

 

 

 

Fantasy Girls – Top 10 Girls of Fantasy & SF (Special Mention): Uhura, Barbarella, Santanico Pandemonium & Leeloo

 

FANTASY GIRLS – TOP 10 GIRLS OF FANTASY & SF (SPECIAL MENTION): UHURA, BARBARELLA, SANTANICO PANDEMONIUM & LEELOO

 

For my top ten girls of fantasy & SF, I reserve special mention for the girls of cinematic or television fantasy & SF, given the literary focus of the top ten itself.

 

 

NYOTA UHURA – STAR TREK (1966 – PRESENT)

 

Star Trek is of course one of the two most iconic science fiction franchises. Despite a proliferation of female characters – including the classic green-skinned alien space babe, Nyota Uhura remains the most iconic female character in one of the most extensive science fiction or fantasy media franchises and pop culture phenomena of all time – albeit more by her surname than her given name.

 

 

Star Trek itself needs no introduction. And as for Uhura herself, she was the starship Enterprise’s receptionist, uh, Communications Officer (“I repeated the computer” as Sigourney Weaver’s parody character snapped in Galaxy Quest). Okay, it may not exactly seem to be breaking that space glass ceiling (although she rises in rank and ultimately to a well-deserved captain’s chair in the animated series). Played by Nichelle Nichols, she made a difference, kicking ass as one of television’s groundbreaking black female characters. Whoopi Goldberg exclaimed as a young girl “Mama! Mama! There’s a black lady on TV and she ain’t no maid!”. She influenced Dr. Mae Jemison, the first female African-American astronaut, into space. And her fans included none other than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who talked her out of quitting as it was inspiring for Americans to tune in every week and see the future of the human race being represented, at least in part, by a black woman) and President Obama.

 

 

 

 

However, with all due credit to Nichelle Nichols, I’ve chosen the reboot’s Zoe Saldana for my feature images because, well, Zoe Saldana.

 

 

BARBARELLA (1968)

 

“Like some baby Barbarella…

She’s just a cosmic girl

From another galaxy…

It’s a distant solar system

I tried to phone but they don’t list ’em

So I asked her for a number all the same

She said, step in my transporter

So I can teleport ya

All around my heavenly body” – Jamiroquai, “Cosmic Girl”

 

 

 

Jamiroquai may not have been the best lyricist, but it doesn’t matter when you’re that funky. Anyway, this should technically be an entry in comics rather than cinematic fantasy – but the comic is little known outside France and Barbarella is better known by the film, directed by Roger Vadim with his then wife (and s€x symbol) Jane Fonda in the title role.

 

Here she is in perhaps her most iconic costume from the film – and doing a very impressive set of splits

 

The film is set in the distant future, about the 40th century, with peace reigning on Earth – but Barbarella is sent to retrieve Dr Durand Durand (who subsequently lent his name to the 1980’s pop group), is subjected to various s€xual encounters and…I confess, I’ve never seen all the film. It was on television one night when I was a child and my parents sent me to my room when it started to get naughty. “But it’s science fiction!” I protested, partly motivated by my strange new crush on Jane Fonda. And I’ve never seen it since. Damn you, parental guidance!

 

Some impressive Barbarella cosplay by model Paula Labaredas and an equally impressive set of splits

 

And I’ve dreamed of Barbarella ever since.

 

 

SANTANICO PANDEMONIUM – FROM DUSK TILL DAWN (1996)

 

“I’m not gonna drain you completely. You’re gonna turn for me. You’ll be my slave. You’ll live for me. You’ll eat bugs because I order it. Why? Because I don’t think you’re worthy of human blood. You’ll feed on the blood of stray dogs. You’ll be my foot stool. And at my command, you’ll lick the dog shit from my boot heel. Since you’ll be my dog, your new name will be ‘Spot’. Welcome to slavery.”

 

Of course, Seth Gecko has the perfect response – “No thanks, I already had a wife”. I can empathise with that.

 

 

Anyway, who can forget Santanico Pandemonium as played by Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn – and particularly that introductory scene? (Although not quite with the same stage presence, I also have a soft spot for Eiza Gonzalez in the television series).

 

 

From Dusk Till Dawn famously features a genre shift from the first half of the film, in which Tarantinoesque gangsters, Gecko brothers, including Tarantino himself as the creepier Gecko brother seek to flee the law south of the border. Of course, Tarantino brings his usual foot fetish to the film, although I’d drink tequila off Santanico’s toes too. The Geckos, and the family they have taken hostage, essentially hole up in a stripper bar in Mexico, which turns out to have fangs – as the focus of some sort of vampire cult, with Santanico Pandemonium as its vampire queen or demi-goddess.

 

 

 

 

 

As her Mexican compere (played by Danny Trejo) announces her, “kneel and worship at the feet of Santanico Pandemonium!”

 

 

Interestingly, her name comes from a cult Mexican exploitation horror film – with nuns! Nunsploitation!

 

 

LEELOO – THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997)

 

“Multi-pass!”

 

Leeloo is adorable.

 

And not just because she’s played by Milla Jovovich in, ah, whatever those costumes are – from her initial appearance as bandage babe to those yellow spandex pants with orange suspenders.

 

She’s adorable as a character – “Leeloo is cute, innocent, has No Social Skillsand No Nudity Taboo and is perfectly capable of breaking every bone in your body without breaking a sweat. Which she will do if you cross her”.

 

 

And she cries when she reads the entry on war while speed-reading her digital encyclopedia – apparently having skipped over every other traumatizing entry, including entries for historical wars, that preceded it alphabetically. And also over the entry for love, as Bruce Willis’ Korben Dallas has to show her.

 

 

 

The plot of The Fifth Element is difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t seen it, but essentially resolves around a perfect being or the titular fifth element designed by aliens as a living weapon against the Great Evil. This is introduced in a preface with those same aliens in 1914 (“Are you…German?”), before leaping ahead to twenty-third century Earth, in which the Great Evil takes the form of a comet of death roaring towards Earth – although it can also literally phone ahead and make black goo ooze from Gary Oldman’s nose. It’s up to Leeloo – short for Leeloominaï Lekatariba Lamina-Tchaï Ekbat De Sebat – to save the world.

Mega-City Law: Block War! (Complete Case Files Volume 4: Prog 182)

 

 

MEGA-CITY LAW: BLOCK WAR! (COMPLETE CASE FILES VOLUME 4: PROG 182)

 

This episode forms a fitting epilogue to the Judge Child Quest, juxtaposed with something of a distant prologue to the next Judge Dredd epic in Volume 5 – as well as art by one of my favorite Judge Dredd artists, Brian Bolland.

 

In the epilogue, Judge Dredd is being judged. Technically, the Judge Child Quest was a failure – his failure. Well, more than technically, as Dredd simply abandoned the Judge Child on the distance planet of Xanadu (in the robot kingdom of Grunwald) after gazing in the Judge Child’s eyes and seeing only evil (because he’s Judge Dredd). In the Grand Hall of Justice, the Council of Five, the body of senior Judges (including the Chief Judge) presiding over the entire Justice Department, are reviewing Dredd’s performance, not least because of the amount of Mega-City credits and space dollars spent on the mission.

 

 

Indeed, Chief Accountant Judge Quimby starts with his complaints about the mission – “Dredd visited forty-nine planets and didn’t keep one single note of his expenses” (Hang on – forty-nine planets? We only saw six – cave planet Ombra, body-broking planet Lesser Lingo, war-mongering planet Agros, toad-licking planet Necros, bizarro bedlam planet with Jigsaw disease and Xanadu. Seven if you count that living planet that tried to eat them). It flashes back to Quimby quizzing Dredd as to how Justice Department will know what was spent if Dredd didn’t keep accounts. Dredd drily replies – “Just count what’s there and subtract it from what we started with. It’s quite simple”. Yeah – take that, bean-counter! I’m going to start keeping my expense accounts the same way. Who let that guy on the Council of Five?

 

To more serious business, the Council votes on whether to send another mission to retrieve the Judge Child, calling Dredd’s judgment into question and implicitly voting for his resignation – and we all know that’s no gold watch, it’s the Long Walk. Surprisingly, Chief Accountant Judge Quimby supports Dredd, but only by virtue of opposing the cost of another mission. Not surprisingly, Psi-Division Judge Ecks favors another mission on the strength of Psi-Judge Feyy’s deathbed prediction. Deputy Chief Judge Pepper and Judge McGruder, head of the Special Judicial Squad, vote for another mission, and implicitly Dredd’s resignation.

 

It falls to Chief Judge Griffin to exercise his veto if he so chooses – and he does so, giving a stirring speech how Dredd saved the city from Chief Judge Cal.

 

 

The Council of Five meeting is nicely juxtaposed with Dredd’s judgement on the streets of Mega-City One, where he has returned (with Judge Giant) to face a full-blown block war – a distant prologue to the next Judge Dredd epic, or rather, back-to-back epics of Block Mania and the Apocalypse War. We were only recently introduced in Volume 3 to what subsequently became one of the defining characteristics of Mega-City One, those towering residential apartment blocks with tens of thousands of residents. Now in Volume 4 we are introduced to that other dystopian corollary of those city blocks, full-on shooting wars between blocks, driven by boredom and general dystopian quality of life in Mega-City One.

 

 

As the episode itself narrates, “inter-block wars have become an everyday feature of life in Mega-City life”. One cause is left unstated in this episode, but emerges in subsequent episodes – Mega-City One’s Citi-Def program, arming citizens in blocks for civilian defense. Of course, the intention behind it would seem to be those vivid memories of Chief Judge Cal executing millions of unarmed citizens (as well as distant memories of the Second Amendment, although it’s not surprising that this part of the Bill of Rights would endure most in Mega-City One). One suspects also the rising concern about the threat posed by the Sovs, which has loomed larger in more recent episodes – and in fairness, Citi-Def had its role to play in that respect in the Apocalypse War. Typically however, Mega-City One citizens tend to abuse the purpose behind Citi-Def and prefer turning their weapons on each other.

 

 

And the force of Dredd’s presence in Mega-City One, the subject of deliberation at the same time by the Council of Five, is conveyed well as he literally steps between the two blocks, demanding their surrender (with a sentence of five years imprisonment for each combatant) – and gets it. Because gruddamn it – he is the Law! Dredd doesn’t even bat an eyelid waiting for the Council of Five decision, so narrowly decided in his favor – “Yes, no doubt I’ll learn of it in the morning. Right now, there’s work to do”.

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED – MONKEY BUSINESS AT CHARLES DARWIN BLOCK

Mega-City Law – Judge Child Quest: Judgement on Fire Mountain (Complete Case Files Volume 4: Prog 181)

 

MEGA-CITY LAW – JUDGE CHILD QUEST: JUDGEMENT ON FIRE MOUNTAIN

(COMPLETE CASE FILES VOLUME 4: PROG 181)

 

The Judge Child is evil. Let’s go home!

 

No, seriously.

 

Here we are – at the conclusion of the Judge Child Quest, an epic that has spanned across the galaxy and more time than I intended (almost as many days as the Quest itself) as I was a little lax with my daily episodes. It’s a suitably epic setting – the erupting volcanic heartland of the robotic kingdom of Grunwald, evoked by the episode title Judgement on Fire Mountain, and more than a little evocative of the epic conclusion of The Lord of the Rings at Mount Doom.

 

Dredd has dispatched the penultimate Angel Gang member, Junior Angel, by shooting him and then throwing him into the volcano. Good ol’ Dredd – he doesn’t do things by halves. Although in fairness, Dredd shot Junior first in a gunfight and then sentenced him to death by throwing him into a volcano. Now that’s justice!

 

The surviving Angel patriarch, Pa Angel, goaded on by the Judge Child’s gloating, goes guns blazing at Dredd in a roaring rampage of revenge. However, the Judge Child sinisterly promises himself that Dredd won’t kill Pa Angel – “That’s a pleasure I’m keeping for myself”. Well, THAT’S not creepy at all.

 

 

Judge Child lends a telekinetic ‘hand’, so to speak – unless Pa Angel is suddenly channeling Inspector Clouseau, tripping over his own feet before being knocked off the narrow bridge by falling lava rock. Pa Angel begs for help as he hangs from a rock ledge above the lava. Dredd is not impressed – “You are beyond help, Elmer Angel” (begging the question of where Dredd learnt Pa Angel’s actual name). “You are under sentence of death”. However, Dredd’s bullets are deflected by the Judge Child’s telekinetic force field, as the Judge Child lives up to his promise to keep Pa’s death for himself, looking even more creepy as he does so. The Judge Child then telekinetically shatters the ledge, sending Pa Angel plummeting to a fiery doom and tipping his hand to Dredd. Of course, the villainous laugh is a bit of a giveaway.

 

 

Robots bring the Judge Child to their robotic sovereign, the Grunwalder, but Dredd is in hot pursuit. The Judge Child tells the Grunwalder “I can see all futures…but my own!”. However, he needs no psychic abilities to warn the Grunwalder that it would be best not to resist Dredd, who advances into the very throne room. “Boy, come!”, Dredd tells the Judge Child, who sulks like an actual child, albeit one with a point. “You’re mad at me. What for? You were going to kill Pa Angel anyway!”

 

Of course, as Dredd tells the Judge Child, he is the Law – “I have spent many years training to make such decisions. For me, it was justice. For you, murder”. And so the whole Judge Child Quest comes down to Dredd looking in the Judge Child’s eyes – and finding only evil.

 

No, seriously. Dredd abandons the Judge Child to the Grunwalder and starts back to Justice One, based on his rigorous scientific test of gazing into the Judge Child’s eyes. He’s right, of course, but it’s still a big judgement call to potentially doom a city of 800 million people. Needless to say, the Judge Child is pissed at being cheated of his destiny to rule over Mega-City One (and that surely won’t come back to bite Dredd later, say around that predicted doomsday date of 2120?), but perhaps not so much as Judge Hershey when Dredd returns to Justice One without the Judge Child. Dredd stands by his judgement – “Judge Feyy was wrong. The Chief Judge must be pure – above corruption. We know that from past experience. The boy was evil. He could only bring disaster upon us!”

 

 

And as for that apocalyptic disaster predicted by Psi-Judge Feyy for Mega-City One in the absence of the Judge Child? “Whatever danger is to come, we must face it on our own. If we perish, so be it. Now – let’s go home!”.

 

Way to bring that silver lining to the dark cloud, Dredd. Sucks to be Mega-City One right now, I guess.

 

TO BE CONTINUED – ON THE STREETS AGAIN

 

Fantasy Girls – Top 10 Girls of Game of Thrones

 

FANTASY GIRLS – TOP 10 GIRLS OF GAME OF THRONES

 

I don’t know about the Night King but I could get behind a Night Queen! In case you missed their individual entries, my Top 10 Girls of Game of Thrones now has its own page, which you can access through the link or page menu.

 

And here’s the TL; DR version:

(10) Bianca

(9) Lyanna Stark

(8) Talisa Stark

(7) Ygritte (Honorable mention – Gilly)

(6) Missandei

(5) Melisandre

(4) Margaery Tyler

(3) Cersei Lannister

(2) Sansa Stark

(1) Daenerys Targaryen

 

SPECIAL MENTION

(1) Arya Stark

(2) Lyanna Mormont

(3) Shireen Baratheon

(4) Brienne of Tarth

(5) Olenna Tyrell

(6) Doreah

(7) Quaithe

(8) Ros

DISHONORABLE MENTION

(9) Sand Snakes

(10) Shae