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Author Topic: Missing Dredd tales?  (Read 563 times)

maryanddavid

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Missing Dredd tales?
« on: 24 January, 2018, 10:40:28 pm »
OK, so John Wagner is probably my favourite comic writer, I especially love his more hard boiled material like Buttonman, History of Violence, procedural Dredd and the Western Stronts.
The current Wagner Death tales are OK, but if I'm honest I'm enjoying the other version of Death and his pals more at the moment.
Wagner's current Death tales do beg a few questions, and I don't think they have  been addressed.
 For example how did the DJ's escape from PJ Maybe and where did Death spring from, I though he was nuked (could that 'kill' him?). How did PJ escape for the DJ's, and end up with his friend in his head, and was it really PJ that Dredd killed?

Maybe all this has been explained and I'm missing something :-[ Any thought?

Richard

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Re: Missing Dredd tales?
« Reply #1 on: 25 January, 2018, 01:17:46 am »
The nuke didn't kill Death, but it did send him to Hell, where he was trapped until the Sisters of Death released him.

We were never shown exactly how PJ escaped from Death, it was left to our imagination. But we've seen him trap the other three Dark Judges in a bottle, so we know he's capable of out-witting them.

The voice in PJ's head was never explained. It might have been something to do with Death, or he may have just got schizophrenia or a split personality or something. The ambiguity led to a huge debate at the time about whether PJ was really dead, largely because the black speech bubbles had been used before in The Life and Death of Johnny Alpha when he was possessed by a demon. This led many people (including me at the time) to think that PJ was also possessed and so might have survived somehow. But when I re-read the story a year later I concluded that this theory was wrong, PJ was just mentally ill, and he really is definitely dead.

TordelBack

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Re: Missing Dredd tales?
« Reply #2 on: 25 January, 2018, 06:56:17 am »
There is a lot of hand-waving in the current Wagner DJ storylines.  Death's escape from Hell (a key point in his story, as he'd ended up there at the conclusion of his two solo-series) and PJ's escape from Death (a key point in his story, as it leads on from his role in Day of Chaos) seem like missed opportunities.  I have no problem imagining either event, given the participants, but it's a pity it didn't play out on the page.  My assumption has been that Wagner only has so much time/energy to give to writing Dredd these days, and felt he would have been wasting pages writing himself out of those cliffhangers.  Look at how many pages he expended bringing Johnny back from the dead, and he didn't even set that one up!

The PJ is-he-isn't-he thing I think was handled perfectly.  As Richard says, you can read Ladykiller and conclude that in the end PJ was revealed as just another pathetic mass-murderer full of his own hype, and worthy of no more elaborate an end than Dredd's bullet.  Job done, judgment passed, story over.  Or you can see a dozen threads that could be pulled on to create a way out for the character, should the mood/need arise.  That's skilful stuff.



Link Prime

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Re: Missing Dredd tales?
« Reply #3 on: 25 January, 2018, 09:46:32 am »
PJ's escape from Death (a key point in his story, as it leads on from his role in Day of Chaos) seem like missed opportunities.  I have no problem imagining either event, given the participants, but it's a pity it didn't play out on the page.

That's definitely a missed opportunity in my book- I very much enjoyed his limited interaction with the Dark Judges.

(Warning - certified Judgment Day apologist alert)

I also would have liked to have seen Sabbat again in some capacity - interacting with the Dark Judges perhaps, or an attempt of retrieval and resurrection by some death cult.
There has to be more mileage in the character who (correct me if I'm wrong) was responsible for the highest death toll in the history of this particular fictional world.

maryanddavid

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Re: Missing Dredd tales?
« Reply #4 on: 25 January, 2018, 11:21:05 pm »
Thanks, at least I haven't missed anything. Sabbat, yeah I thought an appearance in the 'Whatever happened to' in the Meg would have been the perfect place. No doubt he will pop up at some stage.

Pete Wells

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Re: Missing Dredd tales?
« Reply #5 on: 25 January, 2018, 11:42:20 pm »
With regard to PJ’s escape from Death, this was all we got sadly...



I was lucky enough to get very drunk with Mr Wagner in Sunderland a while back and I told him I was going to record a PJ Maybe podcast for Eamonn’s excellent Mega-City Book Club. I asked about PJ’s internal voice in that final strip and, as Richard suspects, John said he just thought that by this time in his psychosis, PJ was extremely unhinged and it was a split personality kinda deal.

I also told John I was really sad that PJ was gone as I love the character so much. He looked at me with a mischievous twinkle in his eye and said “Well, I could bring him back if I want...”