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Judge Dredd and The Judge Child Quest.

January 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Comics, Indie Black Comics, News

( You know what? We haven’t visited Mega-City One in a while, so let’s get into the third Judge Dredd epic “The Judge Child Quest.” This story ran in 2000 A.D #156-#181 between March and October 1980.

A City in Danger

Psi-Division is a wing of the Judges who are able to use psychic abilities. The most valued ability is precognition. You know, it’s the 22nd century and pre-crime would assist in keep the order in a city of hundreds of millions.

One dying Psi-Judge has a vision that Mega-City One would experience a major catastrophe in several years. He also says that the person who can save the city would be a young Cursed Earth-dwelling pre-cog named Owen Krysler.

Since the Psi-Judge’s accuracy is 88-percent, the heads of the Halls of Justice issued a mission to find the Judge Child and bring him back. The kid is identifiable by an eagle birthmark on his forehead.

As you probably guess, the toughest Judge in Mega-City One is given the task. The last vision of the Psi-Judge has the boy living in Texas City. However, if going into Judge Dredd stories for a year has proved anything, it’s that Dredd’s cases tend to spiral out of control.

Texas City or Bust

Dredd rolls into Texas City only to find that the Angel Gang—a vicious group of outlaws—have been causing trouble. This doesn’t concern Dredd since his mission is clear—oh, but it will concern him in a big way.

The Judge Child is first in possession of a slaver. After “getting some answers,” Dredd finds out that the slaver sold the kid off to the Brotherhood of Trash. To get in proximity of the kid, Dredd auctions himself off as a slave and is won by the Brotherhood of Trash for 300 credits.

As previous stories have shown, Judge Dredd ends up turning the Brotherhood of Trash’s camp upside down. By the end of this leg of his quest, the leader of the Brotherhood has been killed as Owen predicted.

In the chaos, a member of the Brotherhood kidnaps Owen and heads off to another city. This member takes on the identity of a fortune teller with Owen telling him the outcome. We also find out that the kid can predict deaths.

With the captives being freed and taking over the Brotherhood’s camp, Dredd is back on the trail. Once he rolls into town, things go to hell for the “fortune teller” as the Angel Gang want him and the kid plus there’s a lawman hunting him down.

While Dredd catches up and deals with the fortune teller, the Angel Gang decides to skip town and leaves the two in a sticky situation with the Mutant from the Pit.

Dredd manages to kill the monster and escape the situation. The Angel Gang have jacked a ship and left Earth. Giving chase, Dredd takes a small squad of young Judges onboard Judge-1 to search the stars and complete their quest.

The Judge Child Quest

This was quite the adventure and that was just part one. We have Judge Dredd going from planet to planet, jumping star systems, there’s necromancy, beasts, and space monster that disguises itself as a planet and more.

There was just so much going on in this story arc that it deserves to be considered an epic. It would take two parts to fully go into the story as it was mainly a chase with the Angel Gang trying to pawn the kid off for safe harbor.

On one hand, things had gotten just that bad for them with Dredd escaping every near-death situation.  They had to find somewhere the Judge couldn’t reach them.

Also, Dredd was acting extrajudicially in a lot of cases. Mega-City One’s laws are hard and Dredd carries them out to the letter but he just didn’t really have jurisdiction half of the time.

Not that this would’ve stopped him. His sense of judgment is at ridiculous levels in this story as he manages to escape being shrunken and put to sleep and knows that Judge Lopez is the guy who should take the Oracle Spice.

If you’ve read Dune then yes, it works the same way as spice only it’s almost guaranteed to be lethal. And yes, after one gnarly trip Judge Lopez dies. Oracle Spice gives the group a big break and they eventually reach Xanadu where the last two members of the Angel Gang land.

The conclusion of the story comes during Dredd’s showdown with Pa Angel, who has reached Grunwalder’s fortress. Xanadu is a planet of robots and Grunwalder holds the most sway and power.

This fortress was to be the Angel Gang’s safe base. Dredd’s initial suspicion on the kid is correct as Owen loves seeing people meet their deaths and got his revenge on Pa Angel before Dredd could bring him down.

The story ends with Dredd looking into Owen’s eyes and seeing evil in him. Dredd deems the boy too evil to become Chief Judge of Mega-City One and leaves him with the Grunwalder.

Far-Reaching Consequences

Judge Hershey, one of the Judges who joined along with Judge Lopez and pilot Judge Larter, becomes a major character in later programs of Judge Dredd. She would eventually become Chief Judge, putting her over in rank to Dredd.

Another Judge—Judge McGruder—is introduced in the standalone story following The Judge Child Quest. McGruder feels it wasn’t Dredd’s call to leave Owen behind on Xanadu and questions his judgment and ability to remain a Judge. She eventually become Chief Judge as well but it’s during a rough time for Mega-City One.

Owen Krysler returns as a villain in Destiny’s Angels—which we’ll be looking at later. For now, check out this wild story arc!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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