Sunday, 18 February 2018

2000 AD - January 1980.

Make ready your thumbs and get set to twist your mind into knots - because, thirty eight years ago last month, the Rubik's Cube made its senses-shattering international debut, at the British Toy and Hobby Fair at Earl's Court, London. Never before had so much youthful intellectual power been spent on achieving something so pointless as getting coloured squares to match up.

Needless to say, I had a Rubik's Cube.

Needless to say, I lacked the patience or motivation to master it but I did, if I remember correctly, manage to complete it a couple of times.

Admittedly, that was before I realised you could complete one simply by getting a screwdriver, prising the blocks apart and snapping them back together again in the right order. If Ernő Rubik was so bright, why didn't he also set up a company making screwdrivers for breaking open his cubes? He could have doubled his profits.

But Earl's Court wasn't the only place that was seeing a historic debut that month.

Because Prog 149 of the greatest comic in the galaxy saw the arrival of a thing that was even more enigmatic, perplexing and traumatising than a Rubik's Cube.

And that was Judge Death.

Yes, it's true. Surely the most memorable villain ever to emerge from Judge Dredd's strip made his first appearance thirty eight years ago last month and immediately lodged himself in the minds of all comic fans. I am proud to say I was there when it happened and that I spotted his star potential at once.

As did everyone else, because it was obvious.

I am therefore proud to announce that I spotted what everyone else spotted.

It was a major life achievement.

Elsewhere that month, Prog 147 was giving us the results of their competition to design a space alien.

Needless to say, I remember nothing of this.

I do, however, remember once designing a space alien purely for my own pleasure. I decided to give it caterpillar tracks, instead of legs, in order to make it look less like an Earth creature. That is the sum total of my recollection of it.

Anyway, let's look at those covers and see how many memories they bring flooding back.

To be honest, they don't bring any memories flooding back.

So much for the claim that playing with Rubik's Cubes would sharpen our intellects.

2000 AD Prog 146, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 147, The Stainless Steel Rat

2000 AD Prog 148, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 149, Blackhawk


Anonymous said...

Grud on a greenie Steve, that's a great cover on prog 148 by the McMahon droid. And the one by Bolland isn't too bad either.
Besides the first appearance of Judge Death its also worth mentioning the excellent Judge Minty done-in-one from prog 147 - no wonder 1980 turned out to be the year of peak Dredd.

Fairly sure Timequake from Starlord was revived in the progs around the same time Judge Death was sentencing the citizens of the big Meg, which seems odd for a comic with "and Tornado" in the title.


Steve W. said...

Judge Minty vaguely rings a bell but I'm not sure why.

Timothy Field said...

There was the recent Judge Minty fan made film (quite good) think it's on YouTube

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Timothy. I shall hunt it down and see what I make of it.

sheridan said...

Judge Minty - three quarters of a million views and counting!

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Sheridan.