Say it ain't so, Joe! Well sad but true it is. The year was 1978 and 2000AD was into its second year of publication. With the unwanted aid of some added writers (so he'd be sure to meet the deadlines) Pat Mills was writing Judge Dredd's first real epic storyline The Cursed Earth Saga.
While cynics note its similiarity to the just filmed Damnation Alley (a bad film based on a very decent Roger Zelazny novella) Dredd did dinosaur themeparks fifteen years before Jurassic Park. Unfortunately some corporations took exception to some of the characters who were incorporated into the storyline.
Rather than try the satirist's legal free speech aid the Parody Defense (which might or might not be valid in Britain as all the cases I've heard testing it were in the USA) 2000AD's publisher Fleetway caved and settled out of court by promising never to reprint them. They also ran an apology strip with Spikes and Dredd praising Green Giant canned food but we were spared seeing them eating in Macdonalds and Burger Kings run by heroes rather than the fascist dictators they had encountered enroute.
The upshot of which is these epsodes haven't been seen since 1978 which is a shame as there's some nice Mike McMahon and Brian Bolland artwork in them and fill in writers T.B. Grover (aka John Wagner) and Jack Adrian (aka Chris Lowder stories were clever and nasty. Thanks to Gareth for identifying the writers behind the psuedonyms. T.B. Grover wrote the Burger Wars episodes in Progs 71 and 72 with art by Mike McMahon while Jack Adrian scripted the Green Giant and friends in Progs 77 and 78 with Brian Bolland doing the art.
Having acquired a scanner on May 13 '98 I decided to share a few pictures from these seldom seen issues. To avoid violating 2000AD's fair usage copyright rules no more than 30% of each episode has been scanned. The black and white pages were scanned in grayscale as black & white scanning couldn't handle the shadings.
Like a closer look at Prog 72's cover? Like a closer look at Prog 77's cover?The banned Dredd ran in Progs 71, 72, 77 & 78. As you see 72 and 77 had Dredd covers while both 71 and 78 were Ant Wars covers.
If you'd like to see complete synopses of the stories these are from The Complete Judge Dredd #7 with all names changed to protect corporate copyright.
Click here for the legal synopses to Progs 71-72
Click here for the legal synopses to Progs 77-78
If you would rather see some of the unedited comics then
Prog 71 Scans - Burger Wars part 1
Prog 72 Scans - Burger Wars part 2
Prog 77 Scans - Mascotmania part 1
Prog 78 Scans - Mascotmania part 2
Drop by the Walter the Wobot Shrine
Judge Dredd created by John Wagner, Pat Mills and Carlos Ezquerra ©2002 Rebellion published by Ergmont Fleetway Publications Inc.
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