Special Guest Reviewer – Eamonn Clarke.

WARNING – REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

A new year and a new 2000AD prog to review. Abalom is back which is great, and Judge Dredd begins a new story arc in the build up to the Day of Chaos. This is part one of Eve of Destruction and the tension is really building up. In the aftermath of the raid on the Sov-Judges’ research bunker Dredd meets with the Mega-City’s chief microbiologist to discuss the likely nature of the bio-weapon that is heading their way.

They begin with some fairly graphic descriptions of the effects that the Chaos organism had on its victim. All quite gruesome stuff that sounds like the rage virus from 28 Days Later. Dr Wyant points out that the super-bug is similar to Toxoplasma Gondii as discussed in my previous blog entry, but gives the writers a get out clause by noting that this is “not the same beast at all”.

Unfortunately the confusion between a virus and a protozoa continues. Anti-virals are not going to be of any use against even a mutated form of Toxoplasma. Once again the doctor mentions his own speciality of Phage therapy which may offer the best hope for Mega-City One, and is more realistic.

And then there is a computer screen image of the victim’s blood. Henry Flint gets the shape of red blood cells right, and although T.Gondii isn’t a spiky beastie as shown here it does have a curved crescent moon shape so this picture is not bad as a portrayal of a mutated killer protozoa. Maybe they looked at an image of T.Gondii parasites like this one.

The medical rating drops a bit for the continued confusion about micro-organisms, so this gets 3.5 out of 5 medic-droids. But the almost unbearable sense of expectation and, let’s say it – dread makes for a great storyline. Unlike the surprise attacks of Block Mania and The Apocalypse War this time the Mega-Judges know exactly what is coming but seem almost powerless to stop it. Great stuff for 2012.

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