No. 185 – In Space No One Can Hear You >Vark!<

Giger’s Alien: Film Design cover image ©20th Century Fox/Titan Books Ltd., 1979, 1989

Varks, from the Judge Dredd story of the same name in prog 503 (1987), written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and drawn by Kevin O’Neill vs. Xenomorph XX121, designed by Swiss artist Hans Ruedi “H.R.” Giger (1940–2014) for Ridley Scott’s Alien (20th Century Fox, 1979)

Sigourney Bean notices some odd changes in her boys

Giger’s endoparasitoid extraterrestrial xenomorph XX121 and variations thereof have since Alien reappeared in seven other 20th Century Fox films: James Cameron’s Aliens (1986), David Fincher’s Alien³ (1992), Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien: Resurrection (1997), the crossover franchise AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) and AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem (2007), and Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017), with a follow-up film, rumoured to be titled Alien: Awakening, due in 2019.

“Alien Day”, April 26, has become the fan celebration date of the Alien franchise. The date derives from planetoid LV-426 on which the original xenomorph was discovered; the “426” converting to “4/26” or “April 26”. Varks, however, hail from the planet Proxima-Proxima, from the Latin meaning [approximately], “the One Close to the Close One”.


No. 184 – Doctor Feeley Good

Beelte image ©Time

Dr. Feeley Good* from prog 108’s (1979) cover by Mike McMahon for the Ro-Busters story The Fall and Rise of Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein (progs 103115), written by Pat Mills vs. the [GE] Beetle, appearing here in Life magazine, 4 May 1962

The Beetle on display

The now defunct Beetle was the nickname of a large, pilot-operated mobile manipulator created by Jered Industries (now part of PaR Systems) in Detroit for General Electric, built to order by the USAF Air Force Special Weapons Center, designed to handle volatile material for nuclear bombers. Work on the Beetle began in 1959 and was completed in 1961. Built on a chassis from the M42 40 mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun, [or “Duster” – basicly a tank], the Beetle was 5.8 metres (19 feet) long, 3.7 metres (12 feet) wide, 3.4 (11 feet) high and weighed 77 tons, with a top speed of 13 km (8 miles) per hour. The manipulator’s pilot was protected by cockpit that included a 58 cm (23 inch) nuclear blastproof glass shield.

When the atomic aircraft project was cancelled in 1961, the Beetle was earmarked by the US military for a role in cleaning up nuclear explosion debris, but discontinued due to its size, speed and unwieldiness, eg. the pilot required several minutes to enter and exit the vehicle.

*The name refers either to British punk band Dr. Feelgood, formed in 1971 [and still going]; or Doctor Feelgood, the alternative stage name of American blues musician Piano Red [Willie Lee Perryman] (1911–1985)


No. 183 – Sagrada Família

Halls of Justice on Deadworld from the Judge Dredd story Judge Death Lives (progs 224228 (1981)) written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and drawn by Brian Bolland vs. Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926)

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família [from the Catalan: “Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family”], a minor basilica in the Catalan modernisme style combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms, has been officially under construction since 1882 [136 years, at time of entry post], with less than a quarter of the building having been completed by the time of the architect’s death in 1926. Completion of the basilica is said to be expected mañana.

*Proclaimed a minor basilica – as distinct from a cathedral – by Pope Benedict XVI when he consectrated the building in 2010


No. 182 – Jaxon Prince

Michael Jackson-Diana Ross image ©Getty Images

Prog 513’s (1987) Judge Dredd story The Comeback written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and drawn by Gary Leach, featuring Jaxon Prince* vs. Michael Jackson (1958–2009), pictured here with singer-songwriter Diana Ross** at the American Music Awards 1984

American singer, songwriter and dancer, Michael Joseph Jackson – dubbed the “King of Pop” – was one of the most popular entertainers in the world, his contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his well-publicised personal life making him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Along with elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon, Michael (the eighth child of the Jackson family) made his professional debut in 1964 as a member of the Jackson 5. His solo career began in 1971 while at Motown Records.

*Surname probably referring to American singer-songwriter Prince Rogers Nelson (1958–2016), otherwise known simply as Prince [Ƭ̵̬̊]
**Formerly of The Supremes (1950s–1970s)


No. 181 – General Blood ‘N’ Nuts

Patton photo courtesy Associated Press

Zombie film reference here? Let us know!

Leader of the Legion of the Damned, General Blood ‘N’ Nuts, drawn by Mike McMahon from prog 83’s (1978) Judge Dredd story The Cursed Earth (progs 6185) written by Pat Mills [this episode] vs. U.S. General George S. Patton (1885–1945)

General George Smith Patton Jr. commanded the U.S. Seventh Army of the U.S. Army in the Mediterranean and European theatres of the Second World War (1939–1945), but is best known for his leadership of the U.S. Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

It was around this time that the US press began calling Patton “General Blood and Guts,” having heard him claim in a speech that it took “blood and brains” to win a war, and the nickname would follow him for the rest of his life. Although Patton was widely admired by the soldiers under his charge, some were known to quip bitterly, “our blood, his guts.”

Gen. Patton was immortalised in the eponymous 1970 film Patton (20th Century Fox, 1970), which won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for George C. Scott (1927–1999).


No. 180 – The Day the Earth Burned

Prog 34’s (1977) The Day the Earth Burned! one-off* cover by Trevor Goring** vs. Look and Learn No. 104’s (Fleetway, 1964) When Rome Burned cover, probably illustrated by James E. McConnell (1903–1995)

Bust of Nero (Capitolini Museum)

Rome burned on several occasions but the instance mentioned by Look and Learn refers to the Great Fire of Rome, an urban conflagration ignited on 18th or 19th July in 64 AD that raged for days. The popular legend that Emperor Nero [Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus] (37–68 AD), the last Roman emperor (54–68 AD) of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sang The Sack of Ilium† – or played the fiddle or some such instrument – is almost certainly anti-Julio-Claudian propaganda put about by the members of the rival Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69–96 AD, directly following his death.

Nero was in fact in Antium (modern Antio, in the Lazio region of Italy) at the time of the fire’s outbreak, and returned to Rome post-haste on hearing the news to organise a relief efforts – paid for out of his own pocket – personally taking part, without even his bodyguards, in the days-long search for and rescue of victims. After the blaze subsided, Nero opened his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless, and arranged for the delivery of food supplies for the survivors.

This is not to say that Nero was a good emperor – he was foolish, impressionable and incompetent; easily manipulated by sycophantic and self-serving advisors – but perhaps not the depraved monster popularly represented.

The tagline of the 2000 AD one-off [or “supercover”] probably references The Day the Earth Stood Still (20th Century Fox, 1951).

*Sometimes referred to as a “supercover,” this is a cover that bears no relation to any story within the prog, nor is it a character ensemble
**Trevor Goring has also paid homage on a 2000 AD cover in HoH No. 15
†Troy, originally located on the west coast of what is now Turkey

 The 2000 AD Discussion Group

No. 179 – The Fear That Made Milwaukee Famous

Schlitz® beer is a registered trademark of Pabst Brewing Company; Rhode Island Red photo (right) by Marilyn Barbone (

The Fear that Made Milwaukee Famous written by John Wagner and drawn by Mike McMahon, featuring villain Rhode Island Red, from Judge Dredd Annual 1981 (IPC Magazines, 1980) vs. Schlitz® beer tagline and, well, a breed of domestic chicken

Not one of our more visually robust HoH entries, being essentially a beer label and a picture of a chicken, but a welcome excuse to revisit one of our favourite Dredd stories relating the events of a brief foray beyond the walls of Mega-City One to capture Cursed Earth bandit and leader of the outlaw Red Leg Raiders, Rhode Island Red, which takes an unexpected turn for the genuinely eerie as the spirits of what was once the city of Milwaukee*, Wisconsin, interpose seeking retribution for their untimely obliteration as a result of a domestic nuclear weapon mishap.

Untitled (1949) by Sy Kattelson

The title of the story alludes to the tagline associated with Schlitz® beer, “the beer that made Milwaukee famous” [not the Schlitz® slogan itself which was, “when you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer”], produced by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, founded in the U.S. in 1849 by August Krug (1815–1856) and acquired by German-American entrepreneur Joseph Schlitz (1831–1875) in 1858, subsequently becoming the largest beer producer in the US in 1902, and maintaining that position on-and-off for the first half of the 20th century.**

Foghorn J. Leghorn ©Warner Bros.

The character Rhode Island Red himself is named after an American breed of domestic chicken developed in the late 19th century in Massachusetts and Rhode Island by cross-breeding birds of oriental origin such as the tall Malay with brown Leghorn birds originally from Tuscany, Italy. It is the state bird of Rhode Island [which, incidentally, is nowhere near Milwaukee]. The actual appearance of the vociferous Red in the Dredd story may also be a nod to Foghorn J. Leghorn, who originally appeared in 28 Warner Bros. Animation’s Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons from 1946 to 1963.

*The name “Milwaukee” comes from the Algonquian millioke, meaning “good”, “beautiful” and “pleasant land,” or “gathering place [by the water (Lake Michigan’s western shore)]”
**Bought in 1982 by Stroh Brewery Company and subsequently sold along with the rest of Stroh’s assets to Pabst Brewing Company in 1999, which recently launched Schlitz Gusto® beer