Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Pain in the Dredd

Warning! spoilers about a head ahead from prog 1866 where Dredd is in big trouble on little Titan.

This is a pretty good description of a fracture at the base of the skull. Clear cerebrospinal fluid is leaking into the back of Dredd's throat, and possibly from his ears and nose. If we could get him to remove that helmet we might find Battle's sign which is a distinctive bruise behind the ear. This is a serious injury and one that would put you or I flat on our backs. Dredd is, of course, made of sturdier stuff, although I still think head-butting a thug on the next page is probably inadvisable even for him.

Dredd has also been given a drug that makes him lose his memory of the previous hours, and this has been done to him several times. Obviously there are several medications that can affect memory but their effects are extremely variable. As ever this amnesia is convenient for the story but unlikely to be as precise as shown in this episode, particularly for someone who has suffered a major head injury.

The other medical issue in this story concerns the surgical modifications made to the inmates on Titan to allow them to breathe on the moon's surface. They all seem to have some form of metallic implant replacing the nose and feeding into the mouth which presumably make the atmosphere breathable, but there are other bits and pieces shown on some of the prisoners which aren't so easy to explain. In particular it's not clear why the major villain who turns up in the last panel has had to have his entire jaw replaced. Still, the future is another country, they do things differently there.

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