Part 4 : Bweakup and DisillusionmentAs you can see Walter's disappearance from the pages of Judge Dredd was rather abrupt. During the Destiny's Angels storyline of Progs 280-286 quite a few things happened with significant impact on Dredd continuity. Both Walter and Maria bowed out of the storyline making Dredd a loner. If the loss of their humanizing influence made Dredd a harder man is debateable but it marked a definite breaking point from the lighter touch of the earlier Dredd stories. This story also brought back Mean Machine Angel who had died during the Judge Child storyline. Resurrected by the Judge Child the moronic Mean has become one of the most popular of Dredd's advisaries and one of the few to experience multiple encounters with the Judge and live to tell about it. Besides his solo adventures he has also teamed up with Dredd on several occasions. Mean's combination of Cursed Earth savvy, brute force and being too stupid to know when he's beaten are sometimes invaluable to the Law. As for the Judge Child Dredd's decision that the boy was too malicious to be the prophecized savior of Mega City One was vindicated as Owen Krysler's evil emerged full force. Freeing Fink Angel he arranged for the two brothers to take his vengeance on Dredd. Or so he thought but destiny wasn't as easy to twist as he believed. Executed for his crimes the question remained who would save Mega City One from the disaster forseen to strike in 2120 AD. That question was answered seven years later in City of the Damned with the fallout finished off in the January 1998 story, In the Year 2120. But this is a Walter page so let's turn the clock back to 1982 (or 2104 by Mega City dating) and Prog 285 as the brothers Angel begin looking for Dredd in part 5 of Destiny's Angels. Art by Carlos Ezquerra.
The end came on the splashpage of Prog 286 (Oct 16 1982) after which Walter got one panel. Tharg mentioned in a Nerve Centre that Walter had been repaired but there was no sign of him in the Dredd stories. Destiny's Angels concluded with Mean under arrest while Fink and Ratty were bound for Resyk. Maria was taken to hospital vowing to have nothing more to do with Dredd. She wouldn't reappear until Cardboard City (Progs 643-645) much the worse for wear. This story also marked Walter's last regular appearance in 2000 AD. His next appearance in a Dredd story was 12 years later and with the exception of two noncontinuity appearances in this period Walter vanished without a trace. The first of these unofficial appearances was in the 1986 Judge Dredd Annual but the first panel made clear that it was a What If? story. The only thing it could be as at this point who could imagine Walter voluntarily leaving Judge Dredd? Anyway if this uncredited story was drawn by Brian Bolland or just somebody imitating his style I've no idea. Briefly Walter winds up living on the street selling bits of himself to survive. At last the destitute robot sees a documentary on the Punk Movement and vows to webel in his own way! Walter also showed up in one of the 1990 2000AD Winter Special's Where Are They Now? posters, art by Simon Jacobs. Either Walter's tax collector career was terminated or the poster was apocryphal. There's no way to say without a ruling from Tharg. All that is known for sure is that Walter's next confirmed appearance in Mega City One wasn't until 1992's Judge Dredd Yearbook where we finally found out that Dredd kicked him out shortly after he was rebuilt. On to Walter's nineties comeback attempt
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