STARGAZERS

Membership: Professor Xavier Fortean

Aliases: Mothership Abductees

Base of Operations: Mega-City One, 2099 AD

First Appearance: Judge Dredd #13 (August, 1995)

History:  (Judge Dredd #13) - The Stargazers were a clique of astronomers who were fascinated with extraterrestrial life and technology. Mr. Scam, a trendsetter who started a number of dangerous crazes in Mega-City had a scheme involving the civil reward program for blocks that showed economic initiative. He pitted the Stargazers and their interest in alien tech, saying he could raise their media profile and get the public to stop labeling them as Mothership Abductees loons, against the Rodenti Inventus, inventive rat-men, convincing them to return to their roots and build entertaining yet dangerous devices. Their feud escalated, thrilling the very citizens put in danger, and Dredd recognized there was a new craze to deal with.

(Judge Dredd #14, 15) - The Stargazers, under Scam's direction, hosted a convention on extraterrestrials, demonstrating cattle mutilation, mindwipes, and other possible things speculative aliens could subject humans to once they landed on Earth. Scam noticed the crowd getting bored during a probing exhibition, so he caused the probes to malfunction and attack the crowd, exciting them. Dredd broke up the convention and was ready to arrest Professor Fortean before he told Dredd that what he was doing was legal under civic economic improvement laws. Dredd knew Scam was behind the stunt, but couldn't prove it. Scam gave Dredd and Technician Silikon a tour of the Rodenti Inventus themepark, and Dredd kept finding safety violations and arresting Rodenti. Walt Steambot said he had no right because the themepark brought so much happiness to Mega-City One, and Dredd responded that happiness was not a right under the law. Steambot showed him Penitentiary Land, a tribute to the law populated by animatronic lawmen, including a robot Judge Dredd. The animatronic lawmen malfunctioned and turned on Dredd. Dredd destroyed most of the units, and Scam broadcast the chaos on Scam-TV, garnering massive ratings. The jealous Stargazers attacked the Rodenti in full force until Dredd told both groups they were under arrest. He made them come to their senses, realizing they were destroying each other, and when he commanded it Xavier and Steambot told their men to stand down, giving a speech about mutual incarceration and cooperation. The nearly destroyed Dredd animatronic caught up to Mr. Scam and gunned him down.

Comments: Created by D.G. Chichester & Tim Gula.

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