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Comic Book / Low-Life

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Low Life is a spinoff from Judge Dredd. Focusing on the Wally Squad in a particular area in the city known as the Low Life, on two judges in particular, Aimee Nixon and Dirty Frank and the various cases they have to deal with.

Low Life provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Title
  • Anyone Can Die: Really, only Dirty Frank is anyway safe from this. Well, until "The Small House".
  • An Arm and a Leg: Nixon voluntarily had her left arm removed and replaced with a robotic arm to blend in better. She later loses the other one.
  • Anti-Hero: Aimee Nixon. At first.
  • Bond One-Liner: When Overdrive asks Frank what he has that Enormo doesn't, a judge shoots Overdrive in the head. Frank replies, "Justice."
  • Bottomless Bladder: Thanks to nerves, Dirty Frank once urinated non-stop throughout a twenty three minute guitar solo.
  • Brainy Baby: One company claims to create these, in suspicious circumstances. Turns out, they were transferring the minds of elderly criminals into the bodies of babies to give them a second shot at life. To a lesser extent, there's also Judge Eric "Mortal" Coil, a judge whose body was de-aged to that of an infant.
  • Breakout Character: While Aimee Nixon started out as the protagonist, Dirty Frank took over once it was realised how well fans took to him.
  • Canon Welding: Saudade establishes that Frank has worked with Judge Dredd before and recommends Jack Point from The Simping Detective as a Wild Card in Judge Smiley's plan, which means they've been colleagues for a while.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Aimee Nixon was drawn to resemble Courtney Love with a broken nose. Dirty Frank, on the other hand, was designed as Alan Moore with an eyepatch.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Dirty Frank has spent so long undercover that he's suffering some major Sanity Slippage. It's stated that the law is the only thing keeping him from a rubber room.
  • Crossover: Saudade, which is part of the Judge Dredd: Trifecta arc.
    • Nixon turns up in Titan as Sinfield's Dragon.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Frank. In. Drokking. Spades.
  • Dirty Cop: Most of the judges in the Low Life, apart from Frank. Yes, that does include Nixon.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The Big Man, the unseen crimelord running the Low Life's underworld is eventually revealed to be Aimee Nixon.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Enormo Overdrive doesn't like to be reminded that his real name is Barry Penge.
  • Dumb Muscle: Cameron.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Frank. He lost the eye on a botched mission deep in Sov territory.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Thora, Cameron and Aimee.
    • In the first story, Paranoia, Link turns out to be the one setting Aimee up under orders from Farnsworth.
  • The Faceless: The Big Man, the unseen crime lord at the top of the Low Life. This seems to be a common trope in Wally Squad spinoffs, as The Boss from The Simping Detective plays a very similar role. Eventually subverted when The Big Man turns out to be Aimee Nixon.
  • Gratuitous German: Frank tends to lapse into this at times.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A risk which all Wally Squad judges face. Link turns out to be working for Farnsworth, Thora is dirty Nixon becomes the Big Bad. Dirty Frank is the only one this trope doesn't apply to.
  • Justice by Other Legal Means: Nixon can't prove that Tyrone Appleby of Lo-Cal is guilty of brainwashing and murdering rich fatties to take all their money. She collars him for soliciting a prostitute (herself) instead.
  • The Last DJ: Frank, of all people. In spite of his nature, he's the one truly virtuous character in the strip and it's revealed that the law is the only thing keeping him from further Sanity Slippage.
  • Manchurian Agent: It turns out that Frank was reprogrammed by Smiley to activate upon receiving a specific code phrase and placed out of the way into Wally Squad until he was needed.
  • The Pig-Pen: Dirty Frank. It takes on a double meaning when we discover in Frank's backstory that he was part of a strike team on a mission in Sov territory that went badly wrong, where the mission did not go cleanly.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: "He's Making a List..." has a creature called Mr. Claws who punishes orphans by kidnapping them to teach them a lesson, who turns out to be a toy store owner who was sick of juves smashing up his business. Frank lampshades the whole thing.
    Dirty Frank: If he's a fairground owner who laments the intervention of meddling kids, Dirty Frank is quitting.
  • Shark Man: Enormo Overdrive, who has his DNA bonded with a Great White. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Aimee's stories tend towards grittier and more serious, while Frank, in keeping with his CloudcuckooLander nature, gets all the ridiculous cases.
  • Third-Person Person: Dirty Frank. Lampshaded.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Judge Farnsworth starts killing off the mob in the Low Life and taking all their assets to fund a redevelopment of the sector. Aimee kills him because she feels she needs the Low Life.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: During Rock And A Hard Place, the singer of Kill Kill Kill Kill spends an entire week coming up with the line "Luna One Woman! You're all made of cheese" just to rhyme with "please". When he is arrested at the end of the story, he asks his guitarist if there are any words that rhyme with "gorgonzola".
  • Younger Than They Look: Thora takes on the appearance of an old woman, even though she is a few months younger than Nixon.