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Comic Book / The Simping Detective

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"What's your point?"
"Comes right after the Jack"

The Simping Detective is a Spin-Off from Judge Dredd, set in the seedy Angeltown, the most dangerous and crime-ridden sector in Mega-City-One. Its main character, Jack Point, is a Wally Squad Judge posing as a private investigator. Jack is a chain smoking, womanising, alcoholic with a penchant for dressing as a clown.

Jack soon finds himself with enemies on both sides of the law in the form of a mob boss known only as The Boss, who runs Angeltown and his own boss, Sector Chief Daveez, who runs his own little operations for profit. Furthermore, there is another organisation that is attempting to make changes in Angeltown, making contact with Jack via the mysterious Miss Anne Thrope.

Tropes specific to The Simping Detective

  • 13 Is Unlucky: Take a guess what sector Angeltown is located in.
  • Aborted Arc: The Simping Detective started off as a strip called Mega City Noir with Jack's being only one of many stories that were meant to cross over in the style of Sin City. While Muggro Keevish's story was published, this was dropped in favour of Jack getting his own series.
  • Action Girl: As befitting their status as ex-judges, Galen Demarco and Miss Anne Thrope fit this trope.
  • The Alcoholic: Jack is overly fond of whiskey. When he isn't swigging from a bottle at his desk or drinking cocktails at the High Dive, he's reaching for his emergency hip flask.
  • Anti-Hero: Jack.
  • Attack Animal: Jack Point has kept Raptaurs as pets, highly dangerous Xenomorph-like monsters. He tends to use them as back-up for occasions when he can't handle opponents on his own.
  • Badass Longcoat: Jack wears one over his clown gear, as it makes concealing weapons a hell of a lot easier.
  • Bad Guy Bar: The High Dive is where all the Boss's Mooks come to play. Jack spends plenty of time there, partly to observe their behaviour, partly to get completely smashed.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Used in the opening line of the first story and has become part of the blurb at the start of the Megazine.
    "I've got two friends in this world: One's long, hard and makes your ears ring after every shot. The other's my gun."
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The strip's main conflict is essentially The Boss and his mob versus Sector Chief Daveez and his corrupt judges versus Jack Point.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jack, of all people, does this for Dredd during Trifecta.
  • Brain Uploading: A former lover of Jack's uses a disposable biochip to temporarily implant her personality into Jack to help her commit suicide (the point being that she trusted Jack to dispose of her body without getting caught). However, the chip doesn't completely degrade as it's supposed to and Jack is left with some mental trauma, which it takes brain surgery to excise.
  • Breakout Character: Jack was originally part of an ensemble strip in the style of Sin City called Mega City Noir. It was felt that Jack was too strong a character to be wasted as a One-Shot Character. Another Mega City Noir story was published, centred around one of the Boss' Mooks and explained that Muggro Keevish survived the Raptaur attack in Crystal Blue (he is seen fleeing the warehouse), but it wasn't all that well received and the concept was dropped. The Simping Detective, on the other hand, has become one of the most beloved strips ever to come out of 2000 AD.
  • The Cameo: Dredd shows up on a couple of occasions as a supporting character. This is important later on.
    • Jack himself has appeared in Demarco: PI.
  • Church of Happyology: The Church of Simpology.
  • Cigar Chomper: Jack has a preference for "carrots", which he smokes at every available opportunity.
  • City Noir: Mega City One in this spinoff. It's not really an example in its parent series since Dredd is one of the super-cops actually running the city, but Simping's protagonist Jack Point is a hardboiled detective who navigates the strange underworld of MC-1 and happens to dress like a clown.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Jack. Every clown toy he keeps on him is a concealed weapon of some kind.
  • Continuity Nod: Several from the Dreddverse. A number of cases that Dredd has solved come up.
  • Continuity Snarl: Another Judge Dredd Spin-Off, Marauder, had Judge Kruger taking up the position of Sector Chief in Sector 13, effectively leaving Jack's conflict with Daveez unresolved. In Jokers To The Right, when Daveez calls Jack after kidnapping Demarco, Jack specifically states that Daveez is still Sector Chief. Either he was temporarily reassigned/demoted or Marauder is no longer canon.
  • Corrupt Judge: Daveez and possibly several others. One perp refers to Jack as the only straight Judge in Angeltown, which still isn't saying much (Read: He Who Fights Monsters, below). Jack tries to use this to his advantage when caught in a bust by offering a bribe, only to discover that he's been busted by Judge Dredd.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Invoked. Jack dresses as a clown for several reasons, one of which is to get people to underestimate him. Thanks to this, his trusty revolver and a bunch of clown gadget-based weaponry, he is more than capable in a fight.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jack again. Particularly in his narration, he uses some very witty descriptions of the situations he finds himself in.
  • Dead Partner: Jack had a partner named Cheyne when he was still in uniform. Together, they killed the Boss' brother in some Noodle Incident. When Cheyne is killed, Jack is transferred to the Wally Squad with the cover story that he was kicked off the force for killing the Boss's brother without sufficient evidence. When the hit squad comes for him, it forms the basis of the strip's introduction in the form of a sting operation to catch Cheyne's killers.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Point uncovers leads in the production of Cyrstal Blue while investigating the disappearances of "slabwalkers".
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The spate of explosion related deaths of various Mooks turns out to be a Revenge plot by Bob The Bartender to get to The Boss for the death of his wife. It would have worked too had Innocence Barumba not been having an affair with Colm "Shite" O'Leary.
  • Driven to Suicide: Meekly Roth aka ex-Judge Freedi Dree is so depressed that she feels she has to end it. Unfortunately, she's unable to do it herself and copies her personality into Jack's body and gets him to do the deed.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Daveez shoots Travis in the face with an uncoded Lawgiver after capturing DeMarco to show Jack he isn't drokking around.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Zig-zagged, Taking RedStimm while on a massive down from Crystal Blue causes a balance in effects on the drug user, making it useful should one be poisoned by a Raptaur. On the other hand, Crystal Blue, as Jack discovers, can undo Bachmann's brainwashing effects.
  • Dynamic Entry: Jack pulls this off when rescuing Innocence Barumba by smashing in a skylight and again during Trifecta by blowing open the wall of The Grand Hall.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Boss.
  • Fair Cop: Kovacs, the SJS Judge assigned to assess Point and determine the extent of his indiscretions.
  • Fantastic Drug:
    • Crystal Blue, a hallucinogenic downer made from Raptaur venom that is so powerful that users must take another drug, RedStimm, to shake off its effects. Very Illegal. Though, it also has a use in overcoming Bachmann's brainwashing effects.
    • Jazzalite is an drug that causes the person injected with it to explode upon contact with semen. Bob, the bartender at the High Dive, out to avenge the death of his wife, injects a number of alien prostitutes with the drug and succeeds in wiping out a number of high ranking members of the local crime Syndicate before being caught. His intention is to assassinate The Boss using this method, but her affair with Colm O'Leary means that "Shite" gets offed instead.
  • Fedora of Asskicking: Jack tends to wear a fedora, as befitting the Private Investigator trope.
  • Fetish: Jack really has a thing for female Judges. He spends quite a bit of time ogling the female SJS Judge sent to assess him and has slept with at least one other Judge.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: How Jack gets into the Boss's "Hate Party".
    • Subverted in the case of Galen Demarco. She dresses as Travis dressing as her.
  • The Future Is Noir: While set in 22nd century Mega City One, the strip is at its core a Film Noir with a Hard Boiled Detective protagonist who relays the story with a Private Eye Monologue, a Deliberately Monochrome art style, and cases that don't always end on a high note.
  • Gender Scoff: When Jack is finally betrayed by a female client, he bemoans, "Women—can't live with 'em, can't get 'em lobotomized."
    • Another time, he notes, "Women: Maybe there's one out there who isn't evil."
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Jack sees the world this way, justifiably so, considering that practically every other judge in Angeltown is dirty and Jack frequently uses his contacts amongst less savoury types to get information (who are sometimes better people than his own superiors). He notes this during Trifecta, stating that Judge Dredd sees everything as Black-and-White Morality, which is fine in itself, but not in Jack's line of work.
  • Hammerspace: Galen DeMarco, dressed in nothing more than a thong and heels, is somehow able to keep a gun concealed on her person. Lampshaded by Point.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: "Simping" refers to how "simp" is short for "simpleton" and how Jack always dresses like a clown, rather than the modern slang term for someone who is being excessively sympathetic and attentive toward another person that doesn't reciprocate their feelings.
  • Has a Type: Jack seems to be drawn to women who are or have been judges at some point. Notable examples include Galen DeMarco, Anne Thrope, and SJS Judge Kovacs (who, rather hilariously, is there to assess whether Jack has been indiscreet, while her uniform shows off her figure).
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Wally Squad Judges are allowed more freedoms than other Judges to help them blend in among the civilian populations. Some Wallies, however, occasionally take those freedoms too far and get declared of having "gone native" (or, in other words, become as dangerous to everyone as the criminals they've gone undercover to stop). If Jack isn't already too far gone off the edge, he's damn well close to it. Which is pretty ironic, considering that Sector 13 is riddled with corruption to begin with.
  • Hidden Weapons: One of Jack's reasons for dressing like a clown is that he can rig up clown gear with some rather useful and outlandish weaponry to compliment his revolver; Explosive noses, whoopee cushion landmines, spiked clown shoes and acid spraying flowers are just some of the hidden tricks in his arsenal.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Every single clown toy Jack owns has been rigged as a weapon of some sort, eg. exploding nose, acid-spraying flower, whoopie cushion landmine and so on.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Jack says this a lot, usually after he's just gotten out of some life threatening situation.
  • Internal Affairs: The SJS, who are part of the Dreddverse. Jack describes them as "The judges who judge the judges, the brakes on fascism, or a bunch of drokking drokkheaded evil drokks."
  • Inter Species Romance: Most of the Boss's goons are into aliens. Bob, the bartender down at the High Dive, uses this to start eliminating underbosses by injecting alien prostitutes with Jazzalite, a substance which violently explodes upon contact with semen.
  • Instrument of Murder: When Jack is faced with Raptaurs and the sonic cannon he's been using has been destroyed, he uses an electric guitar to take out the last one.
  • Ironic Nickname: Angeltown is the local name for Sector 13, which to Jack is the same as calling a fat guy "Little John" or a firearm "unnecessary."
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Muggro Keevish attempts this on Point with his sentient monkey mooks. Point notes that if you're using hired muscle to try to get a guy to talk, then you should at least give him a chance to speak.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Point is described as "a shifty little sod, but his heart's in the right place (right next to his hipflask)." He does come across as cowardly at times, but he is loyal to his city and will try to do the right thing when it comes down to it.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Jack's partner, Cheyne was beheaded by one. When Jack is attacked by ninjas working for The Boss, he manages to take them out, only for the woman who lured him into the trap to cut his revolver in two with a katana. Luckily for Jack, he has backup. Black Ops judges also seem to carry them.
  • Large and in Charge: The Boss. The only time we see him, he is disguised as a massive bouncer at his own Hate Party. Even then, he's still The Faceless.
  • The Last DJ: Yes, he's a whiskey-swilling Cigar Chomping horndog who tries to avoid a fair fight wherever possible, but when it comes down to it, he's the one honest judge in Angeltown and will solve the case as best he can and is loyal to the Big Meg, which surprises even himself.
  • Loophole Abuse: Jack is capable of beating a Lie Detector test by mentally rewriting the questions he's asked, so he can technically give an honest answer. For example, if asked if he has recently consumed alcohol, he takes it to mean in it as pure ethanol that is completely unsullied by bourbon goodness. So, when asked if he's been involved with any murder, he is able to answer with "Not that I can recall", which is technically true because the murder in question is technically a suicide only with the victim in question having hijacked his body to do the deed.
  • Lovable Coward: Jack, despite being a judge and fairly badass in his own right is always very concerned with getting out of a situation intact. However, even though he plans on running offworld during Jokers To The Right, he still has loyalty to the city and decides to stay.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Galen DeMarco, whose introduction in the strip is wearing nothing but a thong and heels, and Miss Anne Thrope, who wears a Spy Catsuit. Both have a tendency to make Jack weak at the knees.
  • The Murder After: "No Body, No How" begins with Jack Point discovering a dead body in his bed with no recollection of how it got there.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: In Jack Point's words, Colm O'leary's nickname "Shite" is "either the natural reaction to coming face-to-face with him or a character description".
  • Obfuscating Stupidity / Obfuscating Insanity: Pretty much the main reason Jack dresses like a cross between Phillip Marlowe and Krusty The Klown.
  • Oireland: Colm "Shite" O'Leary's dialogue is all written phonetically and filled with stock Oirish phrases. Reading it aloud will produce the most sterotypical Oirish accent going (ie. that non-existent one that Hollywood believes is real). Justified, as in universe, Ireland is a theme park depicting Irish sterotypes.
  • Pirate: For some bizarre reason, there is a hobo pirate (complete with cutlass) living in a park in Angeltown.
  • Pocket Protector: During one firefight, Jack is hit. Demarco asks him if it's bad. Jack pulls out his hipflask, which now has a hole in it and is leaking whiskey, to which he says "It's worse!"
  • Punny Name: Miss Anne Thrope. Jack even lampshades it at one point by stating that he just got pun behind the name.
    • Jack named his Raptaurs Cliq and Larf, as in "Point and Cliq" and "Point and Larf".
  • Revolvers are Just Better: In a world where Lawgiver pistols, laser rifles and stub guns are available, Jack opts for a good old fashioned Colt revolver.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Oswald Takko and his men from Dorks Of War are Space Corps veterans who turn to simping to prevent them from going futsie or being Driven to Suicide. Their minds are so fragile that Lars DeGlok and Maria Takko are able to break them easily and turn them into mindless mooks to rob banks while dressed as simps.
  • Shout-Out: Many. The title references The Singing Detective and Jack is named after a character in The Yeomen of the Guard.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Jack and Galen Demarco.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Jack pulls this on Daveez by spiking his brandy with Crystal Blue. After Daveez has burned down the drug factory that creates it and its antidote, RedStimm.
  • So Is X: When Jack Point lights up a cigar in Sector Chief Daveez's office and makes it clear that he knows Daveez played a significant role in a criminal case he was investigating and covered it up. Daveez responds by grabbing Point by his jacket lapels and threatening him to drop the case, the exchange ends,
    Daveez: ...And smoking's still illegal, creep.
    Jack: (points to the martini glass on his desk) Yeah. Heh, so's alcohol.
  • Splash of Color: The strip is in black and white in keeping with the Noir style, but certain important objects (such as, for example, the Crystal Blue drug) are given colour to highlight their importance.
  • Spy Catsuit: Worn by Miss Anne Thrope. It's a source of lust for Jack.
  • Stripperiffic: Galen Demarco's thong, which only just about barely covers her private parts and nipples. Justified in that she's undercover at a strip joint.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Out of story example. Another Dredd spinoff, Marauder, depicts another judge having replaced Daveez as sector chief in Sector 13. That story also depicts the sector's judges as notoriously corrupt.
    • Daveez turned up in Jokers To The Right only for Jack to shoot him with an uncoded Lawgiver. Either Daveez was temporarily demoted/Kicked Upstairs/transferred/suspended or Si Spurrier has made Marauder Canon Discontinuity.
  • Wild Card: Jack is considered this within even the Wally Squad. Even he is surprised when he stays behind to help save the city instead of running offworld.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl / Would Hit a Girl: Jack, when he discovers an ex-Psi judge is manipulating animals to attack him, states in a monologue panel that there is no justification for hitting a woman, right before kicking her in the face.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: When Jack rescues Demarco from Daveez, he tells Demarco that he's going to bring Daveez in and sentence him by the book. When Demarco leaves, knowing how much of a slippery bastard Daveez is, Jack decides to save himself the bother and puts a bullet in Daveez's head instead.
  • Wretched Hive: Angeltown is considered to be a shithole even by Mega City One standards. Jack notes that it's been deregulated in some ways (the legality of gambling, or at least the enforcement of such). Doesn't help that most of the judges are on the take.