Prog #64: We’ll Burn the Devils There! (The Cursed Earth, part 4: King Rat)

Case File

Killer rats descend on Deliverance. Dredd is busted out of jail by Spikes, and comes up with a plan to save the town.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd really settles in to his Western influences as gets to play town saviour and then ride away.

Friends of Dredd

Spikes proves his worth here, risking his life to rescue Dredd from his jail cell. He claims that he and Dredd are now “bike buddies”, and his normal ridiculous speech patterns are toned down a bit.

Spikes is familiar with the Pied Piper of Hamelin. He’s also an aficionado of 20th Century punk rockers, wearing some WW2 grenades and a Colt pistol he finds in the town as fashion accessories.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

The rats’ onslaught of Deliverance is pretty terrible, but Dredd seems fairly sure that if they place loud sirens well away from the town they won’t be set upon by the rats again.

The townsfolk seem happy that the Lawgiver is gone, and promise Dredd that things will change.

Creeps

The rats are nasty, OK? Do we need any more than that?

For some reason they are attracted to loud noises, like the town siren. Dredd and Spike use their bike sirens to lure them away and dump them in a conveniently nearby lava river.

The King Rat is the last survivor and takes on Dredd. The Judge describes the creature as a survivor, with eyes “full of intelligence”. Dredd strangles it good.

Resyk

The Lawgiver meets a nasty fate at the little chomping fangs of the rats.

Verdict

Man, I do not like rats.

Dredd leaps to the “loud sound” conclusion pretty quickly, but that aside this is another good continuation to the saga. It’s interesting that Dredd is hitting its stride the more it removes itself from the “Dredd solves a crime” set up. The freedom from that formula is leading to some great creativity from the writers and artists.

Any issue that features Dredd playing psychological games with a rat, and then strangling it with his bare hands, gets a tick in my book.

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