Prog #65: Let the Weeping, Gnashing of Teeth, and All That Jazz, Begin! (The Cursed Earth, part 5: The Mutie Mountains)

Case File

Dredd and Co. arrive in Keystone, and face off against some “muties” and their leader Brother Morgar.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd is clearly not a fan of the mutants, but also has no desire to harm them – even suggesting they go out of their way to avoid them and likely bloodshed. He tells Spikes they deserve “pity, not vengeance”. Before you think Dredd’s a big softy, he also calls them “sick, crazy mutants”.

Friends of Dredd

Spikes has no problem whatsoever with just driving the Killdozer through Keystone, killing anyone in their way. He’s wearing the grenade he found in Deliverance in his ear.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

There’s a lot of crazy information about the future of America to parse here.

At some point, President Jimmy Carter is added to the four existing President heads on Mount Rushmore. Then, at some point after that, all five of the heads are somehow moved from there to the Appalachians, just outside Mega-City 1!

Then, at some point even further on, Brother Morgar somehow managed to find a mutie artist good enough to add his own grim visage to the row of old white guys. It’s been a rollercoaster ride for that Monument.

Keystone is referred to by one of the Judges as “the Mutants’ City”, suggesting it’s a fairly major encampment for them. But with what we know of the Cursed Earth so far, it’s certainly not the only place mutants can be found.

The Law

The land-raider suffers some damage here, it’s roof carved off by the La-Saw machine.

Creeps

The mutants in Keystone are specifically referred to as the Brotherhood of Darkness – but they don’t quite come off the same here. Regardless, they’re a pretty decrepit band subsisting on old supermarket tinned goods, using nasty-looking horses to pull old automobiles along and ruled over by Brother Morgar.

Morgar’s leadership skills are certainly questionable. Creating his own head in the Presidential Pantheon must have taken a huge amount of effort for this group of people barely scraping by – and then he allows them all to be held hostage by just the threat of it being defaced. I’d be calling for a snap election.

The mutants use a La-Saw machine, a sort of upside-down UFO with spinning razor edges, to attack the Judges’ convoy. The machine is meant to be used to carve up new faces on the Monument.

Resyk

The “pilot” of the La-Saw machine ends up smashed into the President Carter’s teeth.

Verdict

As I’ve mentioned, I don’t have a high level of comics literacy. I didn’t grow up with them, and they’re still fairly new to me as a medium. But the first thing that stood out to me after finishing this issue is how much it is a visual feast – for me, more so than any other prog I’ve covered so far.

The plot is largely irrelevant – they get attacked, then get out of it. But the striking addition of Morgar to the Presidential Head Parade, and then Dredd climbing up Abraham Lincoln’s face in the land-raider! Brilliant.

I really don’t have much else to say, except to reiterate how much Brian Bolland’s work just continues to to stand out for me.

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