Prog #74: It Was Not a Nice Way to Die! (The Cursed Earth, part 14: For Whom the Bell Tolls)

Case File

The Backstory Exposition of Satanus, Part 2! While we learn more about the monstrous dino, Dredd and the gang fall victim to the townsfolk of Repentance – who plan to serve them up to the dinosaurs on a platter.

328980-19752-125210-1-2000-a-dOl’ Stoney Face

What the issue tells us about the title character – Joe Dredd.

Friends of Dredd

Somewhat adorably, Tweak is learning English from the Land Raider’s computer. He seems to be doing pretty well. “Judge Dredd will not play with a ball.” Tweak gets Dredd.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

Repentance seems to have entered into some sort of uneasy truce with Satanus, where they provide him with human sacrifices and he doesn’t tear them all limb from limb. The Cursed Earth seems pretty sparsely populated though – where are they getting all the other victims?

They almost seem cult-like here (or at least are pretending to be), claiming that dinosaurs ruled at the start of history so it’s only right they rule now at “the end of the world”.

Creeps

We learn more about Satanus’ “first life” here as second-fiddle to his mother, the Hag-Mother, who is even more of a piece of prehistoric work than her son. Even at 80, she’s too much for Satanus when he tries to challenge her. After a 10-hour fight, he’s killed by her – every bone in his body broken and then devoured.

The Hag-Mother goes on for at least another 40 years and becomes legendary as “Old One Eye”. But that’s another story…

In the present, Satanus has assumed dominance over the local dinosaurs and also accepts “sacrifices” from Repentance. He’s also apparently fairly resistant to lava, which must be useful.

The spokesperson for Repentance is “Bull” Cannon, and he seems welcoming and friendly right up until drugging Dredd and Co. and then feeding them to a rampaging dinosaur. They are tied up at “Black Rock”, and the bells are rung – letting Satanus know that his home delivery has arrived.

Resyk

Satanus devours twp of the townsfolk before turning his attention to Dredd and Spikes.

Verdict

So I know almost nothing about “Flesh”, the series that this episode references. But I don’t think it matters that much, and the character of Satanus works within the context of this story fine. I’m a bit surprised we’ve now had two issues that are almost solid backstory for a dinosaur, but Satanus is so heightened and over-the-top that it kind of works. The artwork is again impressively hideous, which gives a real sense of danger to the cliffhanger.

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