Prog #79: Is Nothing Sacred! (The Cursed Earth, part 19: Loser’s Leap)

Case File

Dredd and the convoy arrive in Las Vegas – which has been overrun by mobsters. Gambling is everywhere, and when Dredd tries to take on the “God-Judge” he finds that he’s gambling with his own life.

329423-19752-125217-1-2000-a-dOl’ Stoney Face

Dredd is shocked and angered by the descent of Vegas into gambling madness, and particularly enraged by the usurping of the Hall of Justice. His sense of strategy deserts him however, and he makes the mistake of just marching up to the person in charge. This gets him preparing to take the “Loser’s Leap”, basically walking the plank from the top of the Hall of Justice.

Friends of Dredd

Spikes is a bit more his old self in this issue, determined to disobey Dredd and get up to trouble in Vegas.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

Welcome to the Nevada Desert and Las Vegas – what seems to be a pretty thriving area given it’s in the middle of a post-apocalyptic wasteland! The Judges’ convoy is greeted by “pre-war” tanks, engaged in some sort of game that people are betting on.

Gambling is king in Vegas now, with non-gamblers highly discouraged – and possibly illegal. The citizens that we see seem happy with this arrangement, gambling on anything and everything.

The Law

Las Vegas should have its own Judge system, but it’s been taken over by the “God-Judge” and his mobster syndicate after the Atomic War. They’ve moved in to the Vegas Hall of Justice and converted it into a casino. The staff all wear what seem to be converted Judges’ uniforms. Being a member of the League Against Gambling is now “illegal”.

We don’t find out what happened to the actual Vegas Judges, but probably safe to assume – nothing good.

Creeps

The God-Judge has installed himself as defacto “ruler” of Vegas from the Hall of Justice & Casino, and ensures that gambling seeps into every aspect of life.

Judge Fingers is a particularly strong henchman of the God-Judge.

Resyk

We see a member of the League Against Gambling take the Loser’s Leap just before Dredd is scheduled to.

Verdict

This one didn’t quite work for me. The premise is good, and the idea of a Judge system being subverted by gambling-obsessed gangsters makes for some interesting moments, but the issue lacks the polish we’ve seen in the Cursed Earth series so far. The cliched way of speaking is just not funny or engaging, and even Dredd seems to have his character simplified here – a disappointment after how well he’s been presented recently.

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