Prog #80: And the Slaughter Will Be Terrible To Behold! (The Cursed Earth, part 20: The God-Judge)

Case File

Determined to return the Law to Vegas, Dredd enters a competition designed to select the next Chief Judge.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Sentenced the to the Loser’s Leap, Dredd is determined that he won’t just jump and die meekly but go out fighting. Luckily Spikes chooses this moment to spring his escape attempt!

Friends of Dredd

Spikes really comes through here, rescuing Dredd from his plummeting fate with a handy fire escape chute (some very nice specific continuity from “Firebug“).

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

The League Against Gambling are a much larger and more organised outfit than assumed. They follow the apparent tradition of the future of wearing names and letters all over their outfits – probably not a great idea given their likelihood of being rounded up and executed.

The LAG’s de facto leader appears to be Rudy, who introduces Dredd and Spikes to the League and their bizarre book of prophecies from “Great Leader” Abner Cobb. Cobb was executed by the Mob installed in the Great Hall. The prophecies are in typical blood and thunder religious speak, but seem to correlate nicely to Dredd. It seems likely that Cobb was just the predicting that one of the Mega-Cities would come to sort out the perversion of justice here, and described what most Judges look like.

The Law

We get another example of Dredd’s flexible approach to the Law in the Cursed Earth here, as he takes it upon himself to appoint the League Against Gambling as the new Judges in Vegas. Given he’s only known a handful of them for about 5 minutes, this seems like a pretty huge risk.

Creeps

In an unlikely display of democratic sportsmanship – or probably a usually-rigged way of keeping the current people in power – the gang leaders have a battle every year to determine who gets to be in charge. How fortunate Dredd and Co. turned up just in time for that, hey? It’s made clear here the the mafia are (or were) official Judges who went corrupt.

The battle is fought in the city streets using antique motor cars, and there are only two contenders – the Androidini (get it?) Family and the charming Judges Mutiano and Fingers that we’ve already met. It becomes a three-way fight when Dredd and Spikes join in.

Some nifty driving and shooting from the Mega-City 1 entrants sees off both the other contenders, leaving Dredd and Spikes as victors. The Vegas Judges are reluctant to follow them, until some persuasion from a large number of armed members of the League Against Gambling.

Rap Sheet

We are left to assume that the old crooked Judges will be dealt with – but there must be a lot of them.

Resyk

The four Judges competing against Dredd and Spikes all come off terminally second-best.

Verdict

This one’s an improvement over last issue, but there’s still something a bit off. The “prophecy” is strange and just seems to serve as unnecessary incentive for Dredd. The ideas work better than the execution, but it’s still a fun read and good to see Dredd and Spikes working effectively as a team.

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