Prog #84: You’re Going Out in Style! (The Cursed Earth, part 24: Dredd’s Last Stand)

Case File

Holed up in a fort, Dredd, Spikes and Tweak try to hold out against the robot onslaught. Spikes makes the ultimate sacrifice, as Dredd and Tweak become Mega-City 2’s last hope.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd and the remainder of his team have been holding out against the Legion of the Damned for four days and nights – an impressive feat.

Faced with an ultimatum by General Blood ‘N’ Nuts to turn himself in while Spikes and Tweak go free, Dredd doesn’t hesitate to go through with it if it means that the vaccine will get through to MC-2.

Friends of Dredd

It’s Spike’s last hurrah here, and boy does he get a good one. The bizarre and complex relationship between Dredd and “the greatest punk of all time” Spikes is just brilliant, with Spikes fighting on with Dredd even though there’s a chance he could be let go. He’s still crowing about the contract he has with Tweak that sees him own half the alien’s world, but I get the feeling he knows that is ridiculous and is just playing the game.

Injured by Mek-Panzer weaponry, he doesn’t die on the ground but charging the robots and falling to machine-gun fire. So long, Spikes. He does make the final promise to Dredd that if he doesn’t complete his mission and save MC-2, he’ll come back as a “Punk Ghost” to haunt Dredd.

Which, by the way, great spin-off buddy series. Are you listening, Tharg?

The Law

The last of the War Droids, the Land Raider and the Quasar bikes also meet their end here.

Creeps

The robot army is determined to wipe out their enemy, but even with overwhelming force can’t seem to get them. They employ Anti-Personnel Grabbers here, which are basically giant metal claws on tanks. Dredd manages to disorient them by taking out their mechanical eyes, and they then turn on the robot army.

This actually seems to almost end the fight, with the mechanical zombies even trying to negotiate (or at least pretend to) with Dredd. This ploy doesn’t last too long before they begin another assault, but they are tricked into letting Dredd and Tweak escape when Dredd dresses the deceased Spike up in Judge clothes and sends him out on a quasar bike set to self-destruct. The robots assume Dredd is dead, and presumably return to the ground.

Holy Grud!

I’ve already gone on about it, but the death of Spikes is exceptionally well handled here.

Resyk

As already discussed, we see the death of Spikes Harvey Rotten.

Verdict

They are certainly not mucking around as we approach the end of this long journey. It’s action, action, action as we get the desperate last actions of Spikes Harvey Rotten. This death lands really well as we’ve actually seen the growth of this character over the course of the saga, and his grudgingly respectful banter with Dredd is at its best here.

The idea of the small group holding out against the larger force is a staple of the military genre, and the issue plunders that to great effect. It’s now down to just two – one more prog to go!

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