Prog #143: Looks Like We Missed a Few! (The Black Plague, part 4)

Case File

The spiders swarm into the City, and the Judges take drastic action to ensure they are stopped.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd very quickly determines that they have no real way of stopping the spiders – so he wastes no time, and appears to display no doubt whatsoever, in suggesting to the Chief Judge that they destroy the Sector the spiders have overrun.

Friends of Dredd

Henry Ford lives! He’s a bit shocked by Dredd’s approach to dealing with the spiders.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

The City is breached at the West Mutieland Wall, and the spiders waste no time in attaching Cityblocks.

The City has a central section called the Mega-Circular. We don’t get a great look at it, but it appears to be a circular highway surrounding Cityblocks. Apparently there are a million people west of the Circular.

The spiders are unstoppable – so Dredd makes the call to firebomb an entire City Sector. Evacuations are called for beforehand, but you have to assume not everyone made it out.

The Law

Dredd has a hotline to Chief Judge Griffin, who presumably approves Dredd’s plan to defeat the spiders.

Hoverwagons (or H-Wagons) are used to drop incendiary devices on the sector.

Creeps

It’s feast-time for the mutant spiders as they spend a gleeful few pages devouring citizens en masse. Their genesis in the radioactive cauldron of the Cursed Earth has left them immune to poisons like insecticide.

Heavy artillery may not have worked last prog, but here the spiders have nowhere to burrow into. They’re bombed into oblivion, along with a big chunk of the Big Meg.

Holy Grud!

The artwork of the City Sector being destroyed is fantastic.

Resyk

As noted above, it’s not very clear what the death toll is. Many citizens will have died from spider bites, as well as potentially being destroyed by the bombs.

Verdict

Well, that’s one way to solve a problem. This is really, really good. One thing I admire about Dredd is its willingness to commit to full-scale devastation and destruction. It was very off-hand when we saw huge loss of life on the Moon, but I like that an entire sector of the City is destroyed here – with presumably some loss of life. (Does that make me a monster?)

In the world of Dredd, it isn’t always some amazing and clever solution that works – sometimes it simply requires being more destructive than the problem. As well as being dramatic and shocking from the perspective of the reader, it makes perfect sense within the world of the stories as well. The Judges are totalitarians, and these are the kinds of decisions that come from that mindset.

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