Prog #166: I’m Not Gonna Be Digested! (The Judge Child, part 11: The Hungry Planet)

Case File

Dredd and the Judge Quest Crew are swallowed by a living planet.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd stays calm and is able to act clearly and effectively – despite the fact that being trapped in the stomach of a planet-sized creature can’t be in a Judge’s normal expectation of duty. He does get annoyed at Larter for acting rashly, calling him a fool.

Friends of Dredd

We just see Larter this episode, and he doesn’t come across so well. He’s unable to evade the tendrils of the creature, and seems to panic once they’re swallowed. He fires the ship’s blasters in an internal space – not a great move.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

Still in search of the Oracle Spice, we’re now in the Hadean System – sorry, the mysterious Hadean System.

The Law

We get some new inventory on Justice-1 here, with “starshells” (basically a large flare) and armour-piercing nukes. These nuclear weapons have fuses that can be set to a timer. There are also nuclear depth charges which can similarly be timed.

Creeps

Although it doesn’t seem to be sentient and must just be acting on instinct, the villain of the piece is a planet-sized carnivorous creature. It has a hard shell which divides into 11 segments from a point right at the top. Within are a mass of strong and fast tendrils that can grab ships, with the shell resealing behind it – trapping the ships.

The creature’s stomach secretes digestive acid that can dissolve ships very quickly, as well as having a heart and blood veins.

Holy Grud!

The opening two-page spread of the planet capturing Justice-1 is incredible.

Resyk

Dredd is forced to use nuclear weapons on the creature’s heart to destroy it and escape.

Verdict

The idea (if not exactly original) is still a great sci-fi concept, and it means that this one entirely rests on the artwork. The opening two-page spread is fantastic, one of the best in the series so far. The planet cracking into segments and releasing tendrils is amazing. However, while the rest of the episode isn’t bad by any means, it also isn’t as great as it needed to be. It’s not always very clear what’s going on, and none of the different organic areas are very distinctive. I will say this one is still worth it for that opening though.

I have no idea what the hell is going on with the sound effects of the planet dying at the end at though. BRUMP! DKUUM! KPOW! FADADA!

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