After an attack from a spectral force in space, Justice One arrives on the evil planet Necros.
Ol’ Stoney Face
Dredd’s quest is now up to Day 51.
After landing on Necros, Dredd decides to go out alone. After interrupting a local sacrifice, he ends up having a very bad time.
The Big Meg (and Beyond)
Even before setting foot on the planet, Dredd describes Necros in his log as a “dark, brooding planet of evil”. Once we actually get down there, we can see it’s certainly not going to be on many people’s holiday lists.
It has an old-school medieval vibe, with lots of brick buildings, hooded figures and sacrifices to all-powerful Gods. The main city is also called Necros, and we’re just in time to see ten fat men being offered up to “the Oracle”.
The Alien Zoo
In residence at a nasty-looking “evil” castle are the Watchers. They’re humanoid, dressed in armour and armed with swords, and have two large, thick stalks that come out of their heads ending in very large eyes. These eyes can also shoot out black flame, as Dredd finds out firsthand.
They’re not immune to bike cannons though.
Justice One gets pretty badly damaged by Murd. It has a computer that can take over control, which is used to bring it down as safely as possible.
We don’t know a whole lot yet, but it appears that the main villain of this piece is Murd the Oppressor (Necromancer of Necros! Lord of Darkness! Keeper of the Sacred Toad!). He wants to keep the Oracle Spice to himself.
He appears to have sorcerous powers, and can rise up from the planet as vapour, grow to giant size and use fierce talons to seize Justice One, actually ripping in to the space vessel. The talons then “melt” into bat-like lizard creatures that force the ship to crash-land on Necros.
His primary physical self is a mad-looking, long-haired and shaggily-dressed man/toad kind of creature. He is clutching a voodoo doll of Dredd. He’s apparently given Necros “ten thousand years of darkness”, and calls himself a demon.
After his Watchers fail to take out Dredd, he sends transparent globes that envelop the Judge. As he pricks the Dredd Doll, a Watcher appears to skewer Dredd himself through the globe.
A very sudden shift from the last few progs, as we focus on the macabre and paranormal. I’m not sure yet how well this fits within the overall Dredd story, but will reserve judgement until this plays out. There’s some very effective art from Mike McMahon, who seems to relish this departure from the norm. The cliffhanger is also striking. A good start to a new phase of this mega-epic.