Prog #171: Your Effrontery Surprises Even Me! (The Judge Child, part 16: Sagbelly)

Case File

Dredd battles crazy sorcerers, carnivorous toads and death itself to get his hands on the Oracle Spice.

Ol’ Stoney Face

Dredd was actually killed at the end of the last episode, but is resurrected by Murd. This doesn’t seem to faze Joe very much.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

We can only guess what will happen to Necros now Dredd has ended Murd’s 10,000-year reign. After collecting some of the Oracle Spice, Dredd destroys the remainder.

The Alien Zoo

The Watchers crumble to dust when their creator is killed.

The Law

Dredd’s Lawmaster can fire “cannon flares”.

Creeps

We meet the secret of Murd’s long life and apparent magic abilities: Sagbelly, an enormous and presumedly mutated toad. Sagbelly is the Oracle referred to last prog, and after devouring a sacrifice he procedures one drop of Oracle Spice from his “sacred wart”.

Murd keeps the Oracle Spice in a font in his palace. Regular consumption of the Spice has led him to even begin to resemble the hideous Sagbelly.

Murd and Sagbelly both meet their end as Dredd impales the Oppressor with a stake, and he is devoured by the Toad – where the stake then stabs Sagbelly from the inside. Murd reappears as a spectral figure at the end to warn Dredd that the Spice is very dangerous.

Resyk

Dredd is technically a corpse at the start here. Murd is speared by Dredd. We see Sagbelly go to town on a few of the locals.

Verdict

Given how much Murd and Necros were built up, I was a bit surprised when this was wrapped up so quickly. Sagbelly is a monstrously excellent foe for Dredd, but Murd turns out to be a bit of a lightweight in the end. Dredd’s matter-of-fact approaches to the magic madness – including his own death and resurrection! – are great.

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