Prog #172: Now Kindly Get On With It! (The Judge Child, part 17)

Case File

The Oracle Spice leads Dredd to Planet AB, a fantastical place where the one person who could help him if suffering from a very strange disease.

243637-19752-118566-1-2000-a-dOl’ Stoney Face

The Quest is now up to Day 51. Dredd determines that Lopez will be the one to take the Oracle Spice – and the dangers that go along with it.

In his Log, Dredd admits to being concerned for Lopez’s condition.

Dredd goes out alone to AB, and learns that a human – Prosser – arrived on the planet illegally. The episode doesn’t do a good job of making the connection between Prosser and the Judge Child clear, but Dredd follows it up anyway.

Friends of Dredd

Lopez is ordered by Dredd to try to the Spice. He thinks it’s because Dredd is still hung up about his moustache, but Dredd says it’s because his personality profile shows him to be the most “unstable” of the crew, and therefore the most open to the Oracle Spice experience (far out, man).

The experience is not great for Lopez. He has warped visions of Murd and Sagbelly (with large moustache) and his own funeral in space. He only really comes up with some ranting about Bedlam and the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. He ends up in a coma.

Hershey doesn’t get to come on this field trip, and stays on Justice One to keep an eye on Lopez.

The Big Meg (and Beyond)

The Planet AB (no idea why it’s called that, at least not yet) is a completely insane place. There are buildings shaped like feet, cups and umbrellas; citizens swimming or lying down on roads; flying bicycles dotting the sky and much more.

As befits such a strange place, there’s also a very strange illness – Jigsaw Disease. This ailment sees parts of people’s bodies disappearing in alarming geometric and clean fashion: for instance, a cube shaped hole in the middle of the stomach that can be seen straight through. Even a completely straight corner of the head removed, including where the brain should be. It is completely physically ridiculous – with actual sections of limbs completely missing and the remained just hanging there like it’s still attached.

Victims apparently feel no pain, and all the alien doctor will say is that “there are many things on our world you can never hope to understand”.

The human Prosser has the disease, and becomes convinced the local doctors are lying to him that there is no cure. He steals some pills, but the doctor tells Dredd that the pills don’t cure the disease but speed it up as a “mercy”.

The Alien Zoo

The inhabitants of Planet AB are humanoid with vaguely bat-like heads – large, pointed ears and jet-black eyes. They have three digits on each hand and foot. They apparently speak “Allspeak”, a language which can be understood by anyone.

Holy Grud!

The opening page, with Prosser suffering the Jigsaw Disease, is a stunning start to the episode.

Verdict

This is certainly the most far-out crazy episode of Dredd we’ve had so far. The visuals of the Jigsaw Disease are fantastic, and look like some kind of Salvador Dali painting. The trippy visuals as Lopez takes the Oracle Spice are also pretty good, as is the full-page spread of the insanity of Planet AB. The plot is almost irrelevant given the visual feast we’ve got, but it feels like the forward motion of the overall Judge Child plot has returned.

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One thought on “Prog #172: Now Kindly Get On With It! (The Judge Child, part 17)

  1. And so the moustache stuff did lead somewhere eventually – to Dredd risking and losing Lopez’s life purely on his puritanical dislike of male grooming. The image of the toad with the moustache is a brilliant kiss off to this.

    This episode is referenced about 25 years later when Dredd clears his few possessions from his Rowdy Yates Block apartment. Dredd kept Lopez’s badge and holds doubts about whether he should have taken the oracle spice himself.

    Like

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