Friday, 31 May 2013

Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter 4

NAME
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter 4

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 64

DATELINE
13 May 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
The Complete Judge Dredd 6, Judge Dredd Epics The Collected Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics The Cursed Earth 1, Judge Dredd 5 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 02.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd and Spikes save Deliverance from rats.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last appearance of Deliverance.

INFORMATION
The rats were attracted to Deliverance by its siren. The town is in the vicinity of a lava river.


Quasar bikes have a siren.

JUDGE DREDD
Spikes breaks him out of Deliverance's jail, he cuts Samuel and Rebecca free and then uses his bike's siren to lure the rats away from the town. He is attacked by the King Rat and strangles it to death.


OTHER CHARACTERS
SPIKES HARVEY ROTTEN
He finds some World War II grenades and a Colt Six Shooter in Deliverance. He rescues Dredd and the pair lead the rats away from the town and into a river of lava. He wears one of the grenades as an earring.

ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
One human, thousands of rats. Deliverance's Lawgiver is killed by rats. Dredd and Spikes lead the rats into a river of lava, while the Judge strangles their King.

BEST LINES
Samuel: "Close your eyes, love...it'll soon be over!"

WORST LINES
Dredd: "Cut the cackle...give me covering fire while I cut that couple loose!"

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd utters another "for Drokk's sake" and a "By Stomm"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Spikes mention the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a folklore tale about a piper, dressed in multi-coloured clothing, leading a rat infestation away from the town, but whine the people of Hamelin refuse to pay him for his services he leads the town's children away never to return.

MISTAKES
A river of lava would probably interrupt the rat's air currents quite dramatically.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
The King Rat (Uromys rex) is a species of giant naked-tailed rat found in the Solomon Islands, while a Rat King is when a number of rat's tails become intertwined, which become stuck together with blood, dirt, ice, excrement or simply knotted. The animals reputedly grow together while joined at the tails into an angry ball of rats.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
A nice neat strip that delivers on what the last part set up. The Lawgiver's death is fantastic, although the struggle with the King Rat undermines the existence of the swarm.

Next Prog: The Mutie Mountains!