Sunday, 9 June 2013

Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter 13 – The Coming Of Satanus!

NAME
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter 13 – The Coming Of Satanus!

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 73

DATELINE
15 July 78

PAGE COUNT
7

REPRINTS
Judge Dredd 7, The Complete Judge Dredd 7, Judge Dredd Epics: The Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics: The Cursed Earth 2, Judge Dredd Epics: The Collected Cursed Earth and Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 02.

SYNOPSIS
Dredd encounters fleeing dinosaurs and is stalked by their predator.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First time that a story has reached thirteen parts and the first appearance of Satanus.

INFORMATION
The Dinosaur National Park brought back several species of dinosaur using genetic engineering. When the Atomic War (possibly also referred to as World War Three) affected the area the specimens were able to roam freely. Among the dinosaurs recreated are Styracosaurus, Diplodocus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Pterodactyl and Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Repentance is a town a few miles away from Dinosaur National Park.


JUDGE DREDD
He is suspicious of people he deems too friendly.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SATANUS
A black Tyrannosaurus Rex with red eyes. His DNA was cloned from a fossil in the Colorado Desert and the cells were injected into alligator eggs. He was the only T-Rex of a batch of 4 to successfully hatch from the egg and within seconds he was walking and bit a scientist's finger. He was initially fed on sheep, then cattle and at one point a cat. An attempt to cut down his food intake resulted in one of the scientists losing a leg. He refused to eat a soya meat substitute. When the Dinosaur National Park opened he was the star attraction and fed on drugged meat to keep him docile. Until one day, a keeper forgot to drug the meat and Satanus made an escape attempt with two Hairy Tyrannosaurs eating seven tourists in the process. When recaptured he saw his fellow escapees sedated, but he resisted and escaped a second time into the mountains. Six rangers went in search of him and failed to return. He has possibly become known as the Dark One. He follows Dredd's land-raider to the town of Repentence, which Satanus regards as his 'special place'.


ARRESTS
None.

DEATHS
At least fourteen. A Styracosaur is eaten alive by Satanus in the present, while in flashback he eats sheep, cattle, a cat and at least thirteen people between panels.

BEST LINES
Spikes: "I thought it was meant to stand up to anything, Judgey."
Dredd: "Guess no-one told the manufacturer about stampeding dinosaurs!"

WORST LINES
Judge Jack: "...Like something out of Hell!"

CATCHPHRASES
Dredd "By Stomm!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Other than the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the other specimens represented at the Dinosaur National Park are all herbivorous and lived in what is now North America. Diplodocus and Stegosaurus lived about 150 million years ago at the end of the Jurassic Period while Styracosaurus and Triceratops lived in the Cretaceous Period about 75 million years ago and 65 million years ago respectively. There is also an unidentifiable Pterosaur and neck frilled lizard. The carnivore Tyrannosaurus Rex was also to be found in the late Cretaceous Period about 65 million years ago and it easily the most famous dinosaur of all. We are so familiar with the Tyrannosaurus Rex that the idea of a Hairy T-Rex seems ridiculous, but three fossils of Yutyrannus, a related species, were discovered in China in 2012 with evidence of feathers or hairy bristles.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
The use of genetic engineering from fossil DNA to bring back the dinosaurs will later be a central tenet of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park novel (1990) and subsequent film (1993).

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
'The Bit With The Dinosaurs' barely features Dredd as it gets underway with an extended flashback. It's clear this is the prologue to a story of much larger scope. The dinosaurs look great and the Jurassic Park comparison is eerily close.

Next Prog: For Whom The Bell Tolls!