Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, Chapter 6 – Dark Autumn!
2000 A.D. Prog 66
27 May 78
The Complete Judge Dredd 6, Judge Dredd Epics: The Cursed Earth 1, Judge Dredd Epics: The Collected Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd Epics: The Cursed Earth, Judge Dredd 6 and Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 02.
The Brotherhood of Darkness pursue Dredd's land-raider and another mutant comes to the Judge's aid.
FIRSTS & LASTS
This is the first time Dredd shows mercy to a mutant and the last appearance of Brothers Gomorrah, Obee, Jobee and Morgar alive.
During the war, the Cursed Earth was affected by radiation leading to deforestation of trees and mutation among the human population. Mutations include extra fingers and telekinetic powers.
Novar reads his mind and declares that he is a good man. He invites Novar to join them.
A mutant with six fingers, telekinetic powers and the ability to read minds. He calls it the mind force. Novar lives with his mother, a radiation victim since the war. According to his mother, his father was "a good man". He builds a metal sculpture of a tree. Movar uses his mind force to briefly immobilise Dredd's land-raider and return Brother Morgar's knife to him. Dredd invites him to join them on the journey to MC2, but he declines.
He doesn't trust Novar.
He pursues Dredd's land-raider to Novar's home. He throws a dagger at Dredd's back, but Novar uses his telekinetic powers to turn the knife around in mid-air and return to Morgar, stabbing him in the chest.
He is killed fighting with the Brotherhood of Darkness.
One. Judge Gradgrind is speared through the torso by a Brother.
Morgar: "Why are we not going faster, Brother Gomorrah?"
Gomorrah: "A - er - Slight technical hitch, Brother Morgar...Brother Solom has been using poor quality nutty slag in the furnace - but we are picking up speed now."
Morgar: "We had better, or Brother Solom himself will be providing fuel for the furnace!"
Morgar (throwing knife at Dredd): "Now, Dredd...Die! By the knife!"
Dredd says "My Drokk!" which I think is a first and Morgar mentions that the "Day of Atonement is at hand", which is not. Novar's mother says "Before they had the war" twice.
CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Again the convoy of the Brotherhood of Darkness brings to mind the mutants from Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973). Obee and Jobee reference "Come sweet death", a song for solo voice and basso continuo from the 69 Sacred Songs And Arias by Johann Sebastian Bach (1736).
Some versions of this part name Judge Gradgrind as Judge Pollix.
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Mike McMahon
Letters: Tom Frame
This is great. Another largely standalone instalment, which makes a more satisfyingly complex issue out of the mutant situation. Novar's mother is brilliantly characterised in just two panels and Gradgrind's death reminds us of the perilous nature of the quest.
Next Prog: Night Of The Vampire!