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Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd is a law enforcement and judicial officer in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One, which covers most of the east coast of North America. He is a "street judge", empowered to summarily arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals.

Judge Dredd

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Street Judges act as police, judge, jury, and executioner. Capital punishment in Mega-City One is rarely used,[48] though deaths while resisting arrest are commonplace. Numerous writers have used the Judge System to satirize contemporary politics.

In 2070, the corrupt President Robert Linus Booth starts World War III, also known as the Atomic Wars, and the Judges move to restore order to the panic-stricken public. Cadets Joe Dredd and Rico Dredd are temporarily made full judges to help restore order under the supervision of Judge Kinnison, despite being physically and mentally only nine years old. They make their first kills stopping a rape gang but are unable to prevent Kinnison's death in action.[52] During the war, they discover their clone-father Eustace Fargo is still alive, hidden by higher ranking judges. Seeing them as kin, Fargo recruits Joe and Rico to be his temporary bodyguards. He openly tells them his doubts regarding the Justice Department, wondering if the system has taken away "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" while trying to instill strict order and control. Three weeks later, Fargo is placed in suspended animation and the Dredd brothers return to the Academy. After the Battle of Armageddon in 2071, President "Bad Bob" Booth is captured, tried for war crimes, and sentenced to suspended animation. In the wake of World War III, the office of the President is retired and the Judges now have full control over what's left of America.

Distinguishing themselves, the Dredds are fast-tracked through the Academy of Law. Rico graduates at the top of their class in 2079, with Joseph graduating second. Joe's final assessment is done under the supervision of Judge Morphy, who is impressed with the young man and passes him. Joe later discovers Rico has embraced corruption, engaging in multiple crimes including murder, justifying his actions by saying Judges are thugs and killers by nature. Rico asks Joe to help him cover his crimes, but Joe arrests his brother instead, sentencing him to 20 years of hard labour on the penal colony on Saturn's moon Titan (a typical punishment for corrupt Judges). Joe Dredd continues operating as a judge, quickly gaining a reputation throughout the city as a formidable and incorruptible law enforcement agent. In 2099, Rico Dredd returns to Earth after serving his 20-year sentence. He comes after Joe for revenge, challenging him to a fast draw. No longer used to Earth's gravity, Rico loses and Joe shoots him dead in self-defence. Visibly upset, Joe insists he be the one to carry his brother's body away.[53]

In Japan, manga comic Shōnen Jump Autumn Special (1995) included a one-off story featuring a unique version of Judge Dredd which was entirely different to both the comic character and the movie character. Set in Tokyo in 2099, Dredd Takeru is a part-time street judge whose day job is working as a primary school teacher.

According to Karl Urban, the studio's concept is to "build the show around more rookie judges and young, new judges", where Dredd himself "would come in and out". Urban stated that he would be interested in reprising the role for this, on the condition that Dredd's part of the story be implemented in a "meaningful way".[105]

In August 2012, Rebellion announced a new series of e-books under the series title Judge Dredd: Year One, about Dredd's first year as a judge (the stories in the comic strip having begun in his 20th year when he was already a veteran).[111] All three stories were published by Abaddon Books in a paperback book called Judge Dredd Year One Omnibus in October 2014.[112]

Another series of books, collectively called Judges, is about the first generation of judges, and are set six decades before Dredd's first stories to appear in the comic.[115] The books, all published by Abaddon Books, are:

Games Workshop produced a Judge Dredd board game based on the comic strip in 1982.[131] In the game players, who represent judges, attempt to arrest perps that have committed crimes in different location in Mega City One. A key feature of the game is the different action cards that are collected during play; generally these cards are used when trying to arrest perps although some cards can also be played against other players to hinder their progress. The winner of the game is the judge who collected the most points arresting perps. Players could sabotage each other's arrest attempts. Additionally, there were many amusing card combinations such as arresting Judge Death for selling old comics, as the Old Comic Selling crime card featured a 2000 AD cover with Judge Death on it. The game used characters, locations and artwork from the comic. It was re-released by Rebellion in 2022.

Mongoose Publishing have released a miniatures skirmish game of gang warfare based in Mega-City One called "Gangs of Mega-City One",[133] often referred to as GOMC1. The game features judges being called in when a gang challenges another gang that is too tough to fight. A wide range of miniatures has been released including box sets for an Ape Gang and an Undercity Gang. A Robot Gang was also produced but was released as two blister packs instead of a box set. Only one rules expansion has been released, called "Death on the Streets". The expansion introduced many new rules including usage of the new gangs and the ability to bring Judge Dredd himself into a fight. This game went out of print shortly thereafter, but was replaced by the "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game", which was published free in many stages as the company sought feedback from fans and players. In 2012, an expansion was released called "Block War!". Miniatures continue to be manufactured at a slow pace.

In November 2017, Osprey Games announced their development of a new graphic adventure card game, entitled Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth. The game is designed and based on The Lost Expedition, a game from designer Peer Sylvester.[134] In the game, one to five players "[lead] a team of judges against dinosaurs, mutants, and the Cursed Earth itself".[135] It was released on 21 February 2019.[136]

There was a short-lived collectible card game called simply "Dredd". In the game, players would control a squad of judges and arrest perps. The rules system was innovative and the game was well-received by fans and collectors alike, but various issues unrelated to the game's quality caused its early demise.[137]

By the 2080s, much of Earth has become an uninhabitable wasteland. While some humans manage to survive in the barren "Cursed Earth", the majority of humanity resides in huge Mega-Cities with populations of tens of millions. To combat crime, the traditional justice system has been replaced by a corps of Judges whose role combines those of police officer, judge, jury, and executioner.

Now, I'm not saying the '95 Judge Dredd is a good movie. It could have been a perfectly enjoyable '90s sci-fi action romp in the vein of Demolition Man or anything with Christopher Lambert in. But it's fatally undermined by ripe dialogue, forced attempts at comedy and horribly misjudged casting.

But it's not just about budget. The '95 movie drew more more shrewdly on the comic's abundant history than the 2012 version. From undead dark judges to mutated gorilla gangsters, from Soviet assassin Orlok to face-changing serial killer PJ Maybe, the comic has been stuffed with some of the most colorful, imaginative and complex villains seen in comics. What did the 2012 movie give us? A tower block full of scruffy junkies.

The movie is based on a comic book series about that future time, when anarchy reigns, and the citizens massacre one another in "Block Wars," using machineguns to fight violent battles just for the fun of it, I guess, since the movie never really provides their motivation. The only force for law and order are the Judges - heavily armed and armored cops who double as judge and jury, and often execute criminals right on the spot.

  • Anderson: Psi-Division

  • Armitage - A Brit-Cit Detective Judge In the Style of "grumpy British detective" cop shows.

  • Banzai Battalion

  • Blunt

  • Breathing Space

  • Brit-Cit Babes

  • Brit-Cit Brute

  • Brit-Cit Noir

  • Calhab Justice

  • Chopper - The champion Oz sky surfer.

  • The Corps - A one shot tale dealing with a team of judges fighting the Klegg empire detailing their disastrous False Flag Operation against a joint Klegg-Sino Cit space station.

  • Creep

  • The Dead Man - A one-off story detailing Judge Dredd's Long Walk, having lost his memory after an encounter with monsters from the Deadworld.

  • Death Watch - Brit-Cit Judge Dee is accidentally sent back to the Elizabethan era, where he founds a squad of Judges.

  • Devlin Waugh - An extremely British exorcist for Vatican City.

  • Dreadnaughts - A prequel set before the Atomic Wars showing the birth of the modern Justice Department and the rise of their Police State.

  • The Fall of Deadworld - A prequel focusing on the rise of the Dark Judges and the decimation of their homeworld.

  • The Helltrekkers - Citizens from Mega-City One trek across 2000 km of Cursed Earth in 28 rad-wagons to look for a new life in the New Territories.

  • Hershey

  • The Inspectre

  • Insurrection - A series about Judges of an off-world colony leading a secession from Mega City One after its failure to aid the colony in repulsing an invasion of the alien Zhind, and its subsequent attempt to revoke the citizenship of the robots and sub-species that fought alongside humans.

  • Judge Edwina's Strange Cases - A horror anthology

  • Lawless - Colonial Marshal Metta Lawson brings law and order to the town of Badrock on the colony world of 43 Rega. Also a Stealth Sequel to Insurrection.

  • Lenny Zero - Wally Squad judge Lenny Zero goes rogue after being betrayed by his lover.

  • Low-Life

  • Maelstrom - A star judge squad led by Lela Sternhagen deals with attacks by her predecessor and his squad who have undergone voluntary mutations in order to survive their slow execution on a Death World.

  • Meet Darren Dead - Illusionist George Smith attempts a David Blaine-like stunt on the day the Atomic Wars begin and is finally unearthed from his coffin fifty eight years later as a zombie who can communicate with the spirits of the dead.

  • Megatropolis - Noir mystery set in a reimagining of the universe in an Art Deco style.

  • Missionary Man

  • Red Razors

  • Shimura - Former Hondo City Judge-Inspector Shimura turns Rōnin.

  • The Simping Detective (first series was called Mega-City Noir)

  • Storm Warning - Lillian Storm is a Brit-Cit Psi-Judge who sees dead people.

  • Tales from Mega-City One

  • Tales From The Black Museum - A horror anthology centred around the objects exhibited in the Justice Department's Black Museum.

  • Trifecta - Three-way Crossover between Judge Dredd, The Simping Detective and Low Life.



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