Judge Dredd

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Judge Joseph "Joe" Dredd is the protagonist in the British comic anthology 2000 AD , in which he appears since the second issue of 1977 , and in the comic magazine Judge Dredd Megazine .

History of origin

Judge Dredd comes from the author John Wagner and the illustrator Carlos Ezquerra . His name was invented by Pat Mills and was initially intended for a different character. In the first edition, Dredd was not drawn by Ezquerra but by Mike McMahon, which Ezquerra was so offended that he refused to draw the character for the next five years. Dredd's appearance was inspired by Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry and a movie poster for Death Race 2000 . Other well-known cartoonists for the comic include Brian Bolland , Ron Smith , Steve Dillon , Cam Kennedy, and Simon Bisley .

In 1995 , Judge Dredd was made into a film, starring Sylvester Stallone and Diane Lane .

Dredd, actually one of a series of clones of Chief Justice Fargo , is the most famous of this elite of judges whose job it is to solve crimes, convict the criminals and  carry out the sentence - usually the death penalty . In the comic, Judge Dredd owns an extremely large motorcycle called the Lawmaster and a pistol called Lawgiver , which is equipped with a number of special rounds , the pistol is voice operated. This weapon is activated by the user's genetic fingerprint. Additional equipment includes a combat knife, baton and a uniform with a helmet that covers the upper half of the face. Judge Dredd's face is never seen in the comic.

Dredd's world

The stories take place about 120 years in the future, the earth has become almost uninhabitable due to a series of conflicts and environmental pollution - people live in so-called mega-cities. Judge Dredd lives in Mega-City One. The rest of the world is only vaguely described and adapted as required by the storyline.

Despite regular disasters, Mega-City One stretches from Boston to Charlotte and was founded in 2031. Mega-City One has about 400 million inhabitants. Two other major centers of the human population are Mega-City Two, which is located around San Diego and Southern California, and Texas City (previously Mega-City Three). The inland is a nuclear desert and is called Cursed Earth .

Nuclear deserts and devastation can also be found elsewhere on a large scale: for example, there is a desert in South America that stretches from Nicaragua to the Amazon region. The most important cities in South America are Brasília , Ciudad Barranquilla , Pan-Andes Conurb and South-Am City . The Atlantic is heavily polluted and is also called the Black Atlantic .

According to the stories, Europe in the south is a desert that stretches from eastern France to Spain, Greece and parts of Turkey no longer exist. The Black and Caspian Seas are directly connected. The main cities are Brit Cit in England, Euro-City in France and Ciudad Espana in Spain. Ireland is an amusement park that shows the stereotypes of old Ireland, further to the east you will find nuclear deserts and the ruins of East-Meg One, which was destroyed in a nuclear strike of the Apocalypse War . Even further to the east is East-Meg Two.

In Asia , Sino-City One and Two are located in eastern China , Indo City on the Indian subcontinent and Sydney Melbourne Conurb in Australia .

In addition to Earth, there is the "Luna 1" colony on the moon and a penal colony on Saturn's moon Titan, to which judges who have proven to be corrupt are banished. There are no spacesuits on Titan, the prisoners' bodies are adapted to the environment through implants.


Judge Joe Dredd

Judge Dredd, the main character in the comic, is a clone that was created from the genetic material of Judge Fargo, the Father of Justice, which only becomes apparent in the course of the story. Dredd would have to be over 60 at the present time of action, but various methods are used to keep him vital and in office. Characteristic of Dredd is the saying “I am the law!” (I am the law!) And the fact that he never takes off his helmet so that - with a few exceptions - no other parts of his head can be seen. Such exceptions are the last pages of the OZ cycle, where Dredd lies in the hospital with his head bandaged and one eye can be seen. This peculiarity of the comic, which is supposed to depict the facelessness of the judiciary, is also referred to self-deprecatingly in the comic, for example when Judge Dredd is gunned down by his enemies in the Apocalypse War cycle and they take his helmet off him, only to determine, “So then does he look "before they are killed by Dredd. The reader himself sees nothing of Dredd's face.

Judge Cassandra Anderson

Judge Anderson is a PSI judge, i.e. a member of a department that deals with telepathy. As a telepath, Anderson is able to sense or find things that would remain hidden from others, including the presence of opponents like the Dark Judges, whose first appearance was also her debut. Cassandra Anderson is shown in the comics as a woman with mostly long, blonde hair and often appears in stories with Judge Death or in those where her supernatural abilities are in demand. At times she had her own magazine. It is characteristic of Anderson that she is never seen wearing the helmet that is typical for the judges and that she indulges in self-deprecating, but not always insightful, considerations of the judge system.

Judge Barbara Hershey

For a long time Dredds was a comrade-in-arms on the streets of Mega City One, eventually became Chief Judge after Judge McGruder and tried to reform the system, which was undermined by her opponents and ended in her disempowerment. Hershey is portrayed as a woman with roughly shoulder-length black hair.


Dredd's fairly rectangular household robot with speech impediment (pronounces R as in W). Dredd met him with suspicion until he helped him fight the invaders in the Apocalypse War cycle, but Walter then tried to lead a robot uprising, which failed. However, Dredd pardoned Walter, currently serving an old lady as a household robot again.

Mean "Mean Machine" Angel

As the youngest member of the Angel crime family, Mean was actually a very accommodating and nice boy, which the Angel clan didn't like, and who had some operational interventions on Mean that turned him into a violent criminal. Mean wears a switch on his forehead, on which his mood can be set in four levels from grumpy (surly) to mean (mean), vicious (vicious) to brutal (brutal). As you'd expect, Mean is extremely brutal.

Dark Judges

The Dark Judges are undead judges from a parallel world where they have wiped out all life, since they believe that all crimes are committed by the living and therefore life itself is a crime. The leader of the Dark Judges is Judge Death. Before his transformation into the undead, his name was Sydney Death and he was a judge on a planet that resembled that of Judge Dredd, just like the other Dark Judges: Mortis, who has a horse skull for his head, Fire, which is little more than a burning skeleton a trident and fear who kills his victims by showing them his disfigured face. The Dark Judges regularly visit Mega City One in order to extinguish all life there and ultimately also worldwide. So far, however, Dredd and Anderson have always prevented them from implementing this plan. The Dark Judges were made possible by two witches, the sisters Nausea and Phobia, who helped them live in the undead. The Dark Judges need specially treated, dead bodies that they take possession of in order to be able to take action. Mostly they use people whose minds they manipulate to get these corpses.

Film adaptations

In 1995, Judge Dredd was first filmed by Danny Cannon , starring Sylvester Stallone as Dredd and Diane Lane as Judge Hershey. Other well-known actors in this film adaptation were Armand Assante , Jürgen Prochnow , Max von Sydow , Joan Chen and the comedian Rob Schneider .

Another film adaptation with the simple title Dredd was released in November 2012. Directed by Pete Travis, but due to artistic differences, the project left shortly after filming. Post production was led by producer Alex Garland , who also wrote the screenplay for this film adaptation. In this version of the film, Karl Urban stars as Judge Dredd , and Lena Headey can be seen as Madeline 'Ma-Ma' Madrigal.

Judge dredd video games

The first implementation for home computers was created in 1986 by Beam Software for the Commodore 64 . The action game distributed by Melbourne House was a shoot-em-up with elements of a platform platformer. For four years Random Access brought a new edition of the game for the Commodore Amiga and 64 as well as Atari ST on the market in the distribution of Virgin Games .

In 1995 the publisher Acclaim Entertainment released the action game " Judge Dredd " for the PC and numerous game consoles ( Game Gear , Super Nintendo , Sega Mega Drive , Game Boy ). The video game is based on the film of the same name "Judge Dredd" with Sylvester Stallone and Diane Lane . The game principle is based on the then very successful Probotector series (Eng. Contra) and controls itself like a "typical" action game.

On March 31, 1998, the light gun game "Judge Dredd" was released for the PlayStation . The game was criticized by critics and buyers due to the poor artificial intelligence and the low long-term motivation. Judge Dredd was distributed by game developer Gremlin Interactive Limited and by Activision . In the same year, the publisher “ Pin-Ball Games Ltd. "The pinball game" Judge Dredd Pinball "for the PC.

Since 2000, the rights to 2000 AD and Judge Dredd have been held by the British game developer Rebellion , who has only released one game with this character to date. On October 17, 2003, the game “ Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death ”for the PlayStation 2 , the PC and the Xbox . The GameCube version of the game was released on December 19, 2003. The player has to defeat different opponents (including vampires and zombies) in a total of 11 levels and fulfill some main or secondary goals.

useful information

  • The thrash metal band Anthrax wrote a song ("I am the Law") about Judge Dredd. This song appeared in 1987 on their third album "Among the Living" and as a single, the cover of which shows Judge Dredd.
  • The ska band Madness released the song " Mutants in Mega-City One " on their single The Fink Brothers. The cover was designed by 2000 AD draftsman Brian Bolland .
  • Terry Pratchett , Jonathan Ross , Lemmy Kilmister , all members of Anthrax and Simon Le Bon are or were avowed Judge Dredd fans.
  • The Bally Company released a Judge Dredd pinball machine in 1993 based on the 2000 AD comic.


  • Mike Butcher: The AZ of Judge Dredd: The Complete Encyclopedia from Aaron Aardvark to Zachary Zziiz . St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-13733-8
  • David Bishop: Thrill Power Overload! Judge Dredd Megazine vol 4 issues 9-18, issues 201-209, 2002-2003

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Judge Dredd versus Predator, 1998, p. 6
  2. ^ Moby Games , Judge Dredd, 1986
  3. ^ Moby Games , Judge Dredd, 1990