"I am THE LAW!"
— Judge Dredd
The titular figure of the Judge Dredd universe was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra. 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. Dredd is the most feared, revered and well-known of all the Judges.
The main character in the 2000AD anthology is Judge Dredd, who debuted in 1977's second issue. At that point it is 2099, Dredd has been a seasoned street judge for many years. Dredd is a stern, faceless symbol of the law because his face is famously never shown, as John Wagner said in 1995 "It sums up the facelessness of justice − justice has no soul. So it isn't necessary for readers to see Dredd's face, and I don't want you to"
Facing many challenges over the years such as his clone brother Rico (both are the clone of the "Father of Justice," Eustace T. Fargo) and his most feared nemesis Judge Death who was determined to destroy all life.
The Apocalypse War marks the breaking point in the cold war allegory of Mega-City One's fight with the Sov Judges. When Chief Judge Griffin is killed and the city is engulfed in a drug-induced frenzy, Dredd presses the button to start the nuclear attack, which results in the deaths of millions of people in Russia's East Meg and puts an end to the conflict. When one of the Sov-Judges' nukes gets past their shields, a large portion of Mega-City One is also destroyed.
One of the more intriguing aspects of Judge Dredd is the way the city and its inhabitants evolve through time. It takes place in real-time. Judge Dredd has aged and is currently in his 70s, still living on the streets. Young child psychos, first introduced in the 80s are now older and still as menacing and Vienna, a niece of Dredd is an adult with her own issues.
Judge Dredd-based films were released in June 1995 and September 2012, to varying degrees of success.
Dredd 95 is a guilty pleasure, it is terrible though. It jettisons the Dredd part in about 20 minutes which is unfortunate as the production is actually rather good, the sets and the pre-CGI special effects look great and there are glimpses of what it could have been.
However, it quickly descends into hollywood mediocrity and Stallone seems to not be bothered and removes his helmet at the first opportunity (which kinda is the whole point of Dredd). Dredd 2012 is a low-budget movie starring Karl Urban and it's a shame it didn't get a sequel as it mainly takes place in a building as opposed to exploring Mega City One, it went on to become a cult classic.
The comics are where the character and the world in which he lives really shine with their biting commentary on modern life and filled with satire which has proven to be scarily accurate in its ability to predict events such as mass surveillance, the pandemic and the rise of populist leaders.
Artwork produced in the Dredd run is just simply amazing (and whisper it quietly imo is superior than even the best DC and Marvel) it may have began with Carlos Ezquerra (who passed away in 2018) but the likes of Mike McMahon, Brian Bolland, Ian Gibson, Cam Kennedy, Steve Dillon and Colin McNeill to name a few have created amazing pieces of art inside the panels of the 2000ad publications.
Here's my tuppence worth and tribute to Judge Dredd get a copy of it here
I wanted to capture the iconic lawgiver in a realist way but stay true to its comic origins. It was pencilled, inked by hand and then digitally lined, coloured via paint brush and then distressed.
Available in new 8", 12” or 20” Giclee prints on 310gsm material.
'Judge Dredd' was created on July 15th 2022
- Limited to 50 copies
- Printed using Giclee and Hahnemühle German Etching 310 (gsm) paper for a superior handmade feel.
-Includes 1" border for mounting.
Featured images: 2000ad/Rebellion