Judge Dredd

This article is about the comic book character. For the performer, see Judge Dread. For the 2012 film, see Dredd. For the 1995 film, see Judge Dredd (film). For other uses, see Judge Dredd (disambiguation).
Judge Dredd

Cover to 2000 AD prog 168
Art by Mike McMahon
Publication information
Publisher Former
IPC Media (Fleetway)
Rebellion Developments
First appearance 2000 AD no. 2 (5 March 1977)
Created by John Wagner (writer)
Carlos Ezquerra (artist)
Pat Mills (editor)
In-story information
Full name Joseph Dredd
Team affiliations Mega-City One Justice Department
Academy of Law
Luna 1 Justice Department
Notable aliases The Dead Man
Abilities Excellent marksman
Expert in unarmed combat
Bionic eyes grant 20/20 night vision and reduced blinking rate[1]

Judge Joseph Dredd is a fictional character who appears in British comic books published by Rebellion Developments, as well as in a number of movie and video game adaptations. He was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, and first appeared in the second issue of 2000 AD (1977), a weekly science-fiction anthology. He is that magazine's longest-running character.

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

In Great Britain, the character of Dredd and his name are sometimes invoked in discussions of police states, authoritarianism, and the rule of law.[2]

Publication history

When Pat Mills was developing 2000 AD in 1976, he brought in his former writing partner, John Wagner, to develop characters. Wagner had written various Dirty Harry-style "tough cop" stories for other titles, and suggested a character who took that concept to its logical extreme. Mills had developed a horror strip called Judge Dread (after the British ska and reggae artist Alexander Minto Hughes )[3] but abandoned the idea as unsuitable for the new comic; but the name, with the spelling modified to "Dredd" at the suggestion of sub-editor Kelvin Gosnell, was adopted by Wagner.[4][5]

The task of visualising the character was given to Carlos Ezquerra, a Spanish artist who had worked for Mills before on Battle Picture Weekly. Wagner gave Ezquerra an advertisement for the film Death Race 2000, showing the character Frankenstein (played by David Carradine) clad in black leather on a motorbike, as a suggestion of Dredd's appearance. Ezquerra added body-armour, zips, and chains, which Wagner initially objected to.[6] Wagner's initial script was rewritten by Mills and drawn up by Ezquerra. The hardware and cityscapes Ezquerra had drawn were far more futuristic than the near-future setting originally intended; in response, Mills set the story further into the future.[7][note 1]

Mills initially based the characterisation of Judge Dredd on Brother James, one of his teachers at St Joseph's College, Ipswich. Brother James was considered to be an excellent teacher but also an excessively strict disciplinarian to the extent he was considered abusive. In his blog Mills detailed the moments of rage Brother James had a reputation for and his own experience witnessing it.[8] The De La Salle monks at the school were a major influence in the 2000 AD design of the 'judge, jury and executioner' attitude of the judges. It is not known if the name Joseph refers directly to the school.

By this stage, Wagner had quit, disillusioned that a proposed buy-out of the new comic by another company (which would have given him and Mills a greater financial stake in the comic) had fallen through.[9] Mills was reluctant to lose "Judge Dredd" and farmed the strip out to a variety of freelance writers, hoping to develop it further. Their scripts were given to a variety of artists as Mills tried to find a strip which would provide a good introduction to the character. This "Judge Dredd" would not be ready for the first issue of 2000 AD, launched in February 1977.[10]

The story chosen to introduce the character was submitted by Peter Harris, and was then extensively re-written by Mills.[note 2] It was drawn by newcomer Mike McMahon. The strip debuted in "prog" (issue) No. 2, but Ezquerra, angry that another artist had drawn the first published strip, quit and returned to work for Battle.[11] Wagner soon returned to the character, starting in prog 9. His "Robot Wars" storyline was drawn by a rotating team of artists (including Ezquerra), and marked the point where Dredd became the most popular character in the comic, a position he has rarely relinquished.[12] Judge Dredd has appeared in almost every issue since, most of the stories written by Wagner (in collaboration with Alan Grant between 1980 and 1988).

In 1983 Judge Dredd made his American debut with his own series from publisher Eagle Comics, titled simply Judge Dredd.[13] It consisted of stories reprinted from the British comic. Since 1990 Dredd has also had his own title in Britain, the Judge Dredd Megazine. With Wagner concentrating his energies on that, the Dredd strip in 2000 AD was left to younger writers, including Garth Ennis, Mark Millar, Grant Morrison and John Smith. Their stories were not popular with fans, and sales fell.[14] Wagner returned to writing the character full-time in 1994.

Judge Dredd has also been published in a long-running comic strip (1981–1998) in the Daily Star,[15] and briefly in Metro from January to April 2004.[16] These were usually created by the same teams writing and drawing the main strip, and the Daily Star strips have been collected into a number of volumes.

In 2012 Dredd was one of ten British comic characters commemorated in a series of stamps issued by the Royal Mail.[17][18]

Character and appearance

Joseph Dredd is the most famous of the Street Judges that patrol Mega-City One, charged to instantly convict, sentence, and execute offenders. Dredd is armed with a "Lawgiver" pistol (programmed to recognise only his palm-print, and capable of six types of ammunition), a daystick, a knife and stun or gas grenades. His helmet obscures his face, except for his mouth and jaw. He rides a large "Lawmaster" motorcycle equipped with machine-guns, a powerful laser cannon, and full artificial intelligence capable of responding to orders from the Judge and operating itself.

Dredd's entire face is never shown in the strip. This began as an unofficial guideline, but soon became a rule.[19] As John Wagner explained: "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".[20]

On rare occasions, Dredd's face has been seen in flashbacks to his childhood; but these pictures lack detail.[21] In an early story, Dredd is forced to remove his helmet and the other characters react as if he is disfigured; but his face was covered by a faux censorship sticker.[22] In prog 52, during Dredd's tenure on the Lunar Colonies, he uses a 'face-change' machine to impersonate the crooked lawyer of a gang of bank robbers.[23]

In Carlos Ezquerra's original design, Dredd had large lips, "to put a mystery as to his racial background".[24] Not all of the artists who worked on the strip were told of this. Mike McMahon drew Dredd as a black man, while Brian Bolland and Ron Smith drew him as white. The strip was not yet printed in colour, and this went unnoticed. The idea was finally dropped.[25]

Time passes in the Judge Dredd strip in real time, so as a year passes in life, a year passes in the comic. The first Dredd story, published in 1977, was set in 2099, whilst stories published in 2016 are set in 2138. Consequently, as former editor Alan McKenzie explains, "every year that goes by Dredd gets a year older – unlike Spider-Man, who has been a university student for the past twenty-five years!".[26] Therefore Dredd is over seventy years old, with over fifty years of active service (2079–2138), and for some time characters in the comic have been mentioning that Dredd is not as young and fit as formerly. This remains a theme of many stories, and in prog 1595 (2008) Dredd was diagnosed with benign cancer of the duodenum. It is not known whether there are any long term plans to address this issue (although Mega-City One has cloning and brain transplant technology). In an interview with Empire in 2012 Wagner said: "There could be many ways to end it, but the probability is that I won’t still be around when it happens! I would love to write it, but I can’t see it happening. I’ll leave the script in my will."[27]

Fictional character biography

For more details on this topic, see § Major storylines.

Senior Judge Joseph Dredd and his brother Rico Dredd were cloned from the DNA of Chief Judge Fargo, the first chief judge, in 2066.[28] Their growth was artificially accelerated to an apparent physiological age of 5, with all the appropriate knowledge for their age electronically implanted in their brains during gestation.[29] The name 'Dredd' was chosen by the genetic scientist who created them, Morton Judd, to "instill fear in the population".[29] As cadets during the Atomic Wars of 2070, they were temporarily made full Judges to restore order to the panic-stricken streets.[30] Distinguishing themselves, they were chosen to take part in assaulting the White House when the Justice Department deposed President Booth.[31] They were fast-tracked through the Academy of Law, Joseph graduating second in the class of 2079, while Rico came first.[32] Later that year, Joseph arrested Rico for murder and corruption. Twenty years later, when Rico sought revenge after serving a 20 year sentence, Joe was forced to shoot him in self-defence.[32]

Joe Dredd excelled as a judge, rapidly gaining promotion to the rank of senior judge. Offered the opportunity to become chief judge in 2101, Dredd declined, preferring to serve on the streets enforcing the law.[33] He has however served temporarily in other senior positions. In 2132, Dredd was appointed to the Council of Five, Mega-City One's highest governing body,[34] on which he served for two years.[35] On several occasions he saved his city from conquest or destruction by powerful enemies, and in 2114 he saved the entire world during the Fourth World War.[36]

Although Dredd holds his duty above every other priority, this devotion is not blind. On two occasions (in 2099 and 2112), Dredd resigned from the force on points of principle, but both times he returned.[37] In 2113, Dredd insisted that the Justice Department gamble its very existence on a referendum to prove its legitimacy.[38] In 2116, he risked 20 years' imprisonment with hard labour when he challenged the policy of a chief judge;[39] and in 2129, he threatened to resign to persuade another chief judge to change the city's harsh anti-mutant apartheid laws.[40]

In 2130, Dredd was diagnosed with cancer of the duodenum, though it was benign.[41]

Family and associates


Numerous infamous criminals (or "perps" – short for "perpetrators" – in the story's argot) have featured over the years, including:

The Judge system

Main article: Judge (2000 AD)

Street Judges act as police, judge, jury, and executioner. Capital punishment in Mega-City One is rarely used,[51] though deaths while resisting arrest are commonplace. Numerous writers have used the Judge System to satirize contemporary politics.

Judges, once appointed, can be broadly characterised as "Street Judges" (who patrol the city), and administrative, or office-based judges. Dredd was once offered the job of Chief Judge; but refused it.[52] The incorruptibility of the Judges is supposedly maintained by the Special Judicial Squad, although SJS judges have themselves broken the law on occasion, most notably SJS head Judge Cal who killed the chief judge and usurped his office for himself.[53] This 'Judge System' has spread world-wide, with various super-cities possessing similar methods of law enforcement. As such this political model has become the most common form of government on Earth, with only a few small areas practicing civilian rule. There is therefore an international "Judicial Charter" which countries and city states join upon instituting a Judge System.[54]

Fictional universe

The setting of Judge Dredd is a dystopian future Earth damaged by a series of international conflicts; much of the planet has become radioactive wasteland, and so populations have aggregated in enormous conurbations known as 'mega-cities'.[55] The story is centred on the megalopolis of Mega-City One, on the east coast of North America. Within Mega-City One, extensive automation (including intelligent robots) has rendered the majority of the population unemployed.[56] As a consequence, the general population is prone to embracing any fashion or craze they encounter.[57] Mega-City One is surrounded by the inhospitable "Cursed Earth".[58] Much of the remaining world's geography is somewhat vague, although other mega-cities are visited in the strip.

Mega-City One's population lives in gigantic towers known as City Blocks, each holding some fifty thousand people.[59] Each is named after some historical person or TV character, usually for comic effect. For example, Joe Dredd used to live in the Rowdy Yates Block – Rowdy Yates was a character in the American TV cowboy drama Rawhide, played by a young Clint Eastwood. Eastwood would later play the lead in Dirty Harry – one of the thematic influences by which Judge Dredd was inspired. A number of stories feature rivalries between different blocks,[60] on many occasions breaking into full-scale gun battles between them[61] (such as in the story "Block Mania").[62] The story Origins revealed that Mega-City One was formed by urban sprawl rather than deliberate design, and by 2051 it was recognised as the world's first mega-city. The Judges' powers reflect the difficulty of maintaining order. Mega-City One extends from Boston to Charlotte; but extended into Florida before the Apocalypse War laid waste to the southern sectors.[63] At its height, the city contained a population of about 800 million; after the Apocalypse War, it was halved to 400 million. Following Chaos Day in 2134, the city was reduced to 50 million. However immigration quickly increased the population to 72 million by 2137.[64]

There are four other major population centres in Dredd's Northern America: the first is Texas City, including several of the southern former United States and based on Wild West manners.[65] South of the city is Mex-City. Far north is Uranium City. Canada remains a nation (now called Canadia) with scattered communities. Mega-City Two once existed on the West Coast, but was destroyed in 2114 during the world war known as Judgement Day.[66] Nuclear deserts and destruction elsewhere in the world are also extensive: much of the north Atlantic is severely polluted, and is now known as the "Black Atlantic".[67] An underwater settlement known as Atlantis exists in the Atlantic, half-way along a tunnel from Mega-City One to Brit-Cit (England).[68]

Nuclear desert also stretches across western Europe. The British Isles are Brit-Cit, Cal-Hab (Scotland), and Murphyville in Ireland (a country-sized theme park depicting a stereotypical view of traditional Irish life).[69] The continent has Euro-City (eastern France and part of Germany), Ciudad España (eastern Spain), the Ruhr and Berlin Conurbs in Germany, Vatican City, and a scattering of other city-states. Russia's East-Meg One was destroyed by Dredd at the climax of the Apocalypse War in 2104.[70] Further east is East-Meg Two,[71] which has other territories under the "Sov Block" banner. Mongolia, lacking a Mega-City or Judge system, has called itself the Mongolian Free State and criminals have flocked there for a safe haven; East-Meg Two performed vicious clearances there in 2125.

In Asia, separated from East-Meg Two by an extensive nuclear desert, are Sino-City One (destroyed during Judgement Day) and Sino-City Two in eastern China, with Hong Tong built in the remains of Hong Kong and partitioned between Sino-Cit and Brit-Cit control. Hondo City lies on the remains of the islands of Japan.[72] Nu-Delhi (previously Indo-Cit and Delhi-City) is in southern India. Between Hondo and Sino-City lie the Radlands of Ji, a nuclear desert containing outlaw gangs and martial arts schools.[73] In the Pacific cities survive in south-east Australia or "Oz" (the Sydney-Melbourne Conurbation), the Solomon Islands (Solomon City), Tonga (Friendly City), and the New Pacific City; New Zealand is said to exist as well. All of Indonesia's islands are now linked by a network of mutant coral called "The Web", described as a lawless hotbed of crime.

The Middle East is without many major cities, being either nuclear or natural deserts, and only the mega-city of Luxor, Egypt has survived; the Mediterranean coast is heavily damaged by mutagens. In Africa much of the south is nuclear desert and a 'Great African Dustbowl' has formed in the north-west; but a large number of nation states have survived, whereof Simba City (Gabon), New Jerusalem (Ethiopia), Zambian Metropolitan, and Dar es Salaam are the largest cities. Nuclear fallout and pollution appear to have missed Antarctica and the Arctic, allowing one mega-city (Antarctic City) to be constructed there.

The high levels of pollution have created instances of mutation in humans and animals. The mega-cities largely operate on a system of genetic apartheid, making expulsion from the cities the worst punishment possible.[74] Mega-City One ended apartheid in the 2130s, but encourages mutants to move to Cursed Earth townships instead of remaining in the city.

Earth's moon has been colonised, with a series of large domes forming Luna City;[75] another colony, Puerto Luminae, exists but is lawless. In addition, many deep space colonies have been established. Some are loyal to various mega cities, while many are independent states, and others still face violent insurgencies to gain independence. The multi-national Space Corps battles both insurgencies and external alien threats. The newly discovered planet 'Hestia' (which orbits the Sun at 90 degrees to Earth's orbit) has a colony; there are some references to colonies on Mars; Saturn's moon Titan has a judicial penal colony;[76] and Mega-City One is known to have deep space missile silos on Pluto.[77]

List of stories

Almost all of the stories from both comics are currently being reprinted in their original order of publication in a series of trade paperbacks. Stories from the regular issues of 2000 AD and the Megazine are collected in a series entitled Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files. This series began in 2005.[80][note 3] Stories from special holiday issues and annuals appeared in Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files. This four-volume series began in 2010 and concluded in 2012.

Major storylines

There have been a number of Judge Dredd storylines that have either significantly developed the Dredd character or the fictional world, or which depict a story on a grand scale. These are listed below. (For a complete list of all stories see here.)

Alternative versions

Shortly before the release of the 1995 movie, three new comic book titles were released, followed by a one-off comic version of the film story.

Judge Dredd (DC Comics)[81]

DC Comics published an alternative version of Judge Dredd between 1994 and 1996, lasting 18 issues. Continuity and history were different from both the original 2000 AD version and the 1995 film. A major difference was that Chief Judge Fargo, portrayed as incorruptible in the original version, was depicted as evil in the DC version. Most issues were written by Andrew Helfer, but the last issue was written by Gordon Rennie, who has since written Judge Dredd for 2000 AD. (Note: the DC crossover story "Judgement on Gotham" featured the original Dredd, not the version depicted in this title.)

Judge Dredd – Legends of the Law[82]

Another DC Comics title, lasting 13 issues between 1994 and 1995. Although these were intended to feature the same version of Judge Dredd as in the other DC title, the first four issues were written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and were consistent with their original 2000 AD version.

Judge Dredd – Lawman of the Future[83]

From the same publishers as 2000 AD, this was nevertheless a completely different version of Dredd aimed at younger readers. Editor David Bishop prohibited writers from showing Dredd killing anyone, a reluctance which would be completely unfamiliar to readers acquainted with the original version.[84] As one reviewer put it years later: "this was Judge Dredd with two vital ingredients missing: his balls."[85] It ran fortnightly for 23 issues from 1995 to 1996, plus one "Action Special".

Judge Dredd: The Official Movie Adaptation[86]

Written by Andrew Helfer and illustrated by Carlos Ezquerra and Michael Danza. Published by DC Comics in 1995, but a different version of Dredd to that in the DC comics described above.

Heavy Metal Dredd

From the same publishers as 2000 AD, this was a series of ultra-violent one-off stories from "a separate and aggressive Dredd world".[87] The first eight episodes were originally published in Rock Power magazine, and were all co-written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and illustrated by Simon Bisley. These were reprinted, together with eleven new stories (some by other creators), in the Judge Dredd Megazine. The original eight stories were collected in a trade paperback by Hamlyn in 1993.[88] The complete series was collected by Rebellion in 2009.[89]

Dredd: Top of the World, Ma-Ma[90]

In the week that the 2012 film Dredd was released in the UK, a ten-page prologue was published in issue #328 of the Judge Dredd Megazine, written by its editor, Matt Smith, and illustrated by Henry Flint. This told the backstory of the film's main antagonist, Ma-Ma. Three more stories featuring this version of the character were published in the Judge Dredd Megazine: "Underbelly" in #340–342 (2013), "Uprise" in #350-354 (2014), and "Dust" in #367–371 (2015–'16).

Judge Dredd (IDW Publishing)

In other media


Judge Dredd (1995)

Main article: Judge Dredd (film)

An American film loosely based on the comic strip was released in 1995, starring Sylvester Stallone as Dredd[96] (it was said that Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally requested for the role,[97] but declined because in the original script, Dredd would keep the helmet on during major parts of the film). The film received negative reviews upon its release. It currently holds a 15% rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with the critical consensus stating that "Director [Danny] Cannon fails to find the necessary balance to make it work".[98] In deference to its expensive Hollywood star, Dredd's face was shown. In the comic, he very rarely removes his helmet, and even then his real face is never revealed. Also the writers largely omitted the ironic humour of the comic strip, and ignored important aspects of the "Dredd mythology". For example, in the film a "love interest" is developed between Dredd and Judge Hershey, something that is strictly forbidden between Judges (or Judges and anyone else for that matter) in the comic strip. In the United States, the film won several "worst film of the year" awards.[99][100] Also of interest is the cameo appearance of an ABC Warrior robot bearing a distinct resemblance to Hammerstein.

Dredd (2012)

Main article: Dredd

Reliance Entertainment produced Dredd, which was released in September 2012. It was positively received by critics with Rotten Tomatoes' rating of 78%. It was directed by Pete Travis and written by Alex Garland. Michael S. Murphey was co-producer with Travis.[101] Karl Urban was cast as Judge Dredd and Olivia Thirlby portrayed Judge Anderson.[102][103] Dredd's costume was radically redesigned for the film, adding armor plates and reducing the size and prominence of the shoulder insignia.

The main Judge Dredd writer John Wagner said:

It's high-octane, edge of the seat stuff, and gives a far truer representation of Dredd than the first movie. I hated that plot. It was Dredd pressed through the Hollywood cliché mill, a dynastic power struggle that had little connection with the character we know from the comic.[104]

The film was shot in 3-D and filmed in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Funding was secured from Reliance Big Entertainment.



There have been multiple Judge Dredd games released for various video game consoles and several home computers such as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Sony Playstation and Commodore 64. At one time, an arcade game was being developed by Midway Games, creators of the Mortal Kombat series but it was never released. It can however be found online and has three playable levels.[105][106][107]

A game loosely based on the first live action film, simply called Judge Dredd was developed by Probe Software and released by Acclaim for the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Game Gear.[108] Bally also produced a Judge Dredd pinball machine based on the comics.[109] In 1997, Acclaim released a Judge Dredd arcade game, a rail shooter featuring 3D graphics and full motion video footage shot specifically for the game.

Judge Dredd: Dredd Vs. Death was produced by Rebellion Developments and released in early 2003 by Sierra Entertainment for the PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. The game sees the return of the Dark Judges when Mega-City One becomes overrun with vampires and the undead. The player takes control of Judge Dredd, with the optional addition of another Human player in Co-operative play. The whole game is played in the style of an FPS (first-person shooter) – with key differences from the standard FPS being the requirement to arrest lawbreakers, and an SJS death squad which will hunt you down should you kill too many civilians. The player can also go up against three friends in the various multiplayer modes which include "Deathmatch", "Team Deathmatch", "Elimination", "Team Elimination", "Informant", "Judges Vs. Perps", "Runner" and more.[110] A novel was based on the game.[111]

A costume set for the PlayStation 3 video game LittleBigPlanet was released in May 2009 which contained outfits to dress the game's main character Sackboy as five 2000 AD characters one of which is Judge Dredd.[112] Dredd's uniform is also used to create the Judge Anderson costume for the Sackpeople.

In 2012, Rebellion released Judge Dredd Vs. Zombies, a game application for iPhone,[113] Android phones, Windows 8[114] and Windows Phone.[115]

Roleplaying games

Games Workshop released a Judge Dredd role-playing game in 1985.[116] Mongoose Publishing released The Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game in 2002[117] and another Judge Dredd game using the Traveller system in 2009.

On July 17, 2012 Tin Man Games released a Judge Dredd themed digital role-playing gamebook titled Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106, available for the iOS operating system.[118][119]

Boardgames and collectible card games

Mongoose Publishing have released a miniatures skirmish game of gang warfare based in Mega City 1 called "Gangs of Mega-City One",[120] 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.

There was also 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.[121]

Games Workshop produced a boardgame based on the comic strip in 1982.[122] 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 but is now out of print.

In 1987, Games Workshop published a second Dredd-inspired boardgame, "Block Mania".[123] In this game for two players, players take on the role of rival neighboring blocks at war. This was a heavier game than the earlier Dredd boardgame, focused on tactical combat, in which players control these residents as they use whatever means they can to vandalize and destroy their opponent's block. Later the same year, Games Workshop released the Mega Mania expansion for the game, allowing the game to be played by up to four players.


Main article: Judge Dredd (pinball)

There was a pinball game in 1993.


From 1993 to 1995, Virgin Books published nine Judge Dredd novels. They had hoped the series would be a success in the wake of the feature film, but the series was cancelled after insufficient sales. The books are:

(In 2003 The Hundredfold Problem was re-released by BeWrite Books, rewritten as a non-Dredd novel.[124])

Also in 1995, St. Martins Press published two novelizations of the film:[125]

In 1997 Virgin published a Doctor Who novel by Dave Stone which had originally been intended to feature Judge Dredd, called Burning Heart. However this idea was abandoned after the film was released, and Dredd was replaced by another character called Adjudicator Joseph Craator.[126]

From 2003 to 2007, Black Flame published official 2000 AD novels, including a new run of Judge Dredd novels. After Black Flame closed in 2007, Rebellion picked up the rights to their "2000 AD" titles in 2011, and began republishing them as e-books. Their nine Judge Dredd books are:

In July 2012, three of these novels – Gordon Rennie's Dredd Vs Death, David Bishop's Kingdom of the Blind, and Matt Smith's The Final Cut – were republished in a single paperback volume titled Dredd, as a tie-in with the 2012 film of the same title. (ISBN 9781781080771)

In August 2015 the nine Virgin Books novels were re-released as e-books.[127]


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).[128]

All three stories were published in a paperback book called Judge Dredd Year One Omnibus in October 2014.[130]

The "Virgin" and "Black Flame" series of paperback titles were also released as e-books, with the majority of the titles available on Amazon.com.

In 2016 more e-books were published under the series title Judge Dredd: Year Two:

Audio series

In recent years Big Finish Productions has produced eighteen audio plays featuring 2000 AD characters.[131] These have mostly featured Judge Dredd although three have also featured Strontium Dog. In these Judge Dredd is played by Toby Longworth and Johnny Alpha, the Strontium Dog is played by Simon Pegg. In July 2009 four further Judge Dredd titles were released under the banner "Crime Chronicles", once more featuring Toby Longworth.[131]

The list of 2000 AD audio plays featuring Dredd includes:

Note: 3 and 10 are Strontium Dog stories that do not feature Dredd.

In addition, both "The Day the Law Died" and "The Apocalypse War" stories were featured on Mark Goodier's afternoon show on BBC Radio One, and issued separately on dual cassette and double CD.[132] Both titles have since been deleted. "The Apocalypse War" contains plot elements from "Block Mania", as this story set the scene for the main story.

In popular culture


Judge Elmer Dwedd
Judge Dredd was satirized by Marvel Comics, by combining the lawman with Looney Tunes character Elmer Fudd to create Judge Elmer Dwedd. This pastiche of Dredd appeared in a handful of issues of Howard the Duck prior to the release of the Judge Dredd movie, and the character was discontinued afterwards.[140]
Justice Peace
A former officer of the Time Variance Authority, he rides a flying and (formerly) time traveling Hopsikle, wields a Peacemaker multipurpose gun, is based in "Brooklynopolis" and is genetically incapable of both lying and humor.[141][142]
Judge Dudd
Appeared in Buster comic, which was published by Fleetway. As his name implies, Dudd was an inept law officer.[143]
Judge Fredd
Appeared in the Steve Jackson spoof card game Munchkin and "beats you to death for resisting arrest" if you fail to defeat him.[144]
Psycho Gran vs. Judge Dredd
In an issue of Oink! comic, which was published by Fleetway, Psycho Gran was transported through a time warp into the far future and materialised in Mega City One just as she is training in a boxing gym and Judge Dredd was arresting a perp. She punches Dredd, knocking him out before apologising and disappearing back through the time warp. Dredd, explaining away his bandaged nose, later tells the Chief Judge that he was attacked by a gang of giant mutants, while behind his back he has the fingers of one hand crossed. Judge Dredd was also parodied twice in Oink! as "Judge Pigg", on the second occasion being featured as the cover star.[145]
Psycho Gran Vs...
In issue #1 of the 'Psycho Gran Vs...' comic, published by Dead Universe Comics in 2016. Psycho Gran can be seen punching Dredd, knocking out a tooth in the process. Dredd can be seen thinking: "Oh Grud, not again!" referencing back to their original meeting.
Judge Dreck
Stan Hart and Mort Drucker parodied the 1995 film Judge Dredd in Mad magazine #338, August 1995. The cover of the magazine painted by Frank Frazetta portrayed Judge Dredd with Alfred E. Neuman.[146]

See also


  1. The original launch story written by Wagner and drawn by Ezquerra was published several years later in an annual.
  2. Mills also included an idea suggested by Kelvin Gosnell: Jarman & Acton, p. 48.
  3. Excluded from the Complete Case Files series were the stories "America" (Megazine vol. 1 #1–7), "America II" (Megazine vol. 3 #20–25) and "Beyond Our Kenny" (vol. 1 #1–3). They are collected in other trade paperbacks under the titles "Judge Dredd: America" and "Judge Dredd: The Art of Kenny Who?"


  • The Judge Dredd timeline from the 2000 AD website
  • The A-Z of Judge Dredd: The Complete Encyclopedia from Aaron Aardvark to Zachary Zziiz (by Mike Butcher, St. Martin's Press, March 1995, ISBN 0-312-13733-8)
  • Judge Dredd: The Mega-History (by Colin M. Jarman and Peter Acton, Lennard Publishing, 144 pages, 1995, ISBN 1-85291-128-X)
  • Thrill-Power Overload (by David Bishop, Judge Dredd Megazine vol 4 issues 9–18, issues 201–209, 2002–2003, collected and expanded, Rebellion, 260 pages, February 2007, ISBN 1-905437-22-6)
  • Dredd's universe at the International Catalogue of Superheroes
  1. 2000 AD #406
  2. Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor (22 September 2005). "'Judge Dredd' powers for police urged". Telegraph.co.uk.
  3. "Judge Dredd #3 – Dredd's Comportment Chapter 3: The Birth of the Law - Douglas Wolk". Duane Swierczynski.
  4. "Judge Dredd: The Mega-History," by Colin M. Jarman and Peter Acton (Lennard Publishing, 1995), p. 17.
  5. "DREDD – THE KILLING MACHINE - Pat Mills". Pat Mills.
  6. Jarman & Acton, pp. 21–22
  7. Jarman & Acton, p. 30.
  8. Mills, Pat (2016-08-13). "IN THE LASALLIAN TRADITION 2". Pat Mills. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  9. Jarman & Acton, pp. 18 and 24.
  10. Jarman & Acton, p. 34.
  11. Jarman & Acton, pp. 42–43.
  12. Jarman & Acton, pp. 62–63.
  13. "Dredd Dispenses Law and Disorder". GamePro. IDG (82): 27. July 1995.
  14. Jarman & Acton, p. 128.
  15. "The Daily Dredds Volume 1". 2000AD.wordpress.com.
  16. "BARNEY -- thrill zone". 2000ad.org.
  17. "Comic book characters on new Royal Mail stamps," BBC website, 19 March 2012 (retrieved 8 March 2015).
  18. The British Postal Museum & Archive, 20 March 2012 (retrieved 8 March 2015).
  19. Jarman & Acton, pp. 74–75.
  20. Jarman & Acton p. 75
  21. 2000 AD #30 and 1187
  22. Jarman & Acton, pp. 56 and 74.
  23. "The Face Change Crimes" in 2000 AD #52 (18/2/1978), written by John Wagner, with art by Brian Bolland. Page 14.
  24. Jarman & Acton, p. 22.
  25. Jarman & Acton, pp. 89–90.
  26. Jarman & Acton, p. 112.
  27. "Exclusive: John Wagner And Alex Garland Talk Dredd". empireonline.com.
  28. "A Case for Treatment," in 2000 AD #389
  29. 1 2 "Origins," in 2000 AD #1515
  30. 2000 AD #1517
  31. "Origins," 2000 AD #1530
  32. 1 2 3 "The Return of Rico," in 2000 AD #30
  33. "The Day the Law Died," in 2000 AD #108
  34. "Tour of Duty," 2000 AD #1693
  35. "Day of Chaos," 2000 AD #1789
  36. "Judgement Day," in 2000 AD #786–799
  37. "Robot Wars," 2000 AD #11; "Tale of the Dead Man," #668
  38. "Nightmares," 2000 AD #706
  39. "Prologue," Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 2 #57
  40. "The Spirit of Christmas," 2000 AD #2008 (a December 2007 New Year issue)
  41. "The Edgar Case," 2000 AD #1595
  42. 2000 AD #116 and #1300
  43. 2000 AD #1186–88, #1280
  44. Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 #1–7
  45. 2000 AD #1632
  46. 2000 AD #60 and 288
  47. 2000 AD #1101–1110, 1167; Megazine vol. 3 #52–59
  48. 2000 AD #1511–1512, #1542–48, #2008
  49. Judge Dredd Magazine #367
  50. 2000 AD #387, 662–668, 775
  51. 2000 AD #261, 630, 1337, and Batman vs. Judge Dredd: Die Laughing (1998)
  52. 2000 AD #108
  53. 2000 AD #89
  54. 2000 AD #727 and 804
  55. 2000 AD #4
  56. 2000 AD #9
  57. 2000 AD #290
  58. 2000 AD #4 and 61
  59. 2000 AD #117 and 118
  60. 2000 AD #489
  61. 2000 AD #182
  62. 2000 AD #236–244
  63. 2000 AD #245–270
  64. Judge Dredd Megazine #365
  65. 2000 AD #160–161
  66. Judge Dredd Megazine volume 2 #7
  67. 2000 AD #128–129
  68. 2000 AD #485
  69. 2000 AD #727–732
  70. 2000 AD #266–267
  71. 2000 AD #270
  72. 2000 AD #608–611
  73. 2000 AD #451
  74. 2000 AD #160
  75. 2000 AD #42
  76. 2000 AD #30
  77. 2000 AD #771
  78. File description page
  79. File description page at WikiCommons
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  84. Jarman & Acton, pp. 139–140.
  85. "Michael Carroll - Sprout - Progs for Sprogs". michaelowencarroll.com.
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  87. Editor Steve MacManus, quoted in John Hicklenton's afterword to the 2009 trade paperback Heavy Metal Dredd.
  88. "BARNEY -- reprint zone". 2000ad.org.
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  90. "Dredd Prequel Comic Online - Movie News - Empire". empireonline.com.
  91. IDW
  92. "Judge Dredd: Year One Announced". IGN.
  93. IDW
  94. IDW
  95. Bleeding Cool News, 11 July 2015
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  97. "Judge Dredd IMDb Trivia". Retrieved 3 May 2007.
  98. "Judge Dredd". rottentomatoes.com. 30 June 1995.
  99. indiemoviesonline.com
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  105. The Judge Dredd game that never was
  106. Judge Dredd arcade cancelled
  107. Judge Dredd at the Killer List of Videogames
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  109. "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Midway 'Judge Dredd'". ipdb.org.
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  114. "Judge Dredd vs. Zombies". microsoft.com. Microsoft.
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  119. "» We're sober as a Judge… honest guv'nor! ;)". tinmangames.com.au.
  120. 2000adreview.co.uk
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  122. "Judge Dredd - Board Game - BoardGameGeek". boardgamegeek.com.
  123. "Block Mania - Board Game - BoardGameGeek". boardgamegeek.com.
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  126. Doctor Who Ratings Guide
  127. 2000adonline
  128. "2000 AD Online - Judge Dredd: Year One City Fathers". 2000 AD Online.
  129. "City Fathers by Matthew Smith". Rebellion Publishing Store.
  130. Amazon
  131. 1 2 "2000 AD". bigfinish.com.
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  133. Image of record from archive.org. Web.archive.org (28 September 2007). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  134. "Release: Totally Religious – MusicBrainz". MusicBrainz. 26 September 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  135. 1 2 staybeautiful.net
  136. lala.com
  137. discogs.com
  138. scrubs.mopnt.com
  139. "Howard the Duck (the duck, the myth, the legend)". marvunapp.com.
  140. "Justice Peace (Thor, Fantastic Four, Deathlok character)". marvunapp.com.
  141. Thor No. 371, September 1986
  142. "The Craziest Characters Are Always In Buster Comic!". bustercomic.co.uk.
  143. "Munchkin® 2 – Unnatural Axe™ – Card List". worldofmunchkin.com.
  144. "Judge Pigg appearances". comicvine.com.
  145. "Doug Gilford's Mad Cover Site - Mad #338". madcoversite.com.

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