Judge Dredd

Real Name: Joe Dredd

Identity/Class: Clone with cybernetic eyes, otherwise normal human

Occupation: Judge - law enforcement officer

Affiliations: The Judges of Mega-City One, in particular:
Anderson; Giant; Giant; Rico; Chief Judge Hershey;
ally of Fergee; Johnny Alpha (reluctantly); Spikes Harvey Rotten; Tweek; Yassa Povey; Max Normal, Batman (reluctantly)

Enemies: Perps, including, but not limited to:
the Angel Gang (Pa, Fink, Mean, Link and Junior); Brotherhood of DarknessChief Judge Cal; the Black Death; Captain Skank; the Dark Judges (Death, Fire, Fear, Mortis, the Sisters of Death); Exo-Men; Father Earth; Kazan; the Mutant; Orlok; P.J. Maybe; Rex Peters; Satanus"Scarface" Joe Levine; Stan Lee; Whitey

Known Relatives: Rico (clone brother); Fargo (source of his cloned material); Kraken (clone of Fargo); Jonah (clone of Fargo); Judge Rico (clone of Fargo); Dolmen (clone of Fargo); Vienna (niece)

Aliases: Old Stoney Face

Base of Operations: Mega-City One; formerly stayed in Rowdy Yates Block.

First Appearance: (advert)  2000A.D. Prog 1 (26th February 1977); (in-story) "Judge Whitey", Judge Dredd, 2000A.D. #2 (5th March 1977)

Powers/Abilities: Dredd has bionic eyes to replace ones ripped out by an enemy several years back, but while they give him excellent vision, they are not superhuman. He is as physically fit as any human can get, and exceptionally skilled in all forms of combat. As a Judge he has available to him an incredible array of equipment and specialist back-up, should his regular weaponry of Lawgiver gun and Lawmaster bike prove insufficient.

History: (summary) In the toughest city in the world, Mega-City One, you've got to be something pretty special yourself to maintain the law. And to still be considered the world's top law enforcer when you've been doing the job on the mean streets for forty-six years, when you yourself are pushing sixty, means you can only be one man: Judge Dredd.

At the end of the 21st century, law enforcement took a harsh turn in order to deal with a harsh new world, the legacy of a nuclear war and severe overcrowding among the survivors. The police and juries were replaced with Judges, able to dispense instant and permanent justice. To get the caliber of law-enforcers needed to handle this kind of responsibility, Judges were picked at age five and normally trained for fifteen years before being released onto the streets. This long and grueling training process ensured only the toughest and most dedicated made it through. Mega-City One, the first and largest of the enormous population centres left after the war, started making clones of some of their top judges in a bid to ensure sufficient manpower.

Judge Dredd was a clone of Chief Judge Fargo, the first leader of the Judges. He was born in 2066, and grew up at an accelerated rate. He graduated from the Academy in 2079, and has protected his people and his city ever since...often from themselves. Dredd has become a symbol of the law, and deliberately maintains this image of being a faceless representative of the system, virtually never being seen without his uniform helmet on. He's hard, but he's fair. But most of all, and as anybody in the "Big Meg" can tell you...He is the LAW!!

(Judge Whitey, Prog #2) Dredd is with Chief Judge Goodman, who is congratulating him for bringing down the crime rates in the sectors he has been patrolling, when the corpse of Judge Alvin arrives back from patrol, strapped to his bike. Finding a defiant note from the killer, Whitey, pinned to the dead man's chest, Goodman decides to call in an air attack to obliterate the gang's hideout. Dredd suggest instead that he go in alone, to show the people that the Judges don't need to call in the heavy artillery just because things have gotten a little tough.

Heading over to the perp's base in the Empire State Building, Dredd sets his bike on automatic and sneaks in the back while the gang are distracted. He guns down Whitey's partners, then captures the Judge killer alive. He sentences Whitey to life imprisonment on Devil's Island, then returns to headquarters to hang Alvin's badge alongside those of other Judges who died in the line of duty. Goodman mentions he thinks that is sometimes how thinks they will all die, and Dredd replies "Maybe, but in my book, that's the only way to go...in defence of the Law."

(The New You, Prog #3) Dredd is on patrol when details about "Scarface" Joe Levine, a wanted murderer, are sent through to his bike computer. Unknown to Dredd, Levine has altered his features in the New You Face Parlour. Driving by the lawman, the cocky criminal wished him a good day, only for Dredd to set after him in hot pursuit. Catching up to the criminal's speeding vehicle, Dredd jumps from his bike onto the car, shoots him through the windscreen, then leaps back to the Lawmaster as Levine crashes. Returning to the scene, Dredd is asked by the injured perp how he was recognised, and the Judge reveals it was his voice-print which gave him away.

(The Brotherhood of Darkness, Prog #4) A crazed mutant sect, the Brotherhood of Darkness, invade the city and kidnap a number of citizens before the Judges, Dredd among them, drives them back out into the atomic wilderness. Dredd is ordered to rescue the Mayor's son, who is among those who have been taken. He disguises himself by putting on a robe taken from one of the sect and accompanies them as they leave the city. Upon reaching the Brotherhood's camp, Dredd realises the mayor's son is but one of many hostages, and decides he cannot abandon the others to their fate. He waits until most of the mutants are asleep, then eliminates the guards. However as he loads the captured citizens aboard a truck, the Brotherhood realise what is happening and block their escape. Dredd sets off a flare, and as he surmised, the Brotherhood are unable to handle the bright light. The convoy of escapees makes its way back to Mega-City One, with Dredd at its head.

(Krong, Prog #5)

(Frankenstein II, Prog #6)

(The Statue of Judgement, Prog 7)

(Antique Car Heist, Prog 8)

(Robots, Prog 9)

(Robot Wars, Progs 10 to 17)

(Brainblooms, Prog 18)

(Mugger's Moon, Prog 19)

(The Comic Pusher, Prog 20)

(The Solar Sniper, Prog 21)

(Mr Buzzz, Prog 22)

(Smoker's Crime, Prog 23)

(The Wreath Murders, Prog 24)

(You Bet Your Life, Prog 25)

(Dream Palace, Prog 26)

(The Academy of Law, Progs 27 to 28)

(Videophones, 2000 A.D. Annual 1978)

(Whitey's Brother, 2000 A.D. Annual 1978)

(The Neon Knights, Prog 29)

(The Return of Rico, Prog 30)

(Devil's Island, Prog 31)

(Komputel, Prog 32)

(Walter's Secret Job, Prog 33)

(Mutie the Pig, Progs 34 to 35)

(The Troggies, Progs 36 to 37)

(Billy Jones, Prog 38)

(The Ape Gang, Prog 39)

(The Mega-City 5000, Progs 40 to 41)

(Luna 1, Prog 42)

(Showdown on Luna 1, Prog 43)

(Red Christmas, Prog 44)

(22nd Century Futsie, Prog 45)

(Meet Mr Moonie, Prog 46)

(Land Race, Prog 47)

(The Oxygen Desert, Progs 48 to 49)

(The First Luna Olympics, Prog 50)

(Luna 1 War, Prog 51)

(The Face-Change Crimes, Prog 52)

(The Killer Car, Progs 53 to 56)

(The Oxygen Board, Prog 57)

(Full Earth Crimes, Prog 58)

(Return to Mega-City, Prog 59)

(Firebug, Prog 60)

(The Purple People Eater, 2000 A.D. Sci-Fi Special 1978)

(Dr.Panic, 2000 A.D. Annual 1979)

(Ryan's Revenge, Dan Dare Annual 1979)

(The Cursed Earth, Progs 61 to 85)

(Crime and Punishment, Prog 86)

(Judge Dredd Outlaw, Prog 87)

(Bring Me the Head of Judge Dredd, Prog 88)

(The Day the Law Died, Progs 89 to 108)

(Punks Rule, Prog 110)

(The Exo-Men, Progs 111 to 112)

(The DNAMan, Progs 113 to 115)

(The Greatest Story Ever Told, 2000 A.D. Sci-Fi Special 1980)

(Vienna, Prog 116)

(City Block, Progs 117 to 118)

(A Tale from Walter's Swapbook, Progs 119)

(The Forever Crimes, Prog 120)

(A Tale from Walter's Scwapbook, Prog 121)

(Forever Earth, Progs 122 to 125)

(The Guinea Pig That Changed The Law, Prog 126)

(Night of the Fog, Prog 127)

(Battle of the Black Atlantic, Prog 128 to 129)

(Dredd and the Mob Blitzers, Prog 130)

(Sob Story, Prog 131 to 132)

(The Great Muldoon, Prog 133)

(The Invisible Man, Prog 134 to 135)

(Palais de Boing, Prog 136)

(Death of a Judge, Prog 137)

(Night of the Blood Beast, Prog 138)

(The Great Plasteen Disaster, Prog 139)

(The Black Plague, Prog 140-143)

(Christmas Comes to Des O'Connor Block, Prog 144)

(Uncle Ump's Umpty Candy, Prog 145)

(New Year is Cancelled, Prog 146)

(Judge Minty, Prog 147)

(Alien Seeds, Prog 148)

(Judge Death, Prog 149 to 151)

(The Blood of Satanus, Prog 152 to 154)

(The Judge Child, Prog 156 to 181)

(Block War, Prog 182)

(The Aggro Dome, Prog 183)

(Monkey Business at the Charles Darwin Block, Prog 184 to 185)

(Otto Sump's Ugly Clinic, Progs 186 to 188)

(Mega-Way Madness, Prog 189)

(The Nightmare Gun, Prog 190)

(Synthi-Caff Vindilu, Prog 191)

(Loonies' Moon, Prog 192)

(The Fink, Progs 193 to 196)

(Knock on the Door, Prog 195)

(Pirates of the Black Atlantic, Progs 197 to 200)

(Any Confessions, Prog 201)

(Lawmaster on the Loose, Prog 202)

(Who Killed Pug Ugly?, Prog 203)

(The Alien Way, Prog 204)

(Alone in a Crowd, Prog 205)

(Unamerican Graffiti, Progs 206 to 207)

(The Problem With Sonny Bono, Prog 208)

(The Body Sharks, Progs 209 to 210)

(The Perp Runners, Progs 211 to 212)

(The Umpty Baggers, Progs 213 to 214)

(The Blitz Agencies, Prog 215)

(The Psychos, Progs 216 to 217)

(The Numbers Racket, Progs 218 to 219)

(The Stookie Glanders, Progs 220 to 221)

(Mob Wars, Progs 222 to 223)

(Judge Death Lives, Progs 224 to 228)

(Diary of a Mad Citizen, Progs 229 to 230)

(Assault on I-Block 4, Progs 231 to 232)

(The Hotdog Run, Progs 233 to 235)

(Block Mania, Progs 236 to 244)

(The Apocalypse War,  Progs 245 to 267, 269 to 270)

(Meka-City, Progs 271 to 272)

(The League of Fatties, Progs 273 to 274)

(Fungus, Progs 275 to 277)

(The Game Show Show, Progs 278 to 279)

(Gunge, Prog 280)

(Destiny's Angels, Progs 281 to 288)

(Rabid, Prog 289)

(Blobs, Prog 290)

(The Executioner, Progs 291 to 294)

(Jimps, Prog 295)

(The Night of the Rad-Beast, Progs 296 to 297)

(The Last Invader, Progs 298 to 299)

(Shanty Town, Progs 300 to 303)

(Prezzel Logic, Prog 304)

(Trapper Hag, Progs 305 to 307)

(The Prankster, Prog 308)

(Starborn Thing, Progs 309 to 314)

(King of the Road, Prog 315)

(The Stupid Gun, Progs 316 to 318)

(Condo, Progs 319 to 321)

(Cry of the Werewolf, Progs 322 to 328)

(The Weather Man, Progs 329 to 330)

(Requiem for a Heavyweight, Progs 331 to 334)

(The Graveyard Shift, Progs 335 to 341)

(The Suspect, Prog 342)

(Rumble in the Jungle, Progs 343 to 345)

(Bob & Carol & Ted & Ringo, Progs 346 to 349)

(Pieromania, Prog 350)

(The Highwaymen, Prog 353)

(Are You Tired of Being Mugged?, Prog 354)

(Bob's Law, Prog 355)

(Citizen Snork, Progs 356 to 358)

(The Haunting of Sector House 9, Progs 359 to 363)

(High Society, Prog 364)

(The House on Runner's Walk, Prog 365)

(Portrait of a Politician, Progs 366 to 368)

(The Switch, Prog 369)

(Superbowl, Progs 370 to 371)

(Bingo, Prog 372)

(The Making of a Judge, Prog 373)

(The Wreckers, Progs 374 to 375)

(Many Unhappy Returns, Prog 376)

(Dredd Angel, Progs 377 to 383)

Comments: Created by John Wagner, Alan Grant and Carlos Ezquerra.

Among the Judges he has worked most closely with over the years (often prior to their demise in the line of duty) are Anderson of PSI division, Giant (Senior, who was killed by Sov agent Orlok the Assassin), Galen DeMarco (who left the force after falling in love with Dredd - Judges are not allowed a life outside the law), Hershey (now Chief Judge) and Dekker (who died during Judgement Day fighting zombies). Normally however, he works alone.

Dredd went through the Academy of Law together with his brother Rico. He was nicknamed "Old Stoney Face" by his fellow Cadets because he stuck so rigidly by the rules and the law, and is still called this even today. Early in his career Dredd had to arrest Rico and was later forced to kill him when he returned to Mega City One to get his revenge for having served twenty years on Titan.

The character of Dredd was partially inspired by Dirty Harry Callahan, with some of his look being taken from the poster for Death Race 2000 (and hence Sylvester Stallone, who would later play the character in the movie version). John Wagner (who was born in America, but moved to Scotland when he was thirteen) came up with the concept of the idea, Carlos Ezquerra designed his look, and Pat Mills came up with the name (which he was originally going to use for a different character). So I'm bending my own rules a bit to include Dredd as a British character. Speaking of the name, it's likely that Pat Mills was inspired (consciously or otherwise) by the 1960's Reggae song "Judge Dread", by Prince Buster, which talks of a judge so stern he'd sentence criminals to 400 years, and if anyone challenged his sentences, he'd sentence them too.

As touched on in the text above, in 1995 a big screen Judge Dredd movie was made, starring Sylvester Stallone in the lead role. There are a number of variations in the character (Dredd removes his helmet, he questions the Law in favour of Justice by the end of the movie, he lets Hershey kiss him without arresting her, and he doesn't know he and Rico are clones), the differences aren't sufficient to warrant giving him a separate entry. As for the costume, apart from the lycra trousers and corresponding hilarious codpiece, it's actually pretty accurate (see right). What was wrong with outfitting him with leather trousers, I don't know.

A new Dredd movie was released in 2012, starring Karl Urban as Judge Dredd. It's a much better movie in almost every way - the only place the original might be considered to beat it is the visual depiction of Mega-City One and the Cursed Earth, the visually excellent depiction of the Angel Gang and the ABC robot's (Hammerstein's) visuals, both largely the results of having a much smaller budget.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

Back to 2000A.D.

Back to UK Superheroes Main Page.


All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.