I’ve been addicted to Judge Dredd since watching Dredd at the cinema last year. Having always been a fan of gun totting law enforcement people, this movie hammered home that deep down I love two things; laws and simplicity. Our world can be far to chaotic and keeping things ordered is something I take pleasure in. In Dredd’s world, life is simple for him because he only needs to adhere to one rule – the law. There is no moral high ground, there is no ambiguity there simply is right or wrong. In the real world there are always shades of grey and I am happy for this to exist but in Dredd’s world you don’t have that doubt and that is an awesome thing.
For those who don’t know, Dredd is a future law enforcement officer, or Judge, who deals justice out on the streets of Mega City One. The world has pretty much been totalled thanks to nuclear warfare and humanity clings on to existence within the walls of the Mega Cities. Overcrowded, polluted and with high unemployment the Mega Cities are Mega-Shite places to live. Poor conditions plus poor people equals a crime rate that is almost unmanageable. As a result, Judges deal with all crime with ruthless efficiency; and Dredd is the best.
Judge Dredd exists primarily in comic book form and I am ploughing my way through the Case Files with great joy. If you want to know more, the case files are your best start. The film Dredd is a excellent foray into Judge Dredd’s world and provides a great bit of light entertainment but the Stallone clunker Judge Dredd can mostly be ignored. One thing I will say is that the Stallone film does have some levels of the dark comic humour that is very prevalent in the Comics (for example Dredd has a lisping robot butler for the first few case files which takes some getting used to).
On a side note, what is painfully apparent to me is how much Games Workshop have ripped off from the Dredd universe. Necromunda, Adeptus Arbites, even the Mega Cities that Dredd polices are all shamelessly featured in one way or another. Considering how tightly Workshop guards it’s Intellectual Property I find it quite sad to see how much they have apparently stolen from Judge Dredd.
So yeah I’m a bit addicted to Judge Dredd. His character might seem one dimensional to many but when played against the backdrop of such a colourful world as Mega City One he works as a law enforcing wall of logic and order against the chaos that surrounds him. He’s basically a Vulcan or the Daily Mail’s answer to everything wrong in our world.
In less than six months I have read the first seven case files compiling all the comics published since 1977-1984. That gives me another 30 years worth of writing to enjoy. There’s also a Dredd board game and all sorts of spin-offs to enjoy. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve got a lot of second living to do.