Judge Dredd

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– Samuel Vimes

"Justice is incidental to law and order."

– J. Edgar Hoover
He's tough, but fair.

Judge Joe Dredd is the lead character from the same-named comic that has been printed in the British comic magazine 2000 AD since 1977. The comic is set 122 years into the future, by which time most of the world has been blown to fuck and the remains of humanity are packed into massive "mega-cities" where all law enforcement and justice is carried out by "Judges", i.e. supercops who act as judge, jury and, oh yes, executioner. Over the years Dredd has dealt with robot uprisings, mile-tall habitation blocks trying to kill each other, dirty commies, rampaging fatties, interdimensional horrors, mutants, psychics, aliens, zombies and other crazy shit. The series is simultaneously grimdark, silly and just plain awesome.

Hence, /tg/ fucking LOVES Judge Dredd. If you're trying to present an oppressive, dystopian science fiction setting, but you don't want to get too serious, read some Judge Dredd.

Two movies have been made. The first came out in 1995 and starred Sylvester Stallone and Rob fucking Schneider. While it got a lot of the visuals right, its soundtrack is pretty cool and even featured an ABC robot (from ABC Warriors, another 2000 AD title), the rest was just plain awful, and should only be watched if one wants to see Stallone's hammy performance or for the giggles and a solid soundtrack from Alan Silvestri. Judge Dredd's creator John Wagner fucking hated it. The second came out in 2012 and is better. While the visuals have been toned-down and is a lot more grimdark than in the comics, the feel and spirit is much more true to the source. Go see it. GO FUCKING SEE IT!!!!

The series is also notable for having a lead character who ages in real time.

In Gaming[edit]

Judge Dredd and its fellow 2000 AD titles have been a huge influence on British science fiction and gaming over the last 30 years. Warhammer 40,000 owes much of its background to 2000 AD; just look at the Adeptus Arbites for one of the more obvious influences (to drive the point home, Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain series mentions an Imperial holo-vid character by the name of "Arbitrator Foreboding"). In fact, Games Workshop put out a Judge Dredd board game in 1982, a RPG in 1985, and the skirmish game Block Mania in 1987. The rules for Block Mania can be found here.

Years later, Mongoose Publishing picked up the license and put out a d20 RPG in 2002 and then another in 2009, this time using their version of the Traveller system. They've also produced a miniatures game, Gangs of Mega-City One, a Necromunda style warband-game, and then replaced that with "Judge Dredd the Miniatures Game", something that they have released the rules for free. Check it out.

In the intervening time, WizKids made a few Judge Dredd and other 2000 AD minis for the HeroClix "Indy" expansion.

Warlord Games has the license to produce a wargame in the Judge Dredd universe.

In the grand tradition of getting shit done, /tg/ has begun work on a homebrew system called Judgement Time. In true Judge Dredd spirit, Frowning is a mechanic. The thread can be found here.

And finally, in the many years of Alignment discussion and bickering, Dredd himself has been declared the absolute embodiment of Lawful Neutral. If he catches someone breaking the law for ANY reason, they're going down. No exceptions. Stealing to feed your kids? Theft. Digging your way out of the undercity to escape a monster? Destruction of city property (to be fair he'd also kill the rampaging monster). Organizing a children's choir to sing "Happy Birthday" for Judge Dredd? Noise violation. (also, possible copyright infringement. Nope, that song is public domain by the time the comics take place, and even the longest-running copyright expired January 2017) Off to the iso-cubes, lawbreaker.

Take it with a pinch of salt however, what keeps Dredd from being Lawful Stupid, is how he doesn't just ignore the circumstances, he'll make sure your kids end up in a foster home or temporary orphanage where they won't starve (or more likely the Judge academy), he'll find where those monsters are coming from and plant a Hi-ex round in their scaly foreheads and he'll.....well, okay the last one is probably him being grumpy, as usual. He will also always use the right amount of force for the job and so wouldn't just shoot some Jaywalker. Furthermore, he has been shown to bend the law and abuse loopholes under extreme circumstances (such as the 'Mechanismo' storyline), and to actively work against certain particularly unjust laws (see: his efforts to remove the mutant ban despite the bulk of the city supporting it; him allowing prisoners arrested during a democratic march to go free; quietly providing medical treatment to a terminally ill young girl through use of city funds).

This prevents him from becoming a caricature and puts him firmly in the category of both physical and moral awesome; the comics themselves also deal with the moral issues of judges and the law far better than one would expect, often serving as a sharp critique of the police state and satirizing real life, as well as putting the cast through some major shit such as the amazing 'America' story-arc, and the incredibly grimdark 'Day of Chaos' event - all showing that John Wagner has more balls than Frank Miller could hope to have in his entire lifetime.