Almost everyone is out of work in the post-apocalyptic world of Judge Dredd. People can’t go to school and the entire east coast of the United States has been taken over by the polluted and overcrowded Mega-City One.
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There is too much crime and corruption for the fascist Justice Department to handle in Mega-City One. They rule with an iron fist. Their favorite hero is Judge Joseph Dredd, a strict lawman with a bad history. Dredd isn’t a hero in his own world. People in Mega-City One both fear and love him.
When Dredd first appeared in 2000 AD in 1978, he started a huge story that has been going on for almost 30 years. The story has been almost real-time. For good or bad, he is the law. These are the best Judge Dredd comics of all time.
1. Helter Skelter
Judge Dredd was popular in the early 1990s, and Garth Ennis was a big part of it. He worked with big names like Grant Morrison and Mark Millar. Judge Dredd’s harsh world was perfect for Ennis, who is best known for his nihilistic super-epic The Boys, which became a huge hit on streaming service Netflix.
His “Helter Skelter” was written in 2001 when he came back to 2000 AD for a short time. It was written in 2000 AD progs 1200 – 1261. Carlos Ezquerra, the co-creator of Dredd, and Henry Flint, the artist who did the cityscapes, helped Ennis go on an inter-dimensional crossover that saw Dredd’s enemies come back from the dead to invade Mega-City One.
‘Helter Skelter’ is a celebration of 2000 AD history. There are many cameos in the movie. He doesn’t stop at Dredd history. He pulls from the whole 2000 AD pantheon to fight against old stony face. There is a big, one-eyed dinosaur taking on Judge Dredd if you want to see it. I’m sure you know that.
Helter Skelter is the perfect ending to Garth Ennis’ run on Dredd. It is a full-on story of wild excess that takes Mega City-One to its weirdest.
2. The Day the Law Died!
In the Judge Dredd movie The Day the Law Died!, a crazy person takes over Mega-City One. In the style of the Roman Emperor Caligula, Chief Judge Cal is a showy and brutal despot.
It doesn’t matter that Mega-City One rules say that Chief Cal is very strict. He even tried to sentence the whole population of Mega-City One to death for rioting. Smiling? Not allowed. Laughter? Is it legal? Happiness? You’re right. Deputy Chief: Chief Judge Cal even gives his goldfish the power of Deputy Chief. His maniacal ultra-competence is even better than the Joker’s for a short time.
John Wagner makes sure that Dredd’s signature black humor shines through in this book. Mike McMahon, Brian Bolland, and Brendan McCarthy are still alive and well. With so much talent, ‘The Day the Law Died!’ looks beautiful in black and white. It’s a masterclass in contrast and shading, with John Wagner’s sarcastic words mixed in. Even today, “The Day the Law Died!” is still one of the best movies ever made.
3. Block Mania
We’ve all had a bad neighbor, but never like this in Block Mania! Mega-City One is always overcrowded, with its people living in tiny apartments in monolithic blocks. It’s always on the verge of exploding. People who live in the same house often form “tribal” armies that fight for their house. When a block war gets out of hand, Mega-City One is on the verge of breaking apart. When even his fellow Judges decide to join in the fight, Dredd thinks there might be more going on than just social issues.
People started going crazy after the mass psychosis was revealed to be the work of spies from East Meg-One. This led to the much bigger ‘Apocalypse War’ Even though the ‘Apocalypse War’ arc was much bigger in scope, this arc’s themes of tension and paranoia among neighbors have been around for a long time now. For anyone who has lived in a big city, John Wagner and Alan Grant shed a little light on what it’s like to live there.
It’s easy to see how Mike McMahon and Brian Bolland show off huge apartment buildings and crowded streets. Yellows and purples are the main colors in this distorted picture of society now that it’s in full color. Is an important piece of Dredd history because it was a big influence on both Judge Dredd movies.
All of us will be replaced by machines at some point. Even Judge Dredd doesn’t have a safe haven in ‘Mechanismo.’
It has been a long time since Mega-City One has had a lot of bad things happen, so the Justice Department is making robot Judges to run Mega-City One. Judge Dredd doesn’t like the idea right away, which proves to be true when the robots go rogue.
‘Mechanismo’ is a look at Judge Dredd’s humanity. Dredd is disgusted by illegal violence that is almost too similar to what he does every day. The Mechanismo bots were made by Colin MacNeil in all their blocky glory. They were a rare enemy for Dredd in the Bizarro tradition.
In Dredd fashion, the Justice Department didn’t learn from its mistakes, making revisions after revisions that had bad results. In this cautionary tale against automation, Macneil’s sun-bleached Mega-City One and Peter Doherty’s moody art make it complete. Even if you’re left wondering what all the fuss is about for the long-suffering ordinary citizens of Mega City-One. Dredd is the law, but at least he’s a real person.
5. Day Of Chaos
John Wagner, the co-creator of Judge Dredd, is still around, which shows that new stories can have as much impact as the old ones, thanks in part to that fact. Day of Chaos, which ran from July 2011 to June 2012, was an apocalyptic leveling of Mega-City One. It was similar to other stories of mass destruction, like Judgement Day and The Apocalypse War, but with a touch of 28 Days Later, Garth Ennis’ Crossed, and even the chaos of The Dark Knight Rises.
A biological agent is released by vengeful Soviet Bloc agents who want to get back at them for destroying the city of East Meg One. It turns everyone it affects into killer psychopaths for the four days it takes to kill them. Plots and counterplots keep getting stronger. People riot instead of being executed by Judges who had been rounding up the sick and promising quarantine and cure. One of the Dark Judges, PJ Maybe, is out there. The Academy of Law was destroyed in a terrorist attack, and the Dark Judges are unleashed.
The Day of Chaos lives up to its name.
6. The Judge Child Quest
He made his own Star Wars, with a little bit of Homer’s Odyssey. Judge Hershey makes her first appearance in this book. Dredd leads a crack team in search of the mythical Judge Child, who will bring balance to the police force. They travel across the Cursed Earth and into space, taking in a first look at the cowboy chic of Texas City, Dune-inspired Oracle Spice hallucinations, and the brilliant, absurdly terrifying Jigsa.
It was the first long-form collaboration between John Wagner and Alan Grant. The pair would go on to write more Judge Dredd mega-epics, but they also re-energised a messy and predictable time for Batman by focusing on pulpy short stories with new villains. There was a time when Dredd didn’t want to go outside of his comfort zone. Instead, he wanted to go into the world of brilliantly surreal and imaginative fantasy.
if Anakin Skywalker is Judge Child, then Joe does what we all wished we could have done with the magical runt.