I love me some Judge Dredd. The star of Britain's anthology comic, 2000 AD, and his own magazine, Judge Joe Dredd is a lawman many people in Texas feel they should have. Police, jury, judge and occasionally, executioner, Dredd is one of the many Judges who patrol a futuristic city: Mega City One, made up of most of the United States' eastern seaboard in a futuristic, post-nuclear war Earth. Most of the population is unemployed, mutants are exiled to the now desert midwest, the city's mayor is an ape and Dredd's own brother tried to kill him once. Right, that's all you need to know about Dredd if you don't know about him already.
Now, issues (or progs, as they like to call it) 225 to 228 of this weekly magazine features the return one of Dredd's scariest enemy: Judge Death. He's the anti-Dredd. He doesn't bother arresting people. He just kills them. All crime are committed by the living, Death argues, therefore life itself is guilty and should be punished. Sentence is death. Yup, makes sense to me. But let's see where it all started.......
That's Judge Anderson of the Psi-Division. She's psychic and Judge Death is trapped in her mind in their last encounter. Someone, maybe Dredd...I haven't read that particular story yet, so sue me...trapped her in BOING, a kind of Jello-like "miracle plastic". She can't get out, ever, lest Judge Death be allowed to escape. Which of course what will happen here otherwise, no story.
And here's the schmuck who's gonna cut through the BOING and release him:
I like what the tour guide Judge is saying there. He's like, "Oh, here's the uniform of the Judge who invented the thing that can disintegrate your flesh. Poor devil. Moving on....."
Anyway, the guy cuts through the BOING:
It's a disembodied head with a visor and teeth. Kinda reminds you of this, doesn't it?:
Did the 2000 AD guys copy the look from Lord of the Rings? Perish the thought. No one ever read Tolkien's books before 2002, anyway.
Judge Death hijacks the body of the man who helped free him and orders him to meet up with some of his (Death's) friends back at the man's apartment. Now we understand why the man did what he did. He was forced by Death's pals to go and free their leader. And what kind of pals does someone like Judge Death keeps? Probably not the kind you'll take home to your mother to meet.
"We lied!" Well, duh...
Smiling guy on the left is Judge Fear, fiery dude is Judge Fire and last but not least, Judge Mortis on drums. The Dark Judges, folks. Buy their t-shirts or they'll kill you.
Click here for Part 2.