Judge Dredd
Illustration by Carlos Ezquerra
Publication information
IPC Media (Fleetway), 1977–2000
Rebellion Developments, 2000–present
First appearance2000 AD no. 2 (5 March 1977)[note 1]
Created by
In-story information
Full nameJoseph Dredd
Team affiliations
Notable aliasesThe Dead Man
  • Excellent marksman
  • Expert in unarmed combat
  • Bionic eyes grant 20/20 night vision and reduced blinking rate[1]

Judge Joseph Dredd is a fictional character created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra. He first appeared in the second issue of 2000 AD (1977), which is a British weekly anthology comic. He is the magazine's longest-running character, and in 1990 he got his own title, the Judge Dredd Megazine. He also appears in a number of film and video game adaptations.

Judge Dredd is a law enforcement and judicial officer in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One, which covers most of the east coast of North America. He is a "street judge", empowered to summarily arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals. Judge Dredd stories often satirize American and British culture, with a focus on authoritarianism and police brutality.[2]

Judge Dredd made his live-action debut in 1995 in Judge Dredd, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone. Later, he was portrayed by Karl Urban in the 2012 adaptation Dredd. In audio dramas by Big Finish Productions, Dredd is voiced by Toby Longworth.

Publication history

When comics editor Pat Mills was developing 2000 AD in 1976, he brought in his former writing partner, John Wagner, to develop characters. Wagner had written a Dirty Harry-style "tough cop" story, "One-Eyed Jack", for Valiant, and suggested a character who took that concept to its logical extreme. In a 1995 interview, Wagner said: "When Pat was putting together 2000 AD, we realised from the success of "One-Eyed Jack" this was the kind of story the paper should have – a really hard, tough cop."[3]

Mills had developed a horror strip called Judge Dread (named after the stage name of British ska and reggae artist Alexander Minto Hughes),[4] before abandoning the idea as unsuitable for the new comic; but the name, with the spelling modified to "Dredd" at the suggestion of sub-editor Kelvin Gosnell, was adopted by Wagner.[3][5] According to Mills, the name Joseph – given to Dredd in a story written by Mills which appeared in "prog" (short for programme or issue) no. 30 – refers to where he went to school, St Joseph's College, Ipswich.[6]

The task of visualising the character was given to Carlos Ezquerra, a Spanish artist who had worked for Mills before on Battle Picture Weekly. Wagner gave Ezquerra an advertisement for the film Death Race 2000, showing the character Frankenstein (played by David Carradine) clad in black leather on a motorbike, as a suggestion of Dredd's appearance. Ezquerra added body-armour, zips, and chains, which Wagner initially objected to,[7] commenting that the character looked like a "Spanish pirate."[8] Wagner's initial script was rewritten by Mills and drawn up by Ezquerra. The hardware and cityscapes Ezquerra had drawn were far more futuristic than the near-future setting originally intended; in response, Mills set the story further into the future,[9] on the advice of his art assistant Doug Church.[10] The original launch story written by Wagner and drawn by Ezquerra was vetoed by the board of directors for being too violent.[11][note 2] A new script was needed for the first episode.

By this stage, Wagner had quit, disillusioned that a proposed buy-out of the new comic by another company, which would have given him and Mills a greater financial stake in the comic, had fallen through.[12] Mills was reluctant to lose Judge Dredd and farmed the strip out to a variety of freelance writers, hoping to develop it further. Their scripts were given to a variety of artists as Mills tried to find a strip which would provide a good introduction to the character. This Judge Dredd would not be ready for the first issue of 2000 AD, launched in February 1977.[13]

Judge Dredd's first appearance, in an advert in 2000AD #1 (26 February 1977). Art by Mike McMahon, from a story later published in #6.

The story chosen to introduce the character was submitted by freelance writer Peter Harris,[note 3] and was extensively re-written by Mills, who added a new ending suggested by Kelvin Gosnell.[14][15] It was drawn by newcomer Mike McMahon. The strip debuted in prog 2. Around this time Ezquerra quit and returned to work for Battle. There are conflicting sources about why. Ezquerra says it was because he was angry that another artist had drawn the first published Judge Dredd strip.[16] Mills says he chose McMahon because Ezquerra had already left, having been offered a better deal by the editor of Battle.[17]

Wagner soon returned to the character, starting in prog 9. His storyline, "The Robot Wars", was drawn by a rotating team of artists (including Ezquerra), and marked the point where Dredd became the most popular character in the comic, a position he has rarely relinquished.[18] Judge Dredd has appeared in almost every issue since,[note 4] most of the stories written by Wagner (in collaboration with Alan Grant between 1980 and 1988).

In 1983, Judge Dredd made his American debut with his own series from publisher Eagle Comics, titled Judge Dredd.[19] It consisted of stories reprinted from the British comic, but since 2012 IDW Publishing has published a variety of Judge Dredd titles featuring original stories. Since 1990, Dredd has also had his own title in Britain, the Judge Dredd Megazine. With Wagner concentrating his energies on that, the Dredd strip in 2000 AD was left to younger writers, including Garth Ennis, Mark Millar, Grant Morrison and John Smith. Their stories were less popular with fans, and sales fell.[20] Wagner returned to writing the character full-time for 2000 AD in 1994.

Judge Dredd has also been published in a long-running comic strip (1981–1998) in the Daily Star,[21] and briefly in Metro from January to April 2004.[22] These were usually created by the same teams writing and drawing the main strip, and some of the Daily Star strips have been collected into two hardback volumes. Originally published in black and white, some of the Daily Star strips were subsequently coloured and published in Metal Hammer magazine in the 1990s.[23]

In 2012, Dredd was one of 10 British comic characters commemorated in a series of stamps issued by the Royal Mail.[24][25]

Between 2015 and 2018, Hachette Partworks published a fortnightly partwork collection of hardback books entitled Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection. This included not only Judge Dredd stories but also a variety of spin-off stories set in the same universe.

Lists of stories

Almost all[note 5] of the stories from both comics are currently being reprinted in their original order of publication in a series of trade paperbacks. Stories from the regular issues of 2000 AD and the Megazine are collected in a series entitled Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files. This series began in 2005[28] and is still ongoing as of 2024. Stories from special holiday issues and annuals appeared in Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files. This four-volume series began in 2010 and concluded in 2012.

Character and appearance

Judge Dredd from his first published story, as drawn by Mike McMahon in 1977. The character's appearance has remained essentially unchanged since, except for a more prominent jawline.

Joseph Dredd is the most famous of the Street Judges that patrol Mega-City One, empowered to instantly convict, sentence, and sometimes execute offenders. Dredd is armed with a "Lawgiver", a pistol programmed to recognise only his palm-print and capable of firing six types of ammunition, a daystick, a boot knife and stun or gas grenades. His helmet obscures his face, except for his mouth and jaw. He rides a large "Lawmaster" motorcycle equipped with machine-guns, a powerful laser cannon, and full artificial intelligence capable of responding to orders from the Judge and operating itself.

In an interview, Ezquerra commented on how he designed the character stating he received the basic description of "a menacing policeman dressed in black and driving a motorbike." He later described his process on creating the character: "When I create a character, I'll do it fairly quickly, the longer you stay working on an idea, the more chances you have to spoil it and Dredd was not an exception. I draw the essentials: grim face, black suit, menacing helmet (based on the Greeks), protections, and gun readily available when sitting on the bike, after that I started to embellish the protections and bike with symbols, maybe a couple of days in total."[29]

Dredd's entire face is never shown in the strip. This began as an unofficial guideline, but soon became a rule.[30] As John Wagner explained: "It sums up the facelessness of justice − justice has no soul. So it isn't necessary for readers to see Dredd's face, and I don't want you to".[31]

On rare occasions, Dredd's face has been seen in flashbacks to his childhood; but these pictures lack detail.[32] In an early story, Dredd is forced to remove his helmet and the other characters react as if he is disfigured, but his face was covered by a faux censorship sticker.[33] In prog 52, during Dredd's tenure on the Lunar Colonies, he uses a 'face-change' machine to impersonate the crooked lawyer of a gang of bank robbers.[34]

In Carlos Ezquerra's original design, Dredd had large lips, "to put a mystery as to his racial background".[35] Not all of the artists who worked on the strip were told of this. Mike McMahon drew Dredd as a black man, while Brian Bolland and Ron Smith drew him as white. The strip was not yet printed in colour, and this went unnoticed. The idea was dropped.[when?][36]

Time passes in the Judge Dredd strip in real time, so as a year passes in life, a year passes in the comic. The first Dredd story, published in 1977, was set in 2099, 122 years in the future, and so stories published in 2024 are set 122 years in the future, in 2146. Consequently, as former editor Alan McKenzie explains, "every year that goes by Dredd gets a year older – unlike Spider-Man, who has been a university student for the past twenty-five years!".[37] Therefore, Dredd was 38 when he first appeared, but is now 84–85 years old, with 66–67 years of active service (2079–2146), and for almost 30 years Dredd's age and fitness for duty were recurring plot points (in prog 1595 (2008), Dredd was diagnosed with benign cancer of the duodenum).

How Dredd's aging would be addressed was a source of reader speculation until 2016, when writer Michael Carroll and artist Ben Willsher published the story "Carousel",[38] in which Dredd is ordered to undertake rejuvenation treatment that restores him to his physical prime. Regarding the possible death of the character, in an interview with Empire in 2012 Wagner said: "There could be many ways to end it, but the probability is that I won't still be around when it happens! I would love to write it, but I can't see it happening. I'll leave the script in my will".[39]


The Lawgiver is a fictional weapon used by the Judges including Judge Dredd. The Lawgiver is a self-loading handgun featuring manual and automatic focusing and targeting, plus a built-in computer capable of controlling its operation. An in-line gunsight shows the view directly down the barrel. A Lawgiver can only be operated by its designated Judge owner, whose palm print is programmed into the gun's memory. Any attempt by a non-designated user to fire a Lawgiver causes the weapon to self-destruct (a feature introduced by writer Malcolm Shaw).[40]

The gun fires six different kinds of rounds, which a Judge can switch via voice command:[41]

As well as the usual six rounds listed above, a stun shot has also been depicted in the comic, and a variety of other rounds have been shown in the films.


Dredd's first stories take place in the year 2099, 122 years after their publication date in 1977. His regular stories are generally set 122 years after their real-world publication date (unless otherwise stated as a flashback or prequel story), so that stories published in 2024 are set in 2146.

The setting of Judge Dredd is a dystopian future Earth damaged by a series of international conflicts; much of the planet has become radioactive wasteland, and so populations have aggregated in enormous conurbations known as 'mega-cities'.[42] The story is centred on the megalopolis of Mega-City One, on the east coast of North America. Within Mega-City One, extensive automation (including intelligent robots) has rendered the majority of the population unemployed.[43] As a consequence, the general population is prone to embracing any fashion or craze they encounter.[44] Mega-City One is surrounded by the inhospitable "Cursed Earth",[45] a radioactive desert populated by outlaws and mutants. Much of the remaining world's geography is somewhat vague, although other mega-cities are visited in the strip.

The majority of Mega-City One's population lives in gigantic towers known as City Blocks, each holding some 50,000 people.[46] Each is named after some historical person or TV character, usually for comic effect. A minority live in "mopads" - an evolution of the mobile home, and constantly travel Mega-City One's extensive road network. Mega-City One extends from Boston to Charlotte; but extended into Florida before the Apocalypse War laid waste to the southern sectors.[47] At its height, the city contained a population of about 800 million; after the Apocalypse War, it was halved to 400 million.

The Judge system

Main article: Mega-City One § Judges

Street Judges act as police, judge, jury, and executioner. Capital punishment in Mega-City One is rarely used,[48] though deaths while resisting arrest are commonplace. Numerous writers have used the Judge System to satirize contemporary politics.

Judges, once appointed, can be broadly characterised as "Street Judges" (who patrol the city), and administrative (office-based) Judges. The Justice Department is responsible not only for law enforcement, but is also the government, since the United States was overthrown in 2070 following the Third World War, which devastated much of America. The Judges are a ruling class, the ordinary citizens having no participation in government except at the municipal level. Dredd was once offered the job of Chief Judge, but he refused it.[49]

The Judge System has spread world-wide, with various super-cities possessing similar methods of law enforcement. As such, this political model has become the most common form of government on Earth, with only a few small areas practicing civilian rule.

Fictional character biography

Further information: Judge Dredd § Major storylines

In 2066, Joseph Dredd and his older (by twelve minutes) "brother" Rico Dredd are cloned from the DNA of Chief Judge Fargo, the founder of the Judge System, who was said to have died in the line of duty years before.[50] Their growth is artificially accelerated in gestation so they are "born" with the physiological and mental development of a 5-year-old child, with appropriate knowledge and training already implanted in their brains.[51] The last name "Dredd" is chosen by the genetic scientist who created them, Morton Judd, to "instill fear in the population."[51]

In 2070, the corrupt President Robert Linus Booth starts World War III, also known as the Atomic Wars, and the Judges move to restore order to the panic-stricken public. Cadets Joe Dredd and Rico Dredd are temporarily made full judges to help restore order under the supervision of Judge Kinnison, despite being physically and mentally only nine years old. They make their first kills stopping a rape gang but are unable to prevent Kinnison's death in action.[52] During the war, they discover their clone-father Eustace Fargo is still alive, hidden by higher ranking judges. Seeing them as kin, Fargo recruits Joe and Rico to be his temporary bodyguards. He openly tells them his doubts regarding the Justice Department, wondering if the system has taken away "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" while trying to instill strict order and control. Three weeks later, Fargo is placed in suspended animation and the Dredd brothers return to the Academy. After the Battle of Armageddon in 2071, President "Bad Bob" Booth is captured, tried for war crimes, and sentenced to suspended animation. In the wake of World War III, the office of the President is retired and the Judges now have full control over what's left of America.

Distinguishing themselves, the Dredds are fast-tracked through the Academy of Law. Rico graduates at the top of their class in 2079, with Joseph graduating second. Joe's final assessment is done under the supervision of Judge Morphy, who is impressed with the young man and passes him. Joe later discovers Rico has embraced corruption, engaging in multiple crimes including murder, justifying his actions by saying Judges are thugs and killers by nature. Rico asks Joe to help him cover his crimes, but Joe arrests his brother instead, sentencing him to 20 years of hard labour on the penal colony on Saturn's moon Titan (a typical punishment for corrupt Judges). Joe Dredd continues operating as a judge, quickly gaining a reputation throughout the city as a formidable and incorruptible law enforcement agent. In 2099, Rico Dredd returns to Earth after serving his 20-year sentence. He comes after Joe for revenge, challenging him to a fast draw. No longer used to Earth's gravity, Rico loses and Joe shoots him dead in self-defence. Visibly upset, Joe insists he be the one to carry his brother's body away.[53]

Over the decades, Joe Dredd becomes a major force protecting Mega-City One and is sometimes the biggest catalyst in preventing its destruction. Offered the opportunity to become Chief Judge in 2101, Dredd declines, preferring to serve on the streets enforcing the law, though he does temporarily serve in other senior positions.[54] In "Tour of Duty", Dredd is appointed to the Council of Five, Mega-City One's highest governing body below the Chief Judge,[55] on which he serves for two years (2132 to 2134).[56] On several occasions, he saves his city from conquest or destruction by powerful enemies, and in 2114, he saves the entire world during the Fourth World War.[57]

In 2107, Dredd loses his eyes in combat during the story City of the Damned. He has them replaced with bionic eyes that grant him night-vision. In 2112, he suffers near-fatal wounds when a battle causes him to fall into a lake of acidic chemicals, burning his entire body. Later on, he undergoes rejuvenation treatment, healing him and adding more vitality than a man his age would normally have. In 2130, Dredd is diagnosed with cancer of the duodenum, though it was benign.[58] In 2138, at 72 years old, Dredd undergoes another "rejuve" treatment after being ordered to. It is specified that his entire epidermis, vascular, and muscular tissue are rebuilt on a cellular level, once again restoring some lost youth and vitality. He turns down an offer for a full treatment that would rebuild his internal organs and skeleton.

Although Dredd holds his duty above every other priority, this devotion is not blind. On two occasions (in "The Robot Wars" and "Tale of the Dead Man"), Dredd resigns from the force on principle, but both times he later returns, believing the Judge System, while imperfect and vulnerable to corruption, is the best protection that currently exists for people.[59] In 2113, Dredd insists the Justice Department gamble its existence on a referendum to prove its legitimacy.[60] In 2116, he risks 20 years imprisonment with hard labour when he challenges the policy of a Chief Judge.[61] In 2129, Dredd threatens to resign if the Chief Judge doesn't change the city's harsh anti-mutant apartheid laws.[62]

In 2129 (2000 AD #1535), Dredd is present when his clone-father Eustace Fargo is revived from cryogenic suspension, only to die later the same day. Before Fargo dies, he calls for Dredd to be at his side and admits his conclusion that the Judge system was a mistake that killed the American Dream, that it was meant to fix things but not last forever. Since Joe and Rico Dredd are his blood, Eustace hopes they will fix his mistakes, implying they should replace the Judge System with something else (he was unaware Rico Dredd had gone renegade and later died by Joe's hand). After Eustace Fargo dies, Dredd decides not to share the man's final words.

In more recent years, Dredd has met other Fargo clones such as Kraken and Nimrod, and a rogue clone of himself called DRƎDD.[citation needed] He has also developed a family of sorts with the introduction of two younger clones of his own named Dolman and Judge Rico (no first name). Dredd also discovered his older brother Rico Dredd fathered a daughter, Vienna Dredd, who now sees Joe as an uncle.

Family and associates

Recurring adversaries

Dredd's adversaries generally do not return in sequels, since they are usually killed or sentenced to long terms of incarceration. However, a few notable villains have returned in multiple stories, and some later got their own spin-off series.

Major storylines

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There have been a number of Judge Dredd stories that have significantly developed the Dredd character and/or the fictional world, or which create and add to a larger storyline. These are listed below (for a complete list of all stories see here).

Alternative versions

Shortly before the release of the 1995 film, three new comic book titles were released, followed by a one-off comic version of the film story.

Judge Dredd (DC Comics)[80]

DC Comics published an alternative version of Judge Dredd between 1994 and 1996, lasting 18 issues. Continuity and history were different from both the original 2000 AD version and the 1995 film. A major difference was that Chief Judge Fargo, portrayed as incorruptible in the original version, was depicted as evil in the DC version. Most issues were written by Andrew Helfer, but the last issue was written by Gordon Rennie, who has since written Judge Dredd for 2000 AD (Note: the DC crossover story Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham featured the original Dredd, not the version depicted in this title).

Judge Dredd – Legends of the Law[81]

Another DC Comics title, lasting 13 issues between 1994 and 1995. Although these were intended to feature the same version of Judge Dredd as in the other DC title, the first four issues were written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and were consistent with their original 2000 AD version.

Judge Dredd – Lawman of the Future[82]

From the same publishers as 2000 AD, this was nevertheless a completely different version of Dredd aimed at younger readers. Editor David Bishop prohibited writers from showing Dredd killing anyone, a reluctance which would be completely unfamiliar to readers acquainted with the original version.[83] As one reviewer put it years later: "this was Judge Dredd with two vital ingredients missing: his balls."[84] It ran fortnightly for 23 issues from 1995 to 1996, plus one Action Special.

Judge Dredd: The Official Movie Adaptation[85]

Written by Andrew Helfer and illustrated by Carlos Ezquerra and Michael Danza. Published by DC Comics in 1995, but a different version of Dredd to that in the DC comic books described above.

Shōnen Jump[86]

In Japan, manga comic Shōnen Jump Autumn Special (1995) included a one-off story featuring a unique version of Judge Dredd which was entirely different to both the comic character and the film character. Set in Tokyo in 2099, Dredd Takeru is a part-time street judge whose day job is working as a primary school teacher.

Heavy Metal Dredd

From the same publishers as 2000 AD, this was a series of ultra-violent one-off stories from "a separate and aggressive Dredd world".[87] The first eight episodes were originally published in Rock Power magazine, and were all co-written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and illustrated by Simon Bisley. These were reprinted, together with 11 new stories (some by other creators), in Judge Dredd Megazine. The original eight stories were collected in a trade paperback by Hamlyn in 1993.[88] The complete series was collected by Rebellion Developments in 2009.[89]

Dredd (2012 film continuity)

In the week that the 2012 film Dredd was released in the UK, a 10-page prologue was published in issue #328 of Judge Dredd Megazine, written by its editor, Matt Smith, and illustrated by Henry Flint. "Top of the World, Ma-Ma" told the backstory of the film's main antagonist, Ma-Ma.[90] Five more stories featuring this version of the character were published in Judge Dredd Megazine: "Underbelly" in #340–342 (2013), "Uprise" in #350–354 (2014), "Dust" in #367–371 (2015–'16), "Furies" in #386–387 (2017), and "The Dead World" in #392–396 (2018) (there were also two Judge Anderson stories featuring the film version of that character in #377–379).

Judge Dredd (IDW Publishing)

Main article: Judge Dredd (IDW Publishing)

In other media


Judge Dredd (1995)

Main article: Judge Dredd (film)

An American film loosely based on the comic strip was released in 1995, starring Sylvester Stallone as Dredd. The film received generally negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 22% rating, and the site's critical consensus states that "Director [Danny] Cannon fails to find the necessary balance to make it work".[96] In deference to its expensive Hollywood star, Dredd's face was shown. In the comic, he very rarely removes his helmet, and even then his real face is never revealed. Also, the writers largely omitted the ironic humour of the comic strip, and ignored important aspects of the "Dredd mythology". The co-creator and main writer of the comic character, John Wagner, said:

I hated that plot. It was Dredd pressed through the Hollywood cliché mill, a dynastic power struggle that had little connection with the character we know from the comic.[97]

In retrospect the film received some praise for its depiction of Dredd's city, costumes, humour and larger-than-life characters.[98]

Dredd (2012)

Main article: Dredd

Reliance Entertainment produced Dredd, which was released in September 2012. It was positively received by critics with Rotten Tomatoes' rating of 80%.[99] It was directed by Pete Travis and written by Alex Garland. Michael S. Murphey was co-producer with Travis.[100] Karl Urban was cast as Judge Dredd and Olivia Thirlby portrayed Judge Anderson.[101][102] Dredd's costume was radically redesigned for the film, adding armor plates and reducing the size and prominence of the shoulder insignia.

The main Judge Dredd writer John Wagner said:

It's high-octane, edge of the seat stuff, and gives a far truer representation of Dredd than the first movie.[97]

The film was shot in 3-D and filmed in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Funding was secured from Reliance Big Entertainment.


On 10 May 2017, Entertainment Weekly announced that independent entertainment studio IM Global and Rebellion have partnered to develop a live-action TV show called Judge Dredd: Mega-City One. The show is planned to be an ensemble drama about a team of Judges as they deal with the challenges of the future-shocked 22nd century.[103][104]

Jason Kingsley, owner of Rebellion, told the Guardian in May 2017 that the TV show will be far more satirical than the film adaptions and could become "one of the most expensive TV shows the UK has ever seen".[105]

According to Karl Urban, the studio's concept is to "build the show around more rookie judges and young, new judges", where Dredd himself "would come in and out". Urban stated that he would be interested in reprising the role for this, on the condition that Dredd's part of the story be implemented in a "meaningful way".[106]

In November 2018, Rebellion began setting up a new studio in Didcot, Oxfordshire, valued at $100 million, for Film and TV series based on 2000 AD characters, including Judge Dredd: Mega City One.[107]


From 1993 to 1995, Virgin Books published nine Judge Dredd novels. They had hoped the series would be a success in the wake of the feature film, but the series was cancelled after insufficient sales.[citation needed] In August 2015, these novels were re-released as e-books.[108] The books are:

Also in 1995, St. Martin's Press published two novelizations of the film:[110]

In 1997, Virgin published a Doctor Who novel by Dave Stone which had originally been intended to feature Judge Dredd, called Burning Heart. However this idea was abandoned after the film was released, and Dredd was replaced by another character called Adjudicator Joseph Craator.[111]

From 2003 to 2007, Black Flame published official 2000 AD novels, including a new run of Judge Dredd novels. After Black Flame closed in 2007, Rebellion picked up the rights to their "2000 AD" titles in 2011, and began republishing them as e-books. Their nine Judge Dredd books are:

In July 2012, three of these novels – Gordon Rennie's Dredd Vs Death, David Bishop's Kingdom of the Blind, and Matt Smith's The Final Cut – were republished in a single paperback volume titled Dredd, as a tie-in with the 2012 film of the same title. (ISBN 9781781080771)

In August 2012, Rebellion announced a new series of e-books under the series title Judge Dredd: Year One, about Dredd's first year as a judge (the stories in the comic strip having begun in his 20th year when he was already a veteran).[112] All three stories were published by Abaddon Books in a paperback book called Judge Dredd Year One Omnibus in October 2014.[113]

In 2016 and 2017, more e-books were published under the series title Judge Dredd: Year Two:

In 2020, more e-books were published under the series title Judge Dredd: Year Three:

Novels about related characters

As well as novels starring Judge Dredd, there are other novels and novellas in the franchise about other characters. For a list of books about Anderson, see Judge Anderson#Novels.

Michael Carroll wrote three novellas about Dredd's brother, Rico Dredd, under the series title Rico Dredd: The Titan Years. They were originally published as e-books, but the trilogy was published in an omnibus paperback volume by Abaddon Books in 2019.[115]

Another series of books, collectively called Judges, is about the first generation of judges, and are set six decades before Dredd's first stories to appear in the comic.[116] The books, all published by Abaddon Books, are:

These six books were later republished in two omnibus volumes. A seventh book in the series was published in 2021:

A trilogy about the Dark Judges, The Fall of Deadworld, was written by 2000 AD's editor, Matt Smith, and published by Abaddon Books:

These were collected into an omnibus edition in June 2020.

A trilogy of novellas called The Apocalypse War, all written by John Ware, was released in 2022:

These were collected in an omnibus edition called Apocalypse War Dossier.

Other books


Video games

There have been multiple Judge Dredd games released for various video game consoles and several home computers such as the ZX Spectrum, PlayStation and Commodore 64. The first game, titled Judge Dredd, was released in 1986. Another game, also titled Judge Dredd, was released in 1990. At one time, an arcade game was being developed by Midway Games but it was never released. It can however be found online and has three playable levels.[117][118][119]

A game loosely based on the first live action film, called Judge Dredd was developed by Probe Software and released by Acclaim for the Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Game Gear.[120] Bally produced a Judge Dredd pinball machine based on the comics.[121] In 1997, Acclaim released a Judge Dredd arcade game, a rail shooter with 3D graphics and full motion video footage shot specifically for the game.

Judge Dredd: Dredd Vs. Death was produced by Rebellion Developments and released in early 2003 by Sierra Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. The game sees the return of the Dark Judges when Mega-City One becomes overrun with vampires and the undead. The player takes control of Judge Dredd, with the optional addition of another Human player in co-operative play. The game is a first-person shooter  – with key differences such as the requirement to arrest lawbreakers, and an SJS death squad which will hunt down Dredd should the player kill too many civilians. The player can also go up against three friends in the various multiplayer modes which include "Deathmatch", "Team Deathmatch", "Elimination", "Team Elimination", "Informant", "Judges Vs. Perps", "Runner" and more.[122] A novel was based on the game.[123]

A costume set for the PlayStation 3 video game LittleBigPlanet was released in May 2009, which contained outfits to dress the game's main character Sackboy as five 2000 AD characters, one of which is Judge Dredd.[124] Dredd's uniform is also used to create the Judge Anderson costume for the Sackpeople.

In 2012, Rebellion released Judge Dredd Vs. Zombies, a game application for iPhone,[125] Android phones, Windows 8[126] and Windows Phone.[127]

Role-playing games

Main article: Judge Dredd (role-playing game)

Games Workshop released a Judge Dredd role-playing game in 1985.[128] Mongoose Publishing released The Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game in 2002[129] and another Judge Dredd game using the Traveller system in 2009. Their licence ended in 2016. In February 2017, EN Publishing announced the new Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game using the WOIN (What's OLD is NEW) role-playing game system.

On 17 July 2012, Tin Man Games released a Judge Dredd-themed digital role-playing gamebook titled Judge Dredd: Countdown Sector 106, available for the iOS operating system.[130][131]

Board games

Games Workshop produced a Judge Dredd board game based on the comic strip in 1982.[132] In the game players, who represent judges, attempt to arrest perps that have committed crimes in different location in Mega City One. A key feature of the game is the different action cards that are collected during play; generally these cards are used when trying to arrest perps although some cards can also be played against other players to hinder their progress. The winner of the game is the judge who collected the most points arresting perps. Players could sabotage each other's arrest attempts. Additionally, there were many amusing card combinations such as arresting Judge Death for selling old comics, as the Old Comic Selling crime card featured a 2000 AD cover with Judge Death on it. The game used characters, locations and artwork from the comic. It was re-released by Rebellion in 2022.

In 1987, Games Workshop published a second Dredd-inspired board game, "Block Mania".[133] In this game for two players, players take on the role of rival neighboring blocks at war. This was a heavier game than the earlier Dredd board game, focused on tactical combat, in which players control these residents as they use whatever means they can to vandalize and destroy their opponent's block. Later the same year, Games Workshop released the Mega-Mania expansion for the game, allowing the game to be played by up to four players.

Mongoose Publishing have released a miniatures skirmish game of gang warfare based in Mega-City One called "Gangs of Mega-City One",[134] often referred to as GOMC1. The game features judges being called in when a gang challenges another gang that is too tough to fight. A wide range of miniatures has been released including box sets for an Ape Gang and an Undercity Gang. A Robot Gang was also produced but was released as two blister packs instead of a box set. Only one rules expansion has been released, called "Death on the Streets". The expansion introduced many new rules including usage of the new gangs and the ability to bring Judge Dredd himself into a fight. This game went out of print shortly thereafter, but was replaced by the "Judge Dredd Miniatures Game", which was published free in many stages as the company sought feedback from fans and players. In 2012, an expansion was released called "Block War!". Miniatures continue to be manufactured at a slow pace.

In November 2017, Osprey Games announced their development of a new graphic adventure card game, entitled Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth. The game is designed and based on The Lost Expedition, a game from designer Peer Sylvester.[135] In the game, one to five players "[lead] a team of judges against dinosaurs, mutants, and the Cursed Earth itself".[136] It was released on 21 February 2019.[137]

Collectible card game

There was a short-lived collectible card game called simply "Dredd". In the game, players would control a squad of judges and arrest perps. The rules system was innovative and the game was well-received by fans and collectors alike, but various issues unrelated to the game's quality caused its early demise.[138]


Main article: Judge Dredd (pinball)

There was a four-player pinball game released in 1993, produced by Bally Manufacturing.

Audio series

Main article: Judge Dredd audio dramas

"The Day the Law Died" and "The Apocalypse War" stories were produced by Dirk Maggs and broadcast in three-minute segments (40 for each story) on Mark Goodier's afternoon show on BBC Radio One in 1995. The cast include Lorelei King and Gary Martin. They were issued separately on dual cassette and double CD.[139] Both titles have since been deleted. "The Apocalypse War" also contains plot elements from "Block Mania", because this story set the scene for the main story.

Since then, Big Finish Productions has produced 18 audio plays featuring 2000 AD characters.[140] These have mostly featured Judge Dredd, although three have also featured characters from the series Strontium Dog. In these, Judge Dredd is played by Toby Longworth, and Johnny Alpha from Strontium Dog is played by Simon Pegg.

The list of 2000 AD audio plays featuring Dredd includes:

  1. Judge Dredd: Wanted: Dredd or Alive by David Bishop
  2. Judge Dredd: Death Trap! by David Bishop
  3. Judge Dredd: The Killing Zone by Dave Stone
  4. Judge Dredd: The Big Shot! by David Bishop
  5. Judge Dredd: Trapped on Titan by Jonathan Clements
  6. Judge Dredd: Get Karter! by David Bishop
  7. Judge Dredd: I Love Judge Dredd by Jonathan Morris
  8. Judge Dredd: Dreddline by James Swallow
  9. Judge Dredd: 99 Code Red! by Jonathan Clements
  10. Judge Dredd: War Planet by Dave Stone
  11. Judge Dredd: Jihad by James Swallow
  12. Judge Dredd: War Crimes by David Bishop
  13. Judge Dredd: For King and Country by Cavan Scott
  14. Judge Dredd: Pre-Emptive Revenge by Jonathan Clements (with Strontium Dog)
  15. Judge Dredd: Grud is Dead by James Swallow
  16. Judge Dredd: Solo by Jonathan Clements

Note: 3 and 10 are Strontium Dog stories that do not feature Dredd.

Starting in 2009, four further Judge Dredd titles were released under the banner "Crime Chronicles", once more featuring Toby Longworth.[140]

  1. Judge Dredd: Crime Chronicles – Stranger Than Truth by David Bishop (October 2009)
  2. Judge Dredd: Crime Chronicles – Blood Will Tell by James Swallow (November 2009)
  3. Judge Dredd: Crime Chronicles – The Devil's Playground by Jonathan Clements (December 2009)
  4. Judge Dredd: Crime Chronicles – Double Zero by James Swallow (January 2010)

In popular culture

This section may contain irrelevant references to popular culture. Please help Wikipedia to improve this section by removing the content or adding citations to reliable and independent sources. (August 2022)

See also


  1. ^ The cover date was actually the last day on which the issue was on sale, so the issue would have been published in the previous week.
  2. ^ The story was eventually published in Judge Dredd Annual 1981.
  3. ^ A complete list of Harris's work for 2000 AD can be found at his entry on the 2000ad.org website.
  4. ^ Except issues #109, 155, 1100 and 1138.
  5. ^ Excluded from the Complete Case Files series were the stories "America" (Megazine vol. 1 #1–7), "America II" (Megazine vol. 3 #20–25), and "Beyond Our Kenny" (vol. 1 #1–3). They are collected in two other trade paperbacks under the titles Judge Dredd: America and Judge Dredd: The Art of Kenny Who?


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  6. ^ Mills, Pat (2017) Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave! 2000AD and Judge Dredd: The Secret History, Millsverse Books, p. 112ISBN 9780995661233
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  14. ^ Jarman & Acton, p. 48.
  15. ^ Mills, pp. 70–72
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  17. ^ Mills, p. 62–64
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  45. ^ 2000 AD #4 and 61
  46. ^ 2000 AD #117 and 118
  47. ^ 2000 AD #245–270
  48. ^ 2000 AD #261, 630, 1337, and Batman/Judge Dredd: Die Laughing #1-2 (1998)
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  61. ^ "Prologue," Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 2 #57
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  64. ^ 2000 AD #1186–88, #1280
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