We’re taking a look at the exploits of the legend of the Justice Department, Judge Joseph Dredd himself. Discover Dredd’s deeds in the line of duty.
In the post-apocalyptic Earth of 2140, humanity endures in the world’s mega-cities. Born from the chaos of the Atomic Wars, each of these cities houses millions of humans, shielding them from the irradiated hell the Earth has become.
Chief amongst these megalopolises is Mega-City One. Dominating the eastern coast of the former United States of America, Mega-City One has—at its most populous—become home to as many as 800 million citizens. Each of these citizens is a potential criminal, and such potential criminality requires a potent deterrent…
…It requires the Judges.
Judge, Jury and Executioner
First conceived in the early 21st century as the answer to rampant crime, the Judges were empowered to arrest, judge and pass immediate sentence on criminals. Then, following the Third World War and the collapse of global civilisation, the Judges assumed governmental control of post-apocalyptic America. This system of government spread throughout what remained of the world, and soon the survivors of the Atomic Wars were crammed into the world’s newest metropolises, the mega-cities.
He IS the Law!
Chief amongst these Judges is Joe Dredd. A clone of the so-called ‘Father of Justice’, Eustace Fargo, Dredd is the blueprint to which all other Judges are themselves judged. Resolute and immutable, Dredd enforces the law and protects his city at all costs, regardless of sacrifice. He has forfeited his eyes, various organs, family and his youth in pursuit of justice. Countless are the criminals and warmongers he has overcome in the line of duty, and whilst there are too many to list here, there follows just a small insight into the career of Judge Dredd, and the threats he has overcome in the defence of not only his city but the world at large:
The Robot Wars
Robots are an everyday part of life in Mega-City One. They work in the city’s factories, they serve in the city’s homes, and some even enforce the law. Their tireless work often goes unnoticed, or, at best, is met with indifference. But sometimes the robots become tired of being taken for granted. Sometimes they rise against their masters.
There have been two Robot Wars in Mega-City One. The first of these revolts was led by the robot Call-Me-Kenneth, who incited his fellow droids to overcome their programming in a violent uprising against their masters. The insurrection was put down by the Judges at great cost, and Call-Me-Kenneth was destroyed by Dredd himself.
The second of the Robot Wars was instigated by the arch-villain and android Nero Narcos. Leading no less than an all-out assault on Mega-City One and the Justice Department, Narcos sabotaged the Judge’s primary sidearms, the Lawgivers, causing them to explode when fired by Judges. With many Judges duly disabled, Narcos then deployed swarms of Assassinator-class robots on Mega-City One. These Assassinators were programmed to kill Judges on sight, and the resulting casualties forced the surviving Judges into hiding, there to conduct a guerrilla war against Narcos and his robotic assassins. Only by enlisting allies from the British mega-city of Brit-Cit did Dredd ensure Narcos’ destruction and that of the android’s Assassinators.
Judge Death and the Dark Judges
Of all the villains Dredd has faced, the Dark Judges are surely the most implacable. Led by Judge Death, the Dark Judges hail from an alternative reality where all crime is believed to be the inevitable result of life. Life itself was, therefore, declared a crime. Together with his dread colleagues Fire, Fear and Mortis, Judge Death thus cleansed his world of all life.
Not satisfied with this genocide, the Dark Judges’ elevated their agenda to an interdimensional level. Their mission led them to Mega-City One. Unleashed upon the city, the Dark Judges have since murdered thousands of citizens despite being repeatedly thwarted by Dredd and his Psi-Division colleague, Judge Anderson.
The Judge Child and the Angel Gang
When a precognitive Psi-Judge warned of Mega-City One’s impending destruction by an unknown force, Dredd led an expansive search for a boy believed to hold the key to the city’s salvation. This boy was the powerful psionic and so-called ‘Judge Child’, Owen Krysler. Dredd’s search led to his finding Krysler, who was being held hostage in the Cursed Earth by the notorious Angel Gang.
The Angel Gang escaped from Dredd, who—with Krysler still in the hands of the gang—was forced to pursue them. Eventually, he tracked the gang to the planet Xanadu. There he confronted and killed most of the gang, including the crazed cyborg, ‘Mean Machine’ Angel.
However, Dredd—judging Krysler to be too evil to be Mega-City One’s saviour—abandoned the child on Xanadu. Outraged, the vengeful Krysler used his growing powers to resurrect the dead Mean Machine, and the cybernetic mad man has been a thorn in Dredd’s side ever since.
Block Mania and the Apocalypse War
The enmity between East and West continued long after the Third World War, and that enmity boiled over with the Apocalypse War between Mega-City One and its Sov Block counterpart, East Meg One.
Whilst it is chiefly remembered for the mass invasion of Mega-City One by Sov Judges in 2104, the war itself began with a one-man mission by the Sov Block’s most lethal agent, Orlok the Assassin. Infiltrating Mega-City One, Orlok infected the water supply of hundreds of the city’s habitation blocks. With the inhabitants of these blocks inspired to attack their neighbours in a spate of so-called ‘Block Wars’, the Judges of MC-1 were overstretched, and its civilian population divided into partisan factions intent on killing one another.
At this stage East Meg One launched an overwhelming attack on MC-1, unleashing nuclear weapons followed by carpet bombing and assault by mechanised infantry. Only by leading an audacious commando mission to assassinate the East Meg war marshal Kazan and obliterate East Meg One with a Sov nuke did Dredd save Mega-City One from absolute destruction.
When the time-travelling necromagus Sabbat began raising the dead around the globe, Mega-City One found itself overwhelmed by the reanimated casualties of the Apocalypse War.
However, Dredd found himself side by side with an unlikely ally. Also travelling back in time whilst in pursuit of Sabbat, the Strontium Dog Johnny Alpha teamed up with Dredd and a unit of international Judges to overcome Sabbat. Although casualties were large, Dredd and Alpha managed to overcome Sabbat’s zombies and decapitate the necromancer, defeating him.
Not all Judges are paragons of justice and virtue, with some being every bit as corrupt and psychotic as the criminals they judge. One such individual was Judge Grice. Arrested after attempting to kill Dredd, Grice was sentenced to twenty years hard labour on the prison planet of Titan.
However, Grice and his hatred of Dredd could not be contained. He escaped Titan and—together with a small army of other criminals also serving time on Titan—returned to Mega-City One. Grice then released a deadly virus upon the city and usurped the serving Chief Judge. Installing himself in the Grand Halls of Justice, he assumed a violent control of Mega-City One. With his grip on sanity weakening, he not only imposed a series of oppressive and increasingly deranged laws but also began killing his own allies in fits of rage.
Grice’s reign of terror was short-lived, however, with Dredd leading fellow Judges in an assault on the Grand Halls of Justice. This assault resulted in Dredd running over Grice—repeatedly—with a Lawmaster bike until the tyrant died a messy death.
Whilst no one knows what the future holds for Mega-City One, it is a certainty Dredd will be on hand to protect it. Despite being in active service for 62 years and (somehow) reaching the age of 80, rejuvenation technology and supreme physical fitness keeps Dredd at the forefront of MC-1’s war on crime. It is a certainty that, when Dredd does finally meet his end, he will do so protecting his city, and enforcing the law.
Deeds of the Man, Deeds of the Miniature
Judge Dredd is a legendary figure in Mega-City One, nigh-indestructible and staunch beyond measure in the upholding of the Law. If it is true that a man can be measured by the quality of his enemies then Dredd will take some beating.
Over the years, he has clashed with mad Chief Judges, transdimensional denizens of Deadworld, super-agents of the Sov Bloc, necromancers and powerful mutant pre-cogs. The Arch Rivals bundle allows you to reenact these epic duels on the tabletop.