Judge Dredd - is a fictional character originally created for the British comic 2000AD. He has no compassion, no emotion and is a relentless law administering machine.
A greater mystery than the appearance of Judge 'Joe' Dredd's upper half of his face, is the heavy duty tailoring that allows him to wear massive and unweildy shoulder pads.
These shoulder pads, sometimes called 'Unrealistic' are an unsolved paradox. Viewed from the front, an observer is forced to presume that these frankly ridiculous pieces of "armour" are attached to Dredd somewhere on his back. When viewed from the back however, an observer is then forced to assume that they are attached to his chest.
Comic Artists not bothering to explain the shoulder pads
Comic artists have attempted to solve this problem through the clever use of the "if it looks cool, keep it" philosophy which was thus extended to all areas of his physiognomy, including his skin tight (yet bullet proof) body suit.
In the film, this concept was corrupted to "if it looks totally gay, include it" thus inflicting Judge Dredd with a cod piece. No, seriously, he looks like a frickin Power Ranger.
Ok, not a Power Ranger but a goddamn Clown
The less said about this, the better. If you like to torture yourself however, you can check out 5 Comic Book Movies That Were Worse Than Batman & Robin . It may be the film's one saving grace that Cracked considers it better than Batman & Robin.
In this dystopian future, the Judges are The Law. To help them complete their role of arbiters of Justice, the Mega City One Justice Department issues every Judge with a small pocket sized book to guide them through the often complex matrix of legal issues they are faced with everyday.
This book has no words or pages, but has the appearance and functionality of a hand gun, known fondly as a Lawgiver. Its primary function is to kill unlawful citizens, although on occassion it can be used to dismember them using a wide variety of ammunition such as high explosive, ricochet, incendary or any other type needed by the writer in order to resolve a situation (for more 'amazing' weapons, check out 11 Most Retarded Fictional Weapons).
The Lawgiver has the equivalent magazine capacity of twelve Black Hawks, or two John Woo heroes.
Here, someone has attempted to use a blue grid to make it look like the Lawgiver has a basis in science. It doesn't. It has a basis in Awesome and that is enough
It is important to note however, that Judge Dredd is more than capable of defending himself without his Lawgiver. There have been many occassions where Dredd has had to improvise. This is exemplified below in what is possibly the greatest comic panel of all time:
Context: Dredd was suppossed to die in the previous panal
The Lawmaster is the name given to the totally bad-ass motorcycle mentioned above.
Artists will give it their own design, flair and features depending on their style, but there are certain things that are absolutely necessary:
In Mega City One, if something can be a weapon, it is a weapon
Yup, the Dark Knight totally copied it. But that's OK because it's a BIKE with CANNON
Someone at Dodge Motors was also a fan/had a small willy
The idea was also nicked by the Warhammer 40K Space Marines.
Seriously, the impact Dredd has had on modern culture is staggering
Judge Dredd and 2000AD comics in general position themselves as adult oriented, satirical graphic literature that make insightful commentaries on modern justice, control and fascism. This goes no way towards explaining the myriad of fantastically infantile characters that inhabit the cast of villains whom Judge Dredd has to contend with.
Judge Death & The Dark Judges
These Judges are actually zombies, but they're from another dimension so it makes sense. They basically have two phrases: "You cannot kill what does not live" - which is repeated over and over to the seemingly deaf Mega City One Judges who beligerently destroy half the city attempting to kill them, even though the first 12 billion high-explosive bullets had already failed. The second phrase oft uttered is "All Life is a Crime", occassionally accompanied by a brief explanation, namely all crime is committed by the living, therefore life itself is a crime. It is thought they were tutored in ethics by Bill O'Reilly.
Judge Death also wears clothes that don't work
Mean Machine 'Angel' is a parody of the mindless violence and hatred that an oppressive, controling government regime can produce in a human being. Either that or he's a personification of Reagan-era foreign policy. Whatever he represents, what he does have is a dial on his frickin forehead that tells you his mood. It's unclear whether the dial tells him how to behave, or whether it's simply his way of telling you how hard and how many times he's about to headbutt you. He is sometimes referred to by panicking yet eloquent citizens as "the lunatic headbuttist". This is a fair and accurate description.
Mean Machine was also the only inoffensive thing about the movie, which is ironic
The Citizens of Mega City One
Far and away, the greatest threat to Law and Order and the world of Judge Dredd are the citizens of Mega City One. Overpopulation and high unemployment makes the city a hot bed of crime and degredation. Most of the time it looks kinda fun, combining a mixture of illegal raves, bare-knuckle boxing, turf-wars, competetive eating and brand new mind bending drugs. On the down side, there are block wars (almighty flame-wars that erupt between two or more extremely bored housing estates) and the occassional take over of the city by the Dark Judges. Looking back however, these seem kinda fun too.
Mega City One (and the other Mega Cities) are influenced by the sci-fi of Asimov and Philip K Dick. Its visual representation in the pages of the comic book in turn heavily influenced the look of such films as Blade Runner, Akira, Futurama and The Fifth Element.
Judge Dredd singing to keep himself entertained
This is the predominant swear word in the 2000ad universe. It is used in sentences such as "Get the drokk down", "get out my way, drokker" and "I'm gonna drokk you up something nasty." Experts have not yet managed to suggest any present day equivalent.
An expletive expressing surprise or fear and is therefore rarely used by Dredd. It is thought this might be a replacement for the word "Shit!", except there has yet to be a character featured who has uttered the words "I've done a stomm in my pants."
So far there is no sufficient explanation as to why the writers at 2000AD decided that the word for 'god' had the middle part all wrong, but they decided to replace 'o' with 'ru' regardless. The citizens of Mega City One use the word in much the same way as we use 'god' today, except that it sounds really really retarded:
Dredd also uses the words 'creep' and 'punk' when addressing felons, but it is strongly advised that you do not attempt to imitate this as you'll sound like a huge douchebag.
It is necessary to include a section on fans, since Judge Dredd has procured an odd bunch over the years.
Depressingly, his most famous endorsement (after the Patriot Act) was a Thrash Metal band named Anthrax. Dredd became a sort of band logo for them. If it wasn't for the anthrax scares in the years following 9/11, most people probably wouldn't have heard of them. Thanks Google Image.
A band called 'The Fink Brothers' released a single called Mutants In Mega City One (B Side - Mutant Blues) with the full endorsement of 2000AD. There is no need to explain this song at all, but rather offer an extract for all the insight you'll ever need:
Finally, there are those fans of Judge Dredd who are simply normal, comic appreciating, sci-fi loving, intelligent individuals. They recognise great graphic art and like to shy away from what is considered 'main stream'.
People like this:
Yes, he's saying Drokk
Sad though he is, he actually looks better than Stallone