One of the best-loved comic-book characters the UK has ever produced, this no-nonsense lawman of the future first appeared in the comic '2000AD' in 1977. Judge Dredd (or Joe to his comrades) lived in a future version of earth's biggest surviving city, Mega-City One, which suffers many of the same problems we have today but amplified due to the huge population, mass unemployment, soaring crime rates and incredible technological advances. Dredd is a futuristic policeman who acts as judge and executioner dishing out a mean justice with the help of his Law-giver gun and artificially intelligent motorcycle. Judge Dredd was the flagship strip in 2000AD and has featured since the second edition, with a dark perspective on current affairs. It captures the attention of both young and mature audiences.
The look of Judge Dredd was influenced by the film 'Death Race 2000' (1975) which also featured one Sylvester Stallone. When the inevitable Hollywood blockbuster appeared, Old Sly himself got the nod to play the lead part of Dredd. Stallone (or the script writers) in typical Hollywood style, failed completely to understand the character of Dredd by focussing too much on the visual effects and meddling with the original storylines. Off came the helmet, and on came Stallone's ego along with the romantic element with Dredd kissing a female in the final scene, all to the horror of genuine 2000AD fans everywhere. All those things were a big 'no no' to the actual comic-book character of Dredd. The conclusion being that the film looked great but failed to capture the dark and complex world of the Judge. Comic-book fans witnessed the 'Dredd' film flop and saw it as a real opportunity wasted. A true crime indeed!