Judge Dredd licensees
Group DescriptionGames drawing on the most successful British comic book character, John Wagner's "Judge Dredd", and the environs and denizens of his Mega-City One stomping grounds, as originally published in the 2000 AD comic book series and loosely adapted in a big-budget 1995 movie.
Judge Joe Dredd and his outlandish neo-fascist world came to life on march 5, 1977 on the pages of the 2000 A.D. magazine (A.D. as in "After Disaster"). The creators, John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, drew upon the dawn of the Thatcher era (the world-famous conservative prime minister of Britain from the late 70's to the early 80's) and the growing Punk movement among Britain's youth and extrapolated both elements to the ridiculous yet ominous levels seen in their comic, in which a bloated, irrational futuristic state suppresses all human rights and freedoms in its quest for total order and security. The most recognizable face of this system are its "judges", enforcers with instant on-field judiciary powers which get to decide if you go to jail five months for jaywalking or get instant execution via a bullet in the head.
Eventually growing out of 2000 A.D.'s cult fandom, Dredd took on its own series and by mid 80's became the most famous European comic book along such classics as Barbarella, thanks to its unique art and darkly humorous take on such issues as legal liberties or human rights, spawning subsequent spin-off series which included toned-down DC Comics versions and crossovers. The character's popularity eventually led him to guest star in various heavy metal albums, radio serials and by 1995 its own movie starring Sylvester Stallone. The movie spawned its own videogame/comic adaptations and surfaced momentarily in a small comic series or an offshoot product.
One of the most interesting notes about Dredd however (and one that few licensed cash-ins managed to take on) is the fact that while he's the hero of the comics he's not the typical wildcard/rebel-in-the-system you might expect had for instance the comics been created in the U.S. Nope, instead Dredd is an active supporter of the fascist, totalitarian state he works for!
Additional Information contributed by Zovni
Front cover for Judge Dredd Pinball
Front cover for Judge Dredd vs Zombies
Screenshot from Judge Dredd Pinball
Screenshot from Judge Dredd vs Zombies