Judge Dredd has been a major part of the comic book world since March 5, 1977. He entered public consciousness during an era defined by fruit machines, punk rock, and all-out rebellion. Given his catchphrase of “I am the law”, it is pretty incredible to look back at just how anarchic the Judge Dredd comics were, and how many things happened to very nearly stop Dredd being around – and we’re not even talking about what Sylvester Stallone did to Dredd with his utterly awful performance in Judge Dredd in 1995! Here are three things you may not know about Judge Dredd.
Judge Dredd Might Have Been Saved by Slot Machines
After the 1995 film debacle, rumors swirled that Dredd was pretty much dead as a franchise. The comics retained a cult following but the popular perception was that it would forever be banished from the mainstream. However, there was clearly something that people still enjoyed and found seriously engaging about Judge Dredd, so much so that it never quite faded from public consciousness. Fast forward to 2017, in fact, and you can see clear evidence of this; the best Canadian online slots sites like Dunder still carry the Judge Dredd slot game, which has been critically acclaimed and bases its success on some of the most widely loved and recognized Dredd phrases. The multireel game includes Dredd himself as the wild symbol, while his iconic golden badge features as the scatter.
Of course, some Dredd fans still prefer to play on an old-school slot machine (albeit online rather than out on the town) but the success of the Dredd slot game has helped to push Dredd in pop culture, perhaps even leading to the pretty epic reboot we saw in 2012. This reboot was shot in 3D and might not have been old school in appearance, but the use of a classic portrayal of Dredd, a gritty old-school storyline, and decent acting elevated it for old-school fans and new generations of Dredd fans.
Dredd is Coming Back
In fact, after the appalling 1995 movie, the true-to-the-original-series movie of 2012 was a breath of fresh air. The chances of another offering in the near future are continuing to look pretty remote (despite the fact that fans are very keen) but what fans of Dredd can look forward to is the return of Dredd to the small screen in the Judge Dredd: Mega-City One TV show.
Hopes are high that this television series – which is still unclear if we’ll get to watch get on Netflix, HBO or Hulu – will not only bring Dredd back further and further into the mainstream, perhaps in a similar manner to the success of The Walking Dead, but it could well be the catalyst for pushing Dredd back onto the big screen.
‘MacDonald’s’ Nearly Killed Dredd
One of the earlier Dredd comic storylines nearly proved to be the end of Judge Dredd after the creators decided to run the storyline “Burger Wars”, which took aim at pretty much every food company at the time, including the likes of Burger King and ‘MacDonald’s’. While the old joke is that the extra ‘a’ saved 2000AD from a more crippling lawsuit, the truth is that they were lucky to settle their beef with McDonald’s, Burger King and the others mocked in the storylines. As part of the settlement the ‘Burger Wars’ disappeared for a long time until, in 2015, they finally (largely) came back to the restored graphic novels after changes in copyright law allowed parodies to become exempt from copyright.
— Ian Walker (@fenlandgent) 15 April 2017
The return of the original storyline has been really well received by fans of Dredd and shows that the original stories are still held in high regard by younger fans. With Dredd having survived perhaps his biggest battle with the corporate world, the future of the comic hero seems secure for now and we look forward to seeing new and exciting storylines from the man who really is the true embodiment of devotion to the law!