Friday, May 24, 2024

Explaining The World of Judge Dredd.

May 8, 2020 by  
Filed under Comics, Mainstream Comics (Marvel/DC), News

( My favorite series in 2000 A.D is Judge Dredd. Stories tend to run for a few pages in the weekly anthology so the stories tend to be paced extremely well from one part to the next. The titular character was the second thing that caught my attention. Judge Dredd is stoic and somewhat grim who did his job by the book.

Bringing him in like this seems boring off the bat but for over 40 years, he’s grown to show some emotion and actually emote depending on the situation. He had to, the world Judge Dredd exists in is a bizarre one with aliens, mutants, killer robots, mutated monsters, evil politicians, gangs, and raiders. There is no shortage of problems for Mega-City One’s top cop.

Before we dive in, check out this map to get an idea of the world in the series. Anything that is blank or white is the Cursed Earth.

America In Judge Dredd

Starting in 2099, Judge Dredd is based out of what was New York City but patrols the whole city. Now, Mega-City One runs the length of eastern North America “from Montreal to Georgia.”

Crimes are handled swiftly with heavy-handed punishments. Since the city is so large, there are holding spots for offenders since the judges—police who both capture and punish—move from case to case.

By 2099, most citizens are working less than 10 hours a week and robots have been assigned to most construction and civil jobs. Humans are generally supervisors over robots in those fields. Now what I still don’t get is how other citizens are paying rent and whatever since robots are doing most of the jobs but never mind that.

Mega-City One has a large prison called Devil’s Island, a tall tower with suspended roads on all sides to prevent escape. Below the Mega-City is the ruined remains of different cities where mutants and others tend to live.

Other cities include Mega-City Two which took up the west coast: most of California, Oregon, and Washington. It was hit by the 2T(Fru)T virus in 2100 but Judge Dredd and his party transverses the Cursed Earth and prevented further causalities. Later on, MC2 teams up with MC1 in a war against Texas City. For some time, it feared an attack from the Sov Block.

Remember, 2000 A.D debuted in 1977 so the Russians were still considered extremely scary. Texas City—or Mega-City Three—is one of America’s biggest cities following the Atomic Wars of 2070. It is connected to MC1 by the Great Road. Texas City takes up Texas and a good deal of the midsouth, southwest, and mid-west regions of the U.S.

In the deep south, we have the Southern Badlands which is mostly…an irradiated wasteland but somewhat inhabitable.

The Atomic Wars and The Cursed Earth

This is probably the most important part in understanding the world in the 21st century of Judge Dredd. President Booth was the former governor of Texas City who became vice president in 2060. He would serve for two terms before some shadiness resulted in the president dying in 2068. After that, Booth rigged the election and became president.

His term was splattered in controversy and the judges were keeping an eye on him since they were the balance at the time. After he vowed to disband the judges to get back to trials, things started to get dicey. Once he began forcefully taking foreign assets, the Atomic Wars pretty much popped off in 2071.

With all the dissent going on towards Booth’s abuse of power and flexing on other countries, he pretty told all countries to shut up or he would nuke them.

The judges knew Booth was too unstable to guide the country and there was discussion of a coup but nothing happened. Once the judges finished their meeting, it was announced that Booth had launched nuclear missiles at other countries.

Booth and the citizens figured that MC1’s force field would hold but most of the U.S was hit with warheads, destroying a number of cities and leaving everything not MC1, MC2, and Texas City an irradiated mess: The Cursed Earth.

The Battle of Armageddon

The judges could now act and went to arrest President Booth. In response, Booth fled the White House with robot guards. The president was hiding in the Rockies and the judges set off to arrest him. Along the way they battled with the robot force in a bloody conflict. In the end, Judge Solomon—the greatest judge pre-Dredd—and others captured Booth and sentenced him to 100 years in suspended animation.

Booth was imprisoned beneath Fort Knox and would awaken during the events of the “Cursed Earth” storyline. That’s basically it for America in Judge Dredd. Las Vegas was destroyed by Judge Death in 2126.

What About The Rest?

Other notable Mega-Cities include the East Meg-City and West Meg-City in the Sov Block, Simba City (Congo, DRC, Gabon, and part of Camroon), Bangui, Chad, and Siwa in what was Africa. Simba City isn’t protected by the Pan-African Judges. Luxor is also based in Africa and is the biggest city in what was Egypt.

Luna City One on the moon. It’s a rite of passage for judges to do a tour of the Luna City. Brit-Cit is made up of southern England, Hondo City is Japan, Indo City and Nu-Delhi are the most prosperous cities in India. China had two Mega-Cities. The first was destroyed years later while Sino-Cit 2 is still standing and doing well.

Atlantis is below the Black Atlantic and run by Brit-Cit and Mega-City One. Titan was a penal colony for corrupt judges. There, they undergo surgery that allows them to breath in the atmosphere so that they can do hard labor.

Judge Dredd has a lot of other Mega-Cities and countries that merely mentioned and their development and statuses in the world following the Atomic Wars is incredible. Dive in to this series!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.


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  1. […] It’s been a while since we actually looked at some stories from Judge Dredd. While enjoying 2000 A.D, I like to check out the previous stories. Unlike the major American […]

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