Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges

51-0It9SvjL._SY346_I dimly remember a friend at primary school always used to bring in his latest copy of 2000 AD. I also remember being fascinated by the Dark Judges- Death, Fear, Fire and Mortis. These Judges existed in another plane of existence and had come to the conclusion that all crimes were committed by live people ergo life was a crime. After exterminating all living creatures on their world they break through into Dredd’s universe (specifically Megacity One) and wreak havoc on those living (and hence) guilty.

This collection contains three sets of stories:

Issues 149-151 “Judge Death”: The first appearance of Judge Death during which Judge Anderson is introduced in order to employ her psychic powers to defeat the first Dark Judge. This story arc ends with Anderson, who has been possessed by Death, encapsulated by Boing (a miracle plastic) to keep Death from threatening the citizens of Megacity One. Artwork by Brian Bolland.

Issues 224-228 “Death lives”: This story arc introduces three other Dark Judges, Fear, Mortis and Fire who assist with the escape of Death (and Anderson) from the Boing. This leads to a confrontation between Dredd and Anderson with the Dark Judges ending in Deadworld. Anderson harnesses the energies of the millions slaughtered there finally putting an end to the Dark Judges. Artwork by Brian Bolland including the classic scene shown below.

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Issues 416-427 “Four Dark Judges”: For this story arc, 2000AD published the story under the “Anderson Psi Division” heading so largely contains Anderson accidentally releasing the Dark Judges then working to banish them into the “Void”. The artwork for this arc was done by Brett Ewins, Cliff Robinson ¬†and Robin Smith and I felt that Anderson was much more defined with the style that she’s most known for. (Hair etc.)

All three stories do a great job of getting across the futility of combatting the undead and sheer scale of the slaughter possible using extremely warped logic. The work of writers Alan Grant and John Wagner has stood the time and I enjoyed these stories as much as I remember enjoying them as a kid.

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