YMMV: Judge Dredd

The Comic:

  • Complete Monster: As a police state after the end, the dystopia of Mega-City One is not a great place to live, and Judge Dredd himself is an Anti-Hero. That said, these characters are much worse.
    • Judge Death, the leader of the Dark Judges, is Judge Dredd's evil counterpart and arch-enemy. While all the Dark Judges (Death, Fear, Fire, and Mortis) are nasty pieces of work, Death is the only one who was shown as pure evil while alive. Born Sidney De'ath on an alternate Earth, he killed his whole family (but not before inheriting his father's love of torture), starting a career as a Judge so he and his followers could kill people for any excuse they can think of. Death made living a crime on his home world and destroyed it, becoming an undead monstrosity who seeks to spread the power of the grave to as many worlds as he can. This includes the conquest of Mega-City One and killing off sixty million of its inhabitants during his rule over the "Necropolis"; killing, torturing, and cannibalizing victims with the Sisters of Death (calling it "an acquired taste in unspeakable acts of depravity"); mind raping unfortunate people to kill others for him; slaughtering his way through orphan shelters and maternity wards just to piss off Judge Anderson and lure her into a trap; and disintegrating Las Vegas with a nuclear missile. Death always returns to destroy any life he can, sadistically murdering those who cross his path while seeking the destruction of all that lives.
    • The Apocalypse War storyline: War Marshal "Mad Dog" Kazan is the downright psychotic leader of the armed forces of East Meg One. Together with the Diktatorat, the three-man ruling council of that Sov-Block Mega City, he cold-bloodedly planned the Apocalypse War for years, knowing full well that it would result in the deaths of hundreds of millions, including tens of millions from his own city, and that was the best case scenario (Supreme Judge Bulgrarin and Judge Snekov of the Diktatorat are okay with this, while Judge Vlad has qualms). Kazan led the ground invasion of Mega City One after the nuclear attack already wiped out its entire southern half, killing millions more and enslaving the conquered people. He has the Diktatorat assassinated and declares himself Supreme Judge to claim sole credit for victory in the war and to gain power. Kazan also has a habit of treating the men under his command horribly, sending soldiers who fail their mission to Siberia without winter clothing, forcing his second-in-command—who inadvertently cost him victory by allowing Judge Dredd to escape—to play a daily game of Russian Roulette until his death, and executing one of his generals for merely suggesting surrender after Kazan's war of conquest is clearly lost. Determined to perpetuate the destructive conflict for his own glory and against the wishes of his war-weary men, his final words after Dredd executes him with the co-operation of Kazan's soldiers is that he regrets nothing he's done.
    • Judgement Day storyline: Sabbat the Necromagus is a powerful and immortal necromancer with an affinity for the dead who wants to wipe out all life. When he was known as the human Soppi Walters on a planet in the Strontium Dog universe, he killed a friendly witch to get access to her books on Black Magic, first using it to turn a school bully into a lifeless pet so he could torment him for eternity. He proceeded to kill everyone on his homeworld before moving on to other planets, using the corpses as his undead army for eventual galactic conquest. When Johnny Alpha tracks him down, Sabbat travels to Earth's past so he can erase Alpha's timeline by creating a Zombie Apocalypse to destroy humanity. He also causes planes to instantly crash all around the globe to quarantine the cities from each other. He succeeds at murdering three billion people and wiping out five Mega Cities. He later captures Judge Dredd's strike team and proceeds to slowly torture them to death, assuring them that they'll be the last living humans on the planet when he finally extinguishes their lives.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Judge Death repeatedly proved to be the comic's most popular villain, to the point where fans complained that he wasn't the Big Bad in the film Dredd.
    • Public Defender 314's habit of hilariously calling his pauses for emphasis and other actions have endeared him to the fans.
  • Growing the Beard: "The Cursed Earth" is the story where the world really comes together, and was the first of the epic stories that lasted about half a year.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Democracy Now quote at the top of the page seems a lot less like a convincing argument since Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, rescued a woman from a mugging that he happened upon while cycling pastnote . It seems an elected representative can work just fine.
    • Judge Janus' first name? Judy.
    • The Justice Department's Chief of Science? Judge Nye.
    • Justice Department's ban on smoking in public areas, barring designated Smokatoriums, is strangely prophetic of the smoking bans that arose around the European Union in the noughties.
    • During "The Cursed Earth" mega-epic, Dredd faces a T-Rex that was cloned using reptile eggs and recovered dinosaur DNA for the purposes of a theme park. Of course, this makes Apu's rant to Principal Skinner about Plagiarism even funnier.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Nate Slaughterhouse. He is a Space Corps veteran who is wounded in the line of duty (Read: Loses most of his body, apart from his head and one shoulder) and is given a cybernetic body. He quits the Corps along with his wife and they take their son to the Big Meg. After some problems with local gangs, Nate's wife is kidnapped and her brain wiped and replaced with a slave module and his son is murdered. This causes him to snap and become a Vigilante Man, culminating in him attacking the local crime boss' hideout on the Canadian border in a Mini-Mecha.
    • Tweak, an alien Dredd rescues in the Cursed Earth. He's strong enough to eat rocks and diamonds and his race are more intelligent than humans, something he hides from them. His family is kidnapped and sold into slavery before they're put down by their human slavemasters. Tweak is just looking to give them a decent burial and fights alongside Dredd because Dredd stands up for him. He finally gets to go home when Dredd promises to keep the secret of his homeworld.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Chief Judge Thomas Silver has been responsible for violently suppressing democratic marches, and made an appalling number of bad calls that ended in Necropolis, a nightmare that cost the lives of 60 million people. Return of the King makes him rather pitiable when we see the sheer magnitude of the suffering he went through at the hands of Judge Death and his cohorts. They turned him into a zombie so his torment would never end, made him crawl and lick like a dog, constantly whispered into his ear to thank him for handing the Big Meg over to them, and had the possessed Judge Kraken rip out Silver's heart in front of him. Every day.
  • Memetic Badass: Judge Dredd. When the Face of Fear kills anyone who gazes into it, Dredd is the only one it can't kill. Fear is not so resistant to the Fist of Dredd. Also, he once got an entire army to back down by simply appearing on a comm screen.
  • Memetic Mutation: Dredd's Catch Phrase "I am the law!", to the point that it occludes the fact to the general public that he's one of the more sensible Judges patrolling Mega-City One instead of a borderline psychotic lawman.
  • Misaimed Fandom: There are a lot of people who don't realise that the strip is a satire and think that the judge system is actually a good idea.
  • Never Live It Down: Due to the sheer memetic-ness of his dedication to THE LAW, it can be surprising to new readers to find that Dredd is actually one of the more sensible Judges. Despite this fans still often portray him as being obsessed with THE LAW and arresting criminals.
  • Villain Sue: PJ Maybe can fall into this, mainly with his use of SLD 88, a perfect, untraceable mind control drug that can be manufactured entirely from legal, unmonitored ingredients that can be used to make someone do or believe nearly anything. For some reason, hardly anyone seems to notice how useful this is. In contrast, most of Maybe's other favorite tricks, such as face change machines or tiny robot drones, are widespread and have had a noticeable impact on Mega City One society.
  • The Woobie: Many citizens fall into this category. Bennett Beeny stands out though. He spends his life pining for America Jara. When he finds her again, she's become a terrorist and later ends up being shot by a judge and winds up brain dead. He later transfers his consciousness to her body and has a daughter. There's a good reason America is considered one of the best stories.


The 1995 Movie:

  • What an Idiot:
    • Fergie casually walking into a broken-into apartment in the middle of a block riot, mere hours after getting paroled. It's like he wanted to get arrested again.
    • To be fair, it is supposed to be his apartment. He just figured he could ride out the block war inside.