BARNEY

Redesign Judge Dredd

He's one of the most popular characters in 2000AD - but let's face it, he was designed in the 70s! Last month (February 2004), the 2000ad Online message boarders were given the opportunity to update and redesign Judge Dredd as a modern character!

The entries ranged from the hilarious to the outstanding, with everyone offering a wide range of ideas. The final entries were given to ten non-scrots, who retired to the pub and grumbled for a few hours. Eventually, they appointed a 'Chief Judge' to preside over the occasion, and they managed to rate each entry, and comment on them. They even managed to choose four winners! You can view them here.

Chief Judge: Dai Ishimaru

Statement: The judges would like it to be known that they were slightly inebriated, and quite crabby when this is done. There was a lot of diagreement, so don't take final comments as a unanimous opinion of the judges. However, my word goes. So there.

Ratings are out of 5: 1 = ok, 2 = fine, 3 = good, 4 = very good, 5 = great

By: Johnnyeyebrows

Comments:

Send in the clones! We liked the art. Good with the eye implants and actually the lack of body armor (which we really feel is worn by people compensating for something). The gun description also is cool and would make for good visuals. Only criticism is the clone part Ė it is an overused and silly Ďtechno-widget of the futureí device that should not be seen again until someone can put a good twist on it.

Judgement: 5

By: Bolt-01 (picture), Dudley (words)

Additional Text Description:Judge Dredd was conceived in 1977, at the height of one of the bleakest periods of UK civil unrest. Strike action, race riots, even the gravediggers were on strike. The attraction of the iron rule of the Law is very clear, and the writers' ambivalence towards to the concept makes for an unusual mixture of grit and parody.

But what if Dredd had been created 8 years later?

To set the scene: The Falklands war has just given Britain its first unquestioned military victory in 40 years. The miners' strike has been crushed under the stiletto heels of a newly strident capitalism, a group of hungry traders is shaking up the City, America is an aspirational dream and the threat of nuclear war with Russia seems to be receding with its new leader's talk of perestroika. A little-known comics writer called John Wagner has been commissioned to create a "future cop" series for new launch title 2000AD. Now read on...

Joe Dredd is cruising along in his metallic pink open-topped sky vehicle, his trademark curly blond hair smoothed back by the wind, his sleeves rolled up. He is chatting on a futuristic hand-held communications device while his other hand expertly guides the steering wheel. It's a beautiful day to be in Mega-City One by the beach, and Joe enjoys checking out the bikini-clad babes roller-skating past, moving to the sound of the pumping rock music from his in-car stereo. His chin juts forward as his partner, "Funky" Giant, fills him in on an unsolved homicide.

"Yo, baby", says Giant, "We got a ten-four, looks like the creep's comin straight outta the Undercity".

Dredd pulls the wheel and the car swings sharply round, disrupting traffic on the freeway. A ten-four means an unauthorised homicide of an Overdweller by a Norm or, in this case, someone even lower down the food chain.

This was why his father, Commissioner Fargo, had rebranded the privatised NYPD as the Judge Force in the first place. It was a way of recognising that the trader overlords of the city were now officially above the Law. Old "crimes" such as insider dealing or fraud could be dealt with internally, and the mega-city didn't have the funding to lock up creeps who committed anti-social acts. The Judges united the functions of investigator, prosecutor, judge and executioner in one easy-to handle package. A Judge was trained almost from the moment of birth to maintain rigid discipline among the Norms, or "citizens" as they had once been called. To be a Judge was to serve, unquestioningly, but also to be the only order of Elite to mix with all levels of society.

Banishment to the Undercity was one of the three sentences that Judges were empowered to carry out: the others were fines and immediate execution. The Undercity, formed by concreting over ghetto neighbourhoods, was a savage environment, ruled by gangs who didn't even fear the Judges. For an Undercity dweller to have somehow broken through the carefully-guarded walls of the Elite and even worse to have successfully escaped was bad enough. A homicide was almost unthinkable.

Joe calls Maria, his sexy young Italian landlady (and occasional girlfriend). "Sorry, sweetheart, but I'm gonna havta take a raincheck on that pizza. We got one bad case goin' down out here."

Dredd pulls his Lawgiver from inside his jacket, and sets the digital face to "Kill"...

Comments:

Interesting to kind of understate all the nastiness apparent in many of the other designs. But Dredd has to be all nasty, what with all the killing he does. Being capable of that shouldnít be compatible with any kind of normal life. Also we're really not so cool on the Miami Vice blazer and T-shirt look.

Judgement: 2

By: Bolt-01 (picture), Dudley (words)

Additional Text Description:In 1718, an ill-assorted group of privateers and general scurvy scum made their last stand on a small island in the Caribbean against the forces of King Richard IV. Officially, they lost.

For the next 400 years, rumours abounded of a lost city of free souls hidden in the thick swamps of that same island, La Escondida. A utopian community without laws, English speaking, but with strange devices unlike any of English manufacture. It was said that the pirates had used their vast wealth to buy their freedom from the British king, and had dedicated themselves to scientific endeavour. Fringe historians even speculated that the fire-weapons that had enabled the British to overcome the First American Revolt in 1778 had been of Escondidian manufacture.

In the 21st century, the Second American Revolt brought new fire from the skies. Mutation and disease followed in its wake, a gigadisaster the like of which had never been known. The non-aggression treaties between the British and Ottoman Empires collapsed, and the planet was plunged into the Great War. In the aftermath, the pirates of Escondida emerged from myth to command the North American continent.

Their anarchist police state is maintained by the rule of the Captains - unsleeping watchers of freedom. The Captains uphold the Two Articles of the Escondidan State:

1) Citizens may always be permitted to do as they please

2) No citizen may harm another nor cause another to be harmed

The penalty for breaking the articles is to be put to the sword. The penalty for plotting against the state is also to be put to the sword. The rulers of Mega-Escondida are a secretive and self-perpetuating oligarchy known as the Admirals.

The greatest of the upholders of the Articles is Captain Dredd. In anarchist Escondida, He Is The Law!

Comments:

Well, we like pirates, so we canít dislike this. Picture looks really cool but if the Escondidans have all that tech why doesnít he have any of it on display? Good that the whole backstory was explained in detail, although some of it we thought was total hogwash.

Judgement: 4

By: Vampirajen

Comments:

We liked the chest design. Everything else works, if a little unoriginal.

Judgement: 4

By: garywilkinson

Comments:

We like the idea of Dredd being evolved from a riot policeman. The design doesnít really make him look imposing enough to have authoritah though.

Judgement: 3

By: Tulkas

Comments:

Artwork very lovely.Design could be more original though.

Judgement: 3

By: Tulkas

Comments:

Again artwork lovely. Female design gives more opportunities for originality, like more interesting helmet design. Gotta love a big sword as well. But have you ever seen someone trying to make an arrest in six inch heels?

Judgement: 4

By: Jaredkatooie

Comments:

Like the tubes, and the eyes, but isnít he a bit too similar to a George Lucas-owned character?

Judgement: 2

By: mbanners

Comments:

This guy looks like an absolute asshole. Which is, we guess, appropriate. But he also looks like a fool, which makes him hard to respect.

Judgement: 2

By: Wils

Comments:

What a gimp! Fantastic, but not really viable...

Judgement: 1

By: esoteric ed

Comments:

Not how we imagined him.

Judgement: 1

By: Wadew

Comments:

We like the low-tech feel of him. Baseball bats are fun.

Judgement: 4

By: esoteric ed

Comments:

He looks like a power ranger.

Judgement: 1

By: jaredkatooie

Comments:

We like the picture but for wrong reasons. We think it is furny.

Judgement: 3

By: Woolly

Comments:

The artwork is really nice, but howís he supposed to fight crime when heís mincing around in a gown all the time?

Judgement: 3

By: Bolt-01

Comments:

Pretty nice artwork (nice chains and helmet design). But is another of the endless variations on the guy-wearing-black-and-body-armour.

Judgement: 3

By: Mini-Bolt

Comments:

We like the gun attachmenty thing, but aside from that it's a little average

Judgement: 3

By: Bolt-01

Comments:

Furny. If only this were feasible

Judgement: 1

By: Bolt-01

Comments:

We, of course, love the bipedal robots. That, the monkey factor and the good artwork makes this a favourite.

Judgement: 5

By: Woolly

Comments:

Very refined-looking design. But again I have issues with the fact heís not exactly got a sturdy outfit.

Judgement: 3

By: esoteric ed

Comments:

Like the angularity but not original. Also he looks constipated.

Judgement: 2

By: Mini-Bolt

Comments:

As we said before, we like the idea of Dredd evolving from a riot patrol type design. Artwork is good, and the body armour isnít overdone.

Judgement: 4

By: chimp

Comments:

Put some clothes on, man!

Judgement: 1

By: Longmanshort

Comments:

Hilarious, but sadly no...

Judgement: 1

By: jaredkatooie

Comments:

We wish....

Judgement: 1

By: paulvonscott

Comments:

Dredd in a skirt? We know itís meant to be a stylistic cue but the whole thing feel like a mishmash. And Dredd looks like he just found out that Santa isnít real.

Judgement: 2

By: Bart Diaz

Comments:

Flying Dredd (with German army style helmet we notice) kinda cool but not beefy enough.

Judgement: 3

By: Noisybast

Comments:

Design is refreshing, but unfortunately not that good.

Judgement: 2

By: Supersurfer

Comments:

Naw. What would be the point?

Judgement: 1

By: longmanshort

Comments:

Yes, lady Dredd is inevitable. Nice arse. Art. Not so practically greatÖ High heels and all again.

Judgement: 4

Text entry

By: Priv8eye

Entry:

OK. First of all we see the streets of megacity 1. A hover bike speeds down the street. (Deliberate choice of bike over a car, and nowadays i feel that a bike would automatically hover - please note, hover not fly).

It does have to look imposing though. It would be broad and long - longer at the front than at the back (yeah this could be going a little phallic). A series of high powered lights to blind/terrify the perps. Either side would still contain the cannons and the lazers. The bike is coloured black with gold coloured trimming.

The bike stops and Dredd gets off. He appears big and broad and the chin is still there. He wears a helmet (he rides abike, he comes under fire, a helmet would be sensible.) The helmet is black with gold trim again. it has a mic for communication. (I toyed wiht the idea of built in communication circuits built into the skull but visually this would be uninteresting.) the helmet also has some of small camera built into it (although this could be hidden) for use to track down lost judges, see what they last saw, transmit images back to base, for use in anoying "Police camera Action" style shows.

The uniform is uniformly black, both shoulders, chest and back are protected by alighter grey/black rounded padded armour (supplemented underneath by armour plateing). This gives a greater feeling of bulk and more menacing intimidating image to scare the perps. Smaller plates cover the abdomen. Over the heart area is is a circular gold badge with a star within (standard police image/identity), emblazoned across the star is the name Dredd (for easy recognition by the public of who they are).

The belt across the waist contains all the usual equipment along with one of those daysticks that snap out to full length and probably has a tazer effect to it when it strikes someone. the belt buckle would be fasioned around an image of a bald headed eagle (another popular american image).

A large pair of imposing, steel toecapped boots will help to finish off the image.

Comments:

Thought it was alright, murstly. But it seemed kinda obvious really. Big policeman wearing black rides phallic bike. There are gold bits to make him look shiny. Well, yah.

Judgement: 2

And The Winners Are...

4) Vampirajen

3) longmanshort

2) Bolt-01

1)Johnny eyebrows!!

Special mentions to: Tulkas for his female Dredd, Wils for 'Gimp Dredd', Mini-Bolt (pretending to have his gun attachment caused much drunken fun) and Dudley/Bolt-01 for the 'Pirate Dredd'.