Judge Dredd: Dark Justice
Writer: John Wagner
Artist: Greg Staples
Letterer: Annie Parkhouse
250 Limited Edition Bookplate copies available only from 2000AD Webstore £19.99
Originally published in 2000 AD Progs 2015 & 1912-1921
Judge Dredd was created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra
Judge Death was created by John Wagner and Brian Bolland
The Dark Judges were created by John Wagner, Alan Grant and Brian Bolland
Judge Death and the Dark ~Judges are one of the most popular enemies of Judge Dredd. It has been over two decades since all four appeared together. I am of course referring to the continuity in 2000AD, not the IDW series which exists in its own separate setting.
Judge Death first appeared in Prog 149 and his colleagues joined him in Prog 224. You can read more about their pas exploits in my article Who are the Dark Judges?, there are minor spoilers for this story in that article.
This story sees Judge Death and his fellow Dark Judges take to space. The preview pages below go in to setting uo the story. The preview pages are the entire episode from Prog 2015.
The first episode shows someone breaking in to the home of a rather well prepared citizen, though the intruder is better prepared. If you read Judge Dredd Day of Chaos you will know who this character is. You can find out in the Who are the Dark Judges? article, it isn’t too big a spoiler. We’ll find out more about him later this year. No points for guessing who the intruder is though.
The sixth page brings Judge Anderson in to the story, with the image of Integra Fairbrook who portrayed the character in the fan film Judge Minty and became the official Judge Anderson for Planet Replicas. The big reveal is on page seven.
There are cameos from other people from the cast and crew of Judge Minty throughout the story. That is because they helped Greg with photo shoots for reference pictures. Greg of course was the physical presence of Judge Dredd in Judge Minty, the voice was provided by Jared Butler.
This volume includes copies of e-mails between Greg and John Wagner. Greg had wanted to illustrate a Judge Death story for years and slowly talked John in to writing one.
Set aboard a colony ship full of some of the richest citizens of Mega-City One this story has a slight feel of Aliens. I couldn’t help spotting some homage to Silent Running, though is that inevitable with a colony ship?
There is plenty of action and characterisation and this story, unlike some stories featuring Judge Death and the Dark Judges, is played straight. The Dark Judges are something to fear.
The story is entirely painted by hand and took two years to complete. What brilliant artwork it is too. The colours are magnificent and though they look good in the preview I am certain they’ll look better in the book itself, they certainly did in the weekly Progs. The pages are alive with energy and life, no corrective action has been taken once the pages were complete so you can see a few pages where paint leaked under the masking tape.
There are 66 pages of story followed by 22 pages of cover art, teaser art, sketches, designs, pencils and unlettered finished pages. The art is followed by a page showing two photos of the Judge Minty team and then an afterword from Greg Staples about the project.