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Author Topic: Dredd at Number 2?  (Read 1326 times)

positronic

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #45 on: 21 April, 2017, 09:08:20 am »
Dredd doesn't always agree with the law, or those in power, I don't see the problem in that continuing to come up. Even if the system did cease to function, you could continue telling that story.

He can't claim "I am the Law" unless he is acting not like an individual,

The beauty of it is, he can. He says he's the law, but he's not actually a robot who only follows the law. It may be a bit of a contradiction, but that's who he is. He doesn't just follow orders, he was raised in that environment so the Book of Law is almost his bible, but he's shown over the years that he also listens to his gut. We know that he does act as an individual, that's why everybody in the city and all the Judges act like he's somebody different and notable. Often times over the years they don't seem to know what Dredd will do or where he'll fall on an issue, because he isn't just a walking talking law book. Even if he likes to think he is.

And the system the comic is based on has lasted decades with that character growth and depth, hasn't been a problem.

But you have stories like the one where the Democracy referendum and Judge Dredd's questioning of the system (and himself) after he takes covert action to suppress the Democratic party's ability to participate in a free vote leads to him doubting both the system's and his own efficacy and resigning as a Judge. It's true that it demonstrates that this is a story possibility, but if there's a lot of that going on in a lot of stories, then the basic premise of the Judge Dredd strip changes in ways that make it unfamiliar and unsatisfying to a lot of readers, who expect Dredd to be somewhat of a bastard when it comes to enforcing the Law, and to support the justness of the letter of the law (the system) as opposed to individual freedom or individual intent or ignorance of it. We expect him to enforce the Law harshly, as opposed to leniently.

A good example of what I'm talking about (which involves doubts about the system and action taken by a Judge who questions it) is the recently-concluded IDW 12-issue Judge Dredd series that tells the story of "Mega City Zero". In that story, a Judge deemed unfit for street duty (who is nevertheless recognized as a computer expert and statistical analysis prodigy) determined that her analysis of crime statistics reveals a correlation between a lesser or lack of Judge surveillance, patrolling and arrests made in certain sectors, and the overall downward incidence of crime in those sectors. Through a complicated plot twist involving the use of a Justice department-seized cyber-narcotic which induces an altered-reality state (which I don't pretend to have completely grasped), somehow this Judge is able to infect the Justice One computer with a virus which causes Mega City One and the whole Judge system to cease to exist. Judge Dredd personally avoids being altered as an individual through some further complication, but awakes in a reality in which Mega City One and the Judge system no longer exists, and society (what exists of it) is now governed by some form of anarchy and social media. Whether the status quo in the story is undermined by the doubts and questions raised by Dredd or another Judge is a moot point as far as how the basic world of Mega City One is affected and how the rest of the story plays out. This was for me a very unsatisfying Judge Dredd story because it deviates too far from the basic established premise and familiar elements that I expect to see in a Judge Dredd story, although some readers may have liked it. The story also put Dredd in a position of acting and reacting, and making decisions he ordinarily wouldn't be faced with or make, because he's not operating in his usual fashion with a Judge system whose laws his edict is to enforce.
« Last Edit: 21 April, 2017, 09:14:50 am by positronic »

positronic

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #46 on: 21 April, 2017, 09:32:34 am »
I guess what I'm saying is that I tend not to prefer a Dredd story that portrays in terms of being too heroic, too much of a good guy. I always think we should never lose our awareness of the unforgiving nature of the system he represents, and he should always be too much "The Man", straightlaced and a 'scary cop' type as opposed to the friendly cop on the beat who we look up to for help and to save us. There has to be some of that in the stories, but there should be a balance maintained so that we never get comfortable in thinking that we can always rely on Dredd to "do the right thing".

positronic

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #47 on: 21 April, 2017, 10:22:51 am »
Dredd doesn't always agree with the law, or those in power, I don't see the problem in that continuing to come up. Even if the system did cease to function, you could continue telling that story.
We know that he does act as an individual, that's why everybody in the city and all the Judges act like he's somebody different and notable.
[/quote]

My view is that he's respected due to his years of experience in his unyielding devotion to upholding the Law, and the fact that he's slightly inhuman (or superhuman, if you prefer) in that particular regard makes him more effective and an example of an ideal for other Judges to look up to. Not because he debates the merits of the Laws he enforces, or moderates the enforcement of them by taking into consideration other factors. Now, to the extent that the Law is just and the crimes egregious, that makes him appear heroic in opposing them with his utmost ability, which is considerable. The older stories in the 1980s frequently had a slyly mocking tone in portraying Dredd as the ultimate avatar of a totalitarian system, and of his ultimate 'righteousness' whether the Law represented true justice or not. But of course on the other hand, that's just the guy you want protecting you if the criminals are sometimes as heinous as the ones in many of the stories.
« Last Edit: 21 April, 2017, 10:24:51 am by positronic »

positronic

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #48 on: 21 April, 2017, 10:56:16 am »
He's made attempts to change things from within to a certain degree, not always successfully. At other times he plays the role of someone who prevents someone else from changing the system from within. If his doubts come to the forefront to the extent of where he questions whether the judge system is the form of government best for the citizens of Mega City One, then he can't function as a Judge anymore. It occurs to me that John Wagner and Alan Grant had some fundamental disagreement over exactly the topic you're raising regarding Dredd, which led to dissolving their long co-writer partnership.

The story doesn't revolve around anyone's doubts about the system or Dredd's role in it, so calm your horses! If I summarize the whole thing, I would say it's about a master and his truculent pupil.

... You lost me there. Are you talking about some fanfic stories you're working on?  I thought we were debating what direction the actual published stories might possibly be heading, or what direction (or characterization angle for Dredd) they should be taking.

NapalmKev

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #49 on: 21 April, 2017, 11:18:37 am »
The Dredd strip has evolved over the years. I like the fact we now have a Dredd who not only has doubts about the system he upholds, but will actively voice his concerns.

A consistent, Bastardly horrible Dredd wouldn't leave much room for character development.

Additionally, Dredd is satirical - it's not a training guide for wanna be fascists.

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positronic

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #50 on: 21 April, 2017, 11:32:49 am »
The Dredd strip has evolved over the years. I like the fact we now have a Dredd who not only has doubts about the system he upholds, but will actively voice his concerns.

A consistent, Bastardly horrible Dredd wouldn't leave much room for character development.

Additionally, Dredd is satirical - it's not a training guide for wanna be fascists.

Well, it was satirical back in the day. He's not going to be a bastard all of the time, or not going to come off looking that way in contrast to some situations or when dealing with criminals in stories as they're written -- you want him to be a bastard in dealing with criminal scum. I sometimes wonder why I don't see the satirical aspect addressed too much in stories of more recent vintage.

Magnetica

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #51 on: 21 April, 2017, 12:26:02 pm »
A good example of what I'm talking about (which involves doubts about the system and action taken by a Judge who questions it) is the recently-concluded IDW 12-issue Judge Dredd series that tells the story of "Mega City Zero".

As far as I am concerned nothing that happens in the IDW version of Dredd is canon in 2000AD Dredd. :lol:

positronic

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #52 on: 21 April, 2017, 02:01:19 pm »
A good example of what I'm talking about (which involves doubts about the system and action taken by a Judge who questions it) is the recently-concluded IDW 12-issue Judge Dredd series that tells the story of "Mega City Zero".

As far as I am concerned nothing that happens in the IDW version of Dredd is canon in 2000AD Dredd. :lol:

Oh, I definitely agree as far as the Mega City Zero story (and "The Blessed Earth" sequel), as well as the first ongoing IDW series written by Duane Swierczynski (which seemed to me like a rehash of various plot threads from many previous-published Dredd stories). There is a Judge Dredd Year One miniseries by Matt Smith and Simon Coleby published by IDW that might have some claim to being canon, though. A Judge Dredd: Mega City Two and Judge Anderson miniseries were published that are set at specific 'blank' spots early in each character's career that don't seem like they conflict with any established canon stories, either. While at first I had a tendency to think anything first published outside of 2000 AD itself and the Megazine wouldn't be canon, there are those crossover stories with Batman, Aliens, Predator, etc. which are accepted and have also been printed within the pages of 2000 AD as well (not sure about where the Mars Attacks Judge Dredd series falls in that consideration, but the creators seem like they might be more 'authoritative' than people involved in the IDW ongoing comics).

Whether the story is canon or not isn't the point, though. It's merely an example of a type of story, which deviates from the usual status quo because of a Judge (normally it would be Dredd) having philosophical doubts or questioning why things should be the way they are. I only brought it up because the details are recently fresh in my memory, and it represents a rather extreme example. Yet there's nothing stopping any other Dredd story which seeks to examine the philosophical underpinnings or ethical values of the Judge system, or even of particular laws under that system, from leading to upsetting the status quo, either.

Sandman1

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #53 on: 21 April, 2017, 04:03:51 pm »
... You lost me there. Are you talking about some fanfic stories you're working on?

Yes, and I thought it was pretty clear.

positronic

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Re: Dredd at Number 2?
« Reply #54 on: 21 April, 2017, 06:31:48 pm »
... You lost me there. Are you talking about some fanfic stories you're working on?

Yes, and I thought it was pretty clear.

I guess I missed it because I was focused on whatever you were viewing as the negative aspects of having cloning technology available in the universe of Judge Dredd, relative to the prospects of his potential death and replacement.

I guess you could just go ahead and have the Judges declare cloning illegal in your story, and -- problem solved.