Anyone who is even remotely familiar with Judge Dredd understands that the man is a total badass. He’s sort of like Marvel’s Punisher if Frank Castle was sanctioned by the U.S. government and given giant, golden shoulder pads. But just because Dredd is judge, jury and executioner in his own universe of Mega-City One doesn’t automatically mean he’s the galaxy’s meanest man (or monster) on the block… that title is earned. In fact, it’s been earned several times over thanks to a healthy catalog of crossovers Dredd has had over the years, squaring off against everyone from acid-spitting Aliens to pointy-eared vigilantes.
In honor of our JUDGEMENT DAY event, we’re counting down Judge Dredd’s Top 5 Best Comic Book Crossovers!
#5 – Lobo/Judge Dredd: Psycho Bikers vs The Mutant from Hell (1995)
This one shot saw DC Universe’s intergalactic bounty hunter, Lobo, taking on 2000 AD’s toughest cop. Taking place at the height of the Main Man’s popularity, Lobo/Judge Dredd had the potential to be an epic Law Man vs The Lawless type scenario chock full of stylized, over-the-top violence. In actuality, the story is so tame that neither title character do much fighting at all, least of which with each other. There’s a few cool beats here and there, such as Lobo and Mean Machine Angel going at it, but overall there’s way too much bark and not enough bite.
#4 – Predator vs Judge Dredd (1998)
Much like Lobo/Judge Dredd, while the concept for this crossover sounds great (the original Issue #1 cover even had a Predator in full Judge gear!) the execution is a bit lacking. A rogue Predator comes to Mega-City One and begins picking off Judges one by one. Surprisingly enough this doesn’t seem like the Judges’ first encounter with a Predator, though it doesn’t seem to help them much. Finally, Dredd takes note and, with the help of Psi-Judge Schaefer (descendant of Dutch Schaefer from the original Predator film) takes the creature down.
#3 – Judge Dredd: Judgement Day
The only crossover on this list where Dredd doesn’t share top billing, Judgement Day was actually a crossover with Strontium Dog (another 2000 AD series). Written by Garth Ennis (Preacher, Hitman, Punisher), the story saw a villain named Sabbat literally raise the dead, not only in Mega-City One but all over the world. In other words, this means we get to see Dredd versus Zombies! It’s not long before a time-traveling Johnny Alpha, from Stronium Dog, makes his appearance and joins the fray (much to the chagrin of Dredd). There’s definitely some unease between the two and it’s apparent they have a history together. Apparently, this story arc was so good it was even adapted as an iOS game: Judge Dredd vs Zombies.
#2 – Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus (2003)
Unlike Predator vs Judge Dredd this intergalactic crossover proved to be pitch-perfect for both franchises. Things go south quick when a low-level crook named Jimmy Godber decides to bring some Alien eggs to Mega-City One for a quick profit. Seems like what Jimmy didn’t know is that the Xenomorphs can be pretty freaking nasty creatures, a lesson learned all too late for both himself and the Judges. As the story progresses it turns out the Xenomorph “invasion” was all part of a bigger plan by some guy called “Mr. Bones.” A bit predictable, but plenty of fun.
#1 – Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgement on Gotham (1991)
While these Batman and Dredd have actually clashed on more than one occassion, Judgement on Gotham stands as the first and best crossover. Featuring stunning artwork by Simon Bisley and co-written by John Wagner (co-creator of Dredd) and Alan Grant, Judgement on Gotham understands what makes these characters so similar and, simultaneously, so different with plenty of action to boot! Batman faces off against both Judge Death and Mean Machine Angel only to be put down by Dredd (don’t worry, Bats gives as good as he takes). Things only get more interesting from here as Judge Death forms an uneasy alliance with The Scarecrow and Dredd must unite with Batman to stop it!
Not all of Dredd’s crossovers have taken place within the pages of a comic book. Some equally entertaining ones have been either one-off art pieces or even fan-made videos!
Judge Dredd vs Everyone
Done as a promotional piece in 1978 by 2000 AD, this illustration shows Judge Dredd having unabashedly decimated several comic icons from both Marvel and DC Comics.
I’m sure they broke a law or two somewhere down the line, so I suppose it’s all fair play. Just goes to show you that no one is above the law… not even Superman.
Judge Dredd vs Robocop
I have to admit that this one seems like a no-brainer, but what do I know. Anyway, this fan-made short uses toys to pit Dredd against the robot with a soul (sorta), Robocop, and it’s actually pretty well done. The payoff at the end seems a little extreme but, hey, it makes for a good show!