a Judge Dredd gallery
-My opinion of Judge Dredd is that he is a distinctly British and/or European superhero character.
For the purposes of contrast and comparison, I’ll talk about Superman for a minute or two:
Superman is the perfect example of the American Ideal. “Send us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses”. He is the ultimate expression of that. An immigrant to our country that flourishes in his new environment. That is what makes Superman such a key part of the American Experience:
He is our Mythical Hero. He is our King Arthur. You are not supposed to understand why or how he does the things he does. The answer is always the same- “he is Superman!” People are supposed to BELIEVE in Superman, not understand and relate to him. Consequently, a character like Superman would not really work in the UK or the rest of Europe. Not that British/European writers and artists cannot do him justice, far from it (All Star Superman!), all I am saying is that the character’s genesis is distinctly American.
Compare the creation of Judge Dredd in the 1970s of London. He is a character that works as the last, best hope of justice in a hopelessly over populated urban center like Mega City 1, or for example, London.
If you have never seen pictures of modern day London, here is a little tip: London is HUGE.
Look at it on a map.
People in the USA that have not seen it might not realize that. It is mind-bogglingly huge. Not really skyscrapers, just urban sprawl. It just keeps going in every direction. Block after block, building after building. And they did not design London to be a 21st Century Metropolis. It is the same London that was there in the year 1200, there are just more buildings, more roads, more cars, and more people. Consequently, there are streets in London that a person can barely walk on, let alone drive a car.
A character like Judge Dredd is perfectly suited for consumption by the populace of a city like London. People in London are inherently aware of the large mass of people living in close proximity. I mean, Cops do not use guns there. Cops use truncheons, because they deal with a lot of rowdy drunks, and it is better to wallop one loud mouth with a beating stick than it is to fire a gun.
You read enough Judge Dredd, and you get a feel for the society of the people who are writing and drawing his stories. I think that that is one of the reasons that Dredd does not have the following in the USA that he does in the UK and Europe.