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Author Topic: Should Dredd ever be killed off?  (Read 12786 times)

Syne

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Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« on: 08 April, 2012, 11:38:27 pm »
I'm in two minds about this. On the one hand, it would be the loss of a great character. And from a business point of view it might be considered crazy, wiping out a "franchise" that is synonymous with 2000ad itself.

But on the other hand, I really don't want to see Dredd dragged on and on forever, like Superman or Batman, until the whole thing becomes washed out. The death of judges, even established characters, has never been glossed over in the stories. One of the low points of the series, I think, came when Ennis was portraying Dredd as some kind of superhuman who could fight off hundreds of perps without breaking a sweat. Wagner's current portrayal of the aging Dredd, with frequent references to him "not being as fast as he used to be" and how he expects to die in the line of duty sooner or later, is far more powerful.

Trouble is, the longer Dredd's "decline" is dragged out the less powerful it becomes dramatically. There were references to him slowing down 20 years ago. If he's still complaining about his creaking bones 20 years from now, well, the whole thing will have become kinda a joke.

So whattaya think? Should he just be bumped off and the title changed to, I dunno, "Judge Beeny"? Should the whole thing be rebooted from zero? (Nooo!) Or should we trust in the writers to keep the character fresh forever and ever and ever?     

Onlyverysmall

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #1 on: 08 April, 2012, 11:54:40 pm »
I can understand where this idea is coming from, in the real time way that this British character will never have a rollback and new origin like The main US characters do.
   You are suggesting killing the main character, though, which cannot be taken back. (incidentally, how does Alan Grant feel about Wagner chucking two of his published story ideas into the trash?).
   I don't think it can happen.
Interesting question though.

Syne

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #2 on: 09 April, 2012, 12:01:12 am »
I can understand where this idea is coming from, in the real time way that this British character will never have a rollback and new origin like The main US characters do.
   You are suggesting killing the main character, though, which cannot be taken back. (incidentally, how does Alan Grant feel about Wagner chucking two of his published story ideas into the trash?).
   I don't think it can happen.
Interesting question though.

I'm still not sure what I think of Alpha's resurrection, myself. His death was a really powerful moment in the comic's history. When I saw the episode of Spaced where they mention being traumatised by "Johnny Alpha being killed by that big flying thing," I knew exactly what they meant.

Onlyverysmall

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #3 on: 09 April, 2012, 12:19:12 am »
Oh, yeah, it was a big event. In a way, he died before with Wulf, then this, and then with the gronk/Feral story in which his soul has in some kind of 'body of pain'. You can shrug and say "It's just a comic" or you can man the barricades!
   I think there is some way of comparison in terms of the;

British-

Doctor Who and Judge Dredd

US-

Star Trek and Superman


I find that in Star Trek continuity isfar more important than in Doctor Who. They even cast Freema Agyamang as two different characters, that would not happen in Star Trek.

This is turning into an essay, so I'll stop there. I started something I couldn't finish.

Spikes

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #4 on: 09 April, 2012, 12:34:39 am »
With regards to if we'll ever see Dredd being killed off, i kinda doubt it - or at least i cant imagine it ever happening, but eventually he'll get just too old for the job.
With that in mind, ive always been intrigued by that scene in Origins, when Fargo says to Joe and Rico, that he's going back into suspended animation, and that the medical team have a "fool idea of putting my essence into another body".
Summat similar on the cards for Dredd, when the time comes?

Kowalsky (formerly JudgeGumpty)

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #5 on: 09 April, 2012, 12:52:55 am »
With regards to if we'll ever see Dredd being killed off, i kinda doubt it - or at least i cant imagine it ever happening, but eventually he'll get just too old for the job.
With that in mind, ive always been intrigued by that scene in Origins, when Fargo says to Joe and Rico, that he's going back into suspended animation, and that the medical team have a "fool idea of putting my essence into another body".
Summat similar on the cards for Dredd, when the time comes?

That sounds very plausible to me Judge Jack. Literally keeping Joe on ice till the darkest hour when hes needed again, which in all probability he wouldnt be in there that long.
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JOE SOAP

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #6 on: 09 April, 2012, 01:46:01 am »
Mark Millar had a similar idea in Red Razors: a Dredd or clone on ice when needed -then sold to the Sovs- needless to say it was a bad idea then and it's a bad idea now along with brain transplants/body-switching etc. If he were to die, which he won't and doesn't need to for a long time yet, it won't be some lingering open-ended thing but final.

A 70 year-old in the 22nd century may not plausibly be as decrepit as one in the 21st so the ageing problem can play out a lot longer still.

Kowalsky (formerly JudgeGumpty)

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #7 on: 09 April, 2012, 03:34:39 am »
Mark Millar had a similar idea in Red Razors: a Dredd or clone on ice when needed -then sold to the Sovs- needless to say it was a bad idea then and it's a bad idea now along with brain transplants/body-switching etc. If he were to die, which he won't and doesn't need to for a long time yet, it won't be some lingering open-ended thing but final.

A 70 year-old in the 22nd century may not plausibly be as decrepit as one in the 21st so the ageing problem can play out a lot longer still.

Good point Joe I can see that being fed with stimulants, organ transplantation and the will to fight on would be feasible fr Joe to stay on till late 60s/70s .
As a matter of interest though at what age do Judges go on the "long walk" ?
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The Adventurer

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #8 on: 09 April, 2012, 03:47:44 am »
The interesting thing about Dredd is that you could kill him off with out killing the franchise. Mega-City 1 and Justice Department have a life of their own beyond Dredd the man. Dredd has always been a vehical to explore his world more then a character with a deep personal story. Doing the samething without Dredd would be no large stretch. Name it 'Mega-City Justice' (or something) and make it an ensemble cast book featuring Beeny, Giant, and Rico as 'the next generation of The Law'. It could totally work.
« Last Edit: 09 April, 2012, 03:51:04 am by The Adventurer »

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Emperor

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #9 on: 09 April, 2012, 04:25:25 am »
I think when (and hopefully this is a long way off) John Wagner decides to retire, he gets the option of killing Dredd or he might do it before I suppose to keep us on our toes.

Judge Rico originally sported the Dredd badge too and changed it, so I'd imagine what would happen is Rico would switch back to his old badge to honour our fallen hero. It wouldn't be the same as Rico doesn't have the same status as Dredd so we'd see more of a focus on street level but it'd allow the Judge Dredd series to continue with a stickler for the law acting as our window into the wild world of MC1.

I'd be sad and shocked but life would move on.
if I went 'round saying I was an Emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

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TordelBack

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #10 on: 09 April, 2012, 04:31:45 am »
Essentially agree with Emperor.  I don't want to see Dredd replaced, and I've no doubt that it would fundamentally devalue the strip, but I accept that it has to happen at some point.  Re-juves and brain transplants and outright stopping the clock would be a thousand times worse. 

The Adventurer

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #11 on: 09 April, 2012, 04:44:29 am »
Personally I am 100% AGAINST Rico putting on the Dredd badge and acting as the Dredd replacement. Primarily because, and this is the important bit, Rico is not Dredd. That's the entire point of Rico. He's his own man. Simply stepping into the old man's tight boots frankly would be a complete disservice to the character of Rico. Not to mention the most boring option available. And there is one thing Judge Dredd should never be, is boring.

I'd rather see Dredd undergo more and more and more implausible shelf-life extending super-science procedures to keep him around then see Rico simply wear the badge.

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NorthVox

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #12 on: 09 April, 2012, 05:17:30 am »
Here's how it could work:

Dredd defiantly faces an enemy, however due to age and fatigue, he is put into a situation where is unable to defeat this enemy without dying himself. Now this enemy should be somebody or something that poses a threat to the entire city, somethign similar to Total War. Dredd would give his life, passing the mantle onto Rico. Rico would accept the mantle, and in honour of the old man, change his name to Dredd. After all, he claimed the name Rico in order "to give it a second chance" (if memory serves me correctly), so perhaps he has a change of heart along the course of events leading to Dredd's death, and decides that Mega-City One NEEDS a Dredd, and that his service to the city is far more important than his personal quest to try and save the Rico name. In doing this, he is kicking aside a large chunk of his humanity, becoming the same machine that Dredd was. Then you simply do a quick relaunch, a brand new Dredd with a brand new history and mythos awaiting to be built.

By doing this we still have "Dredd" as the toughest law-man of Mega-City One to headline 2000AD (I'm talking about having Rico basically, for all intents and purposes, BE Dredd), whilst also getting around the pesky age issue. It wouldn't damage the Rico character either, in fact it would be a great piece of character development, to show how Rico failed to be independent in the shadow of the old man, and instead bended to the system and all it's flaws the same way the young Dredd did, before he became cynical and started questioning the law, banging on about mutant rights and what have you.

That I think could potentially work.

Failing that, nah, just clone Dredd a new body without a brain, transplant his brain into the new body, and hey presto, Dredd lives on.

Or!

Kill Dredd, then reveal there was a new Dredd clone just entering the streets, brand new Dredd, basicaly same character, now has to live up to the Dredd name as Dredd had to live up to fargo, starts small with street level crime, works his way up as the comic progresses, new relationships, new character to develop.

Tonnes of possibilities spring to mind, some of which save Dredd, others see him die but save the franchise and in a sense, keep the Dredd story going.

Emperor

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #13 on: 09 April, 2012, 05:17:52 am »
Personally I am 100% AGAINST Rico putting on the Dredd badge and acting as the Dredd replacement. Primarily because, and this is the important bit, Rico is not Dredd. That's the entire point of Rico. He's his own man. Simply stepping into the old man's tight boots frankly would be a complete disservice to the character of Rico.

Well that's kinda my point - he might be called Judge Dredd (as he was originally) but he wouldn't be the same character despite there being similarities, obviously. However, there would be enough about him for him to feel familiar while we get used to him and his stories.
if I went 'round saying I was an Emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

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NorthVox

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Re: Should Dredd ever be killed off?
« Reply #14 on: 09 April, 2012, 05:21:12 am »
Personally I am 100% AGAINST Rico putting on the Dredd badge and acting as the Dredd replacement. Primarily because, and this is the important bit, Rico is not Dredd. That's the entire point of Rico. He's his own man. Simply stepping into the old man's tight boots frankly would be a complete disservice to the character of Rico.

Well that's kinda my point - he might be called Judge Dredd (as he was originally) but he wouldn't be the same character despite there being similarities, obviously. However, there would be enough about him for him to feel familiar while we get used to him and his stories.

The Rico option is definately a controversial one, but with the right writers on board, it could prove to be a great move, to see how he becomes molded and becomes "Dredd", through experience and what have you.