There is a certain quality to the Dark Knight of Gotham carrying an undeniable appeal. Even in crossover that seemed to work only on paper can become grand epics of good versus evil. One of the more intriguing crossovers was with a certain Judge from Mega-City One, Judge Dredd. Being one of my favorite crossovers, period, Batman/Judge Dredd offers amazing action and an exciting story line impossible to forget.
Dredd, for those who don’t know, is a satirical character from Great Britain’s Rebellion Comics on the American justice system in a distant future where the police are literally judge, jury, and, if need be, executioner. Despite being a satirical character, he is also a major force to be reckoned with and is anything but comical in his avocation of the law.
Especially when he starts shooting stuff, that is not fun at all.
Batman and Dredd’s story spans four significant arcs in the Batman/Judge Dredd crossovers. starting with Judgement on Gotham, and going through Vendetta in Gotham, The Ultimate Riddle, and finally Die Laughing.
As Dredd is the literal embodiment of law itself, he is not keen on vigilantes running wild in his city. so when he meets Batman when the Dark Knight takes on Judge Death, a fierce enemy of Dredd.
Forced to work together, the two begin a grudging alliance as they try to save their cities and themselves from the wanton destruction of Judge Death, the Scarecrow, the Riddler, the Ventriloquist, and the Joker. Each story carries is own feel, vibe, and personal touch that give them their own autonomy, while still weaving a grander story with a thrilling conclusion.
Personally, while I like the second and third acts, I feel the first and fourth arcs are the strongest. The art is weird, creepy and gorgeous. The story doesn’t let you go, and the twists give the story an exciting flavor. Dredd has the look of a man ready to burst through a wall and take on all the gangs and criminals the city can throw at him. Batman is simply trying to keep his city from tearing itself apart. And the supporting cast for these two specific stories are superb.
If you want to read a Batman story that isn’t canon, or if you want to get a real introduction to Judge Dredd, this is an excellent read.
What did you think of the crossover? Which were your favorite stories?