If there’s one thing that’s been truly missing from recent interpretations of the classic 2000AD icon Judge Dredd, it’s the cold, biting social satire of its original intent – you could even say it’s an element been absent from contemporary prog adventures, too.
But back in the 70’s and 80’s, the sharp tongue of Dredd’s writers was in full flow and the commentary on that rather grim social and political ear bled from every panel… That’s not to say that, however, it didn’t land them in hot water on occasion.
In 1978, the first true Judge Dredd epic storyline (exceeding twenty episodes) THE CURSED EARTH was written by Pat Mills and sends an expedition of Judges across the ravages of the radioactive ruins of North America to supply the stricken Mega-City Two with an antidote to a virus that threatens to tear the megapolis apart. In doing so, Mills was given the opportunity to poke fun at many of the US’s corporate trademarks and branding, including Burger King, Ronald McDonald, the Jolly Green Giant, the Michelin Man. However, this opportunity resulted in the targets of said mockery to summon their own ‘Dark Judges’ and take 2000AD to court.
The resulting court case forced the publishers to back down, settle and pay out a tidy sum out of court, and shelve the offending progs – ‘Soul Food’ and ‘Burger Wars’ – never to be seen again… Until now.
Next July, nicely in time to parade at their booth at San Diego Comic-Con, 2000AD will be reprinting the ‘banned’ chapters in a complete edition of the whole tale for the first time – THE CURSED EARTH UNCENSORED.
We’ll be doing a full review of this epic tome the second a copy lands on our desk – it’ll be a review thirty-eight years in the making and we can’t wait. In the meantime, enjoy these preview pages of the offending articles.