“Here Comes the Judge”
Writer: Chris Claremont
Pencils: Alan Davis
Colours: Glynis Oliver
Letters: Tom Orzechowski and Kevin Cunningham
Editor: Terry Kavanagh
Original publication date: June 1990
Here comes the Judge Dredd homage you’ve been waiting for, with Scott Weatherly, editor of the recent anthology Judging Dredd, joining Anna, Mav, and Andrew to talk all things Mega-City One-inspired in Excalibur #23, “Here Comes the Judge.” Defying the fascist rule of the Justicers, everyone finds something to do—and someone to love—in a jam-packed issue featuring action, heartbreak, comedy, and social commentary, plus AU Darkchylde Illyana Rasputin and Kurt’s first confrontation with a too-human self. Oh, and did we mention Alan Davis is back? Because he is and we’re SO HAPPY.
This episode has an enhanced video version! Watch here:
On the birth of Dredd:
“Judge Dredd was, ironically, born from the UK’s own moral panic about comics. Basically, they figured: if we can’t show red blood, we’ll show green blood. And if we can’t show Dirty Harry or Dixon of Dock Green beating people up, we’ll send them into the future. So, Judge Dredd was born.” -Scott
On the discomfort of Dredd:
“There’s a plausible deniability with American superhero comics where the characters support the law but are ostensibly outside of it, so they don’t have to be directly associated with the state. And that’s very useful to America’s rebellious, individualist self-image. But the Judge Dredd comics implicate you in the violence, which can be very uncomfortable for American readers used to comics that reward their sense of righteous outsider-ness.” -Anna
On resurrecting Illyana (however briefly):
“This is Claremont showing us what Illyana would have become had she not made her sacrifice. It’s a great bit of wing-manning for Louise Simonson. It’s hard to see Illyana only to lose her again, but it lends poignancy to a story I’m deeply attached to.” -Andrew
More affection for Illyana:
“What made Illyana so fascinating to me as a 15-year-old struggling with my own individuality, and feeling like an outsider, was that Illyana, even more so than any other X-Man, is an outsider. She fits in nowhere. Even her best friends know she’s secretly evil.” -Mav
On Brian and Meggan’s character growth:
“Having known where Meggan comes from, it’s always good to see her being strong, creatively using her powers to save the day, while Brian has to stay behind and reckon with consequences.” -Scott
On Kurt vs Cadbury:
“This is the first time we have Kurt confronting a human-looking counterpart. And it’s perfect. These four panels are a fanservice-y love letter showing why Kurt’s not the traditional jerkwad male action hero – why he’s better and more desirable.” -Anna
On Kurt and Meggan’s affinity:
“Having Kurt and monstrous Meggan together, in prison, as fellow persecuted outsiders, shows an affinity between Kurt and Meggan that adds something important and complex to their relationship.” -Anna
On romance and consequences:
“There are obvious problems with this Kurt/Meggan story, involving Meggan’s lack of agency. But it does help us understand 616 Meggan. If she’s anything like this Meggan – she wants to be loved in spite of being a monster. And Kurt gives her that.” -Mav
Want more Scott Weatherly?
Here’s the ad copy:
“In 1977, future lawman Judge Dredd roared onto the pages of 2000AD and quickly became a fan favorite. Under the pens of John Wagner, Pat Mills, and many others, Dredd’s world has thrilled fans and satirized society for over four decades.
Judging Dredd: Examining the World of Judge Dredd travels the mean streets of Mega-City One and the wastes of the Cursed Earth. This collection of essays examines the series and its world, from its greatest sagas, its predictions on national security, Dredd’s weirdest crossovers, and even his movie adaptations. With a foreword by Matt Smith and an interview with Rob Williams, this book is a must for every Judge Dredd fan!”
And as usual:
You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun).