Judge Joseph Dredd is a fictional character created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra. He first appeared in the second issue of 2000 AD (1977), a British weekly anthology comic. He is the magazine’s longest-running character. He also appears in a number of film and video game adaptations.
Judge Dredd is a law enforcement and judicial officer in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One, which covers most of the east coast of North America. He is a “street judge”, empowered to summarily arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals.
In Great Britain, the character of Dredd and his name are sometimes invoked in discussions of police states, authoritarianism, and the rule of law. Over the years Judge Dredd has been hailed as one of the best satires of American and British culture with an uncanny trend to predict upcoming events such as rampant mass surveillance, rise of populist leaders, and even the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2011, IGN ranked Judge Dredd 35th among the top 100 comic book heroes of all time.