Judge Dredd is a fictional character who appears in British comic books published by Rebellion Developments, as well as in a number of movie and video game adaptations. He was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, and first appeared in the second issue of 2000 AD (1977), a weekly science-fiction anthology. He is that magazine's longest-running character.
Joseph Dredd is a law enforcement officer in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One in North America. He is a "street judge", empowered to summarily arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals.
Joseph Dredd is the most famous of the Street Judges that patrol Mega-City One, charged to instantly convict, sentence, and execute offenders. Dredd is armed with a "Lawgiver" pistol (programmed to recognise only his palm-print, and capable of six types of ammunition), a daystick, a knife and stun or gas grenades. His helmet obscures his face, except for his mouth and jaw. He rides a large "Lawmaster" motorcycle equipped with machine-guns, a powerful laser cannon, and full artificial intelligence capable of responding to orders from the Judge and operating itself.
The setting of Judge Dredd is a dystopian future Earth damaged by a series of international conflicts; much of the planet has become radioactive wasteland, and so populations have aggregated in enormous conurbations known as 'mega-cities'. The story is centred on the megalopolis of Mega-City One, on the east coast of North America. Within Mega-City One, extensive automation (including intelligent robots) has rendered the majority of the population unemployed. As a consequence, the general population is prone to embracing any fashion or craze they encounter. Mega-City One is surrounded by the inhospitable "Cursed Earth". Much of the remaining world's geography is somewhat vague, although other mega-cities are visited in the strip.