List of technology in Judge Dredd

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This is a list of future technology and equipment appearing in the British comic strip Judge Dredd appearing in 2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine and related publications.

Equipment[edit]

Birdie[edit]

The birdie is a hand-held lie detector used by the Judges. It can operate even when held behind the user's back where the person being tested can not see it. Judges are trained to fool these machines, so when a judge has to be interrogated, more old-fashioned equipment is used, sometimes in conjunction with truth drugs.

Face changing machines[edit]

Rather than having to resort to plastic surgery face changing machines allow people to change their features virtually instantly. This has proved a useful resource for the criminal fraternity. In spite of this Judges have not outlawed them (as they have most equipment useful in crime). The Department is known to use them in their own undercover operations.

Mechanismo[edit]

Main article: Mechanismo

The Mechanismo Programme was a project to build robot judges to police the streets of Mega-City One. It faced heavy resistance from Dredd who was proved right when a couple of the robots ran amok.

Psionic amplifier[edit]

The psionic amplifier or psi-amp is a machine which exponentially increases the psionic power of the user (provided that the user has at least some psionic ability to begin with). The machine runs on electricity and is generally shaped either like a coffin or a chair. It works by converting the user's own "life-force" into psionic energy, which gives the user extraordinary power far greater than what anybody could achieve unaided. However the machine is always user-fatal, as once it is switched off the user's life-force is exhausted, and his body crumbles into dust. Consequently psi-amps are illegal, although the Judges keep one of their own for use in dire emergencies. Judge Omar died using it to destroy the demonic Seven Samurai when Shojun the Warlord summoned them from Hell to conquer Mega-City One.

The Virgin Judge Dredd novel "The Savage Amusement" by David Bishop featured a psi-amp which was designed so that the user could steal the life-force of other people to boost his own psi-power, without harming himself.

Sleep machines[edit]

To maximise a Judges' effectiveness sleep machines are used to reduce the amount of time spent sleeping. In recent years concern has been expressed about their use. Regulations require judges to get natural sleep periodically to prevent psychosis.

Recreation[edit]

Boing![edit]

Boing! is a miracle plastic invented in 2101. It is stored as a liquid in an aerosol can, and is sprayed onto the user, where it solidifes and expands into a bubble surrounding the user like a zorb ball. The solid form of Boing! is extremely bouncy. The user can safely jump off a great height, such as a tall building, bounce up again without injury, and continue bouncing until the Boing! sphere runs out of kinetic energy. As this is extremely hazardous outside, it is only permitted indoors in licenced premises such as the Palais De Boing, with unauthorised use carrying a penalty of twenty years. Boing! is also used to play human pinball in giant-sized pinball machines, with people inside the balls who try to control their direction of travel (in addition to the pinball machine controls).

Boing! has been used successfully to trap the indestructible undead Dark Judges, and the Mega-City One Justice Department keeps reserves of Boing! in its armouries in case they escape.

Umpty Candy[edit]

Uncle Ump's Umpty Candy was a confectionery sold in Mega-City One which became known as "the sweet that was too good to eat." Although it was not a narcotic drug (in Mega-City One, sugar is also illegal) and was not addictive per se, it tasted so good that it was impossible to stop eating it once it had been tasted. People who tried to give it up experienced severe withdrawal syndromes. The problem became so acute that the judges banned Umpty Candy, arrested Ump and faked his death, pretending that the secret recipe had died with him. However, a corrupt judge ensured that the secret got out, and black market Umpty was soon being sold illicitly by criminals known as umptybaggers.[1]

Vehicles[edit]

H-Wagon[edit]

H-wagon is not one particular vehicle but a generic term used by the judges for any Justice Department vehicle that flies.

Hover board[edit]

Main article: Sky-surfer

Hover boards are surfboards fitted with anti-gravity units and crop up in numerous stories, but in particular those revolving around Chopper. They have become the basis of a popular sport - high-level skysurfing is legal in Mega City 1, whereas low-level surfing incurs severe penalties. Up until Supersurf 8 competition skysurfing was generally an underground sport.

Lawmaster[edit]

The lawmaster is a motorbike used by street judges. It has artificial intelligence, twin machine guns ("bike cannon"), a laser, and can fire stun gas grenades. It also has a turbo-boost function which enables it to jump over long distances or to great heights. It can respond to verbal commands and drive itself. It superseded the obsolete lawranger in the 21st century.

Manta Prowl Tank[edit]

The Manta is a vehicle used by the Judges to deal with serious disturbances such as riots. It can also be used in wartime. It has antigravity and a powerful armament. It is not the Justice Department's biggest tank, however, which is the more powerful Heavy, which runs on caterpillar tracks and is reserved for military use, as opposed to normal law enforcement.

Pat-Wagon[edit]

The pat-wagon or patrol wagon (or sometimes catch wagon) is a standard Justice Department vehicle usually driven by auxiliaries rather than full judges. It can be used to collect prisoners from the streets and take them to holding pens.

Weapons[edit]

Boot knife[edit]

Every street judge carries a knife in a scabbard attached to his boot.

Daystick[edit]

The Judges' version of the nightstick with a titanium core.

Exorcist bullet[edit]

The exorcist bullet is a recent addition to the judges' inventory. They are designed for use against supernatural foes. They contain a mixture of silver nitrate, wolfsbane, salt, garlic, holy water, pieces of religious relics, and anything else which might have an effect against ghosts, werewolves and the like. It can be fired from the Lawgiver pistol.

Lawgiver[edit]

The lawgiver pistol is the standard sidearm used by judges. It fires six different kinds of bullets, and is programmed to explode when used by an unauthorised user.

Lawrod[edit]

The lawrod rifle was the standard rifle carried by all street judges in a holster on the side of their lawmaster bikes. It became obsolete and was replaced with the Widowmaker in 2114.

Riot foam[edit]

Riot foam is used by the judges to quell riots. It is sprayed as a liquid over groups of rioters, and then immediately solidifies on contact with air, to form a rock-hard substance which immobilizes those trapped within, bringing violence to a speedy end. Special cutting equipment is then used to release the prisoners, who are then arrested.

Interestingly, a similar substance was featured the 1993 Sylvester Stallone film Demolition Man, as a vehicle safety device to protect drivers in road accidents. Stallone later played Judge Dredd in the first Judge Dredd film.

Stub gun[edit]

A stub gun is an extremely potent two-handed laser rifle able to slice through almost any substance in an instant. However while this weapon is very powerful, sustained use may lead to it overheating and exploding, killing the user and any others nearby. It was used to considerable effect during the Apocalypse War, when it was used to slice through aerial roads during the East Meg One invasion to delay the attackers, and also against East Meg vehicles.

Stumm gas[edit]

Stun gas used by street judges in riots. On average it kills one person in every 250, and its use is normally banned in open areas.

T.A.D.[edit]

The total annihilation device is a nuclear warhead of massive power, capable of obliterating an entire mega-city in a single cataclysmic explosion. Six mega-cities have been destroyed in this way in the Judge Dredd strip: East-Meg One in the Apocalypse War, and five others in "Judgement Day". The Apocalypse War served as a graphic illustration of their power, not only with the destruction of East Meg One but with twenty five TADs launched by MC-1 in the early hours of the war, diverted to another reality by the Sov "Apocalypse Warp" (a shield which deflected the weapons from MC-1). They not only destroyed the entire planet in the other dimension, but caused a rift in reality that destroyed two adjacent dimensions (this would be revealed nineteen years later in "Helter Skelter").

Widowmaker[edit]

The Widowmaker 2000 is a fully automatic shotgun used by street judges. It was introduced in 2114 to replace the obsolete lawrod rifle. It was introduced to the comic strip in the story "Judgement Day".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Judge Dredd: "Uncle Ump's Umpty Candy" (by John Wagner and Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #145, 1979)

External links[edit]