Mega-City Two is a huge fictional city in the Judge Dredd comic book series. It was first described as covering "five thousand square miles of the Californian West Coast" and a later map showed Mega-City Two stretching up the entire West Coast, covering California, Oregon, and Washington. Like its sister city of Mega-City One, it's a dictatorship run by the Judges.
The city formed out of a growing urban sprawl and became partially self-governing under the Autonomy Act of 2052, with its own Chief Judge. It later became America's second city (nicknamed "the Second Meg") after the Atomic Wars of 2070, which killed Chief Judge Gabe Suarez, and closely allied itself with Mega-City One and Texas City. The city would develop its own laws, culture, and aesthetics; this was depicted in Mega-City Two: City Of Courts (see below) which may or may not be in continuity.
Mega-City Two owed its very survival to a mission of mercy carried out by the Judges of Mega-City One when it was afflicted with the deadly Virus Strain 2T(FRU)T in 2100. With millions infected and all airports overrun, Judge Dredd had to drive a vaccine through the Cursed Earth (with only Dredd and the alien Tweak surviving). Despite that, Mega-City Two refused to intervene in the Apocalypse War between its sister city and East-Meg One. This was because they could not attack East Meg One when it was protected by its force field, and they would be destroyed by a counter strike.
The late 80s and early 90s used Mega-City Two in two stories, Chopper: Song of the Surfer (progs 654-665) and Judge Dredd: Babes in Arms (progs 776-9). The city was shown to be a brighter, more colourful place than Mega-City One, with an unpolluted ocean along its coastline and a less oppressive atmosphere. Under the Death Game Amendment of 2104, violent televised "death games" were legal and hugely popular; Supersurf 11 was brought to the city and deliberately made so violent by the organiser that most of the contestants were slaughtered. (The organisers StigCo had been bribing the Judges, as their plans hadn't quite matched the law; heads rolled in Justice Department when the news broke). The citizens resembled contemporary parodies of California.
In 2114 Mega-City Two was completely overrun by zombies unleashed by the evil Necromagus Sabbat. With the city beyond hope of rescue, the place was nuked out of existence on the orders of a council of Judges from all over the world at the suggestion of Judge Dredd.
A second incarnation of Mega City Two was later built by the Hondo City Judges and run by acting-Chief Judge Tokugawa, and held the Supersurf 13 contest in 2117 to draw attention to the new city. The Hondo Cluster was soon abandoned due to the cost, a series of strange murders and disappearances, and the sheer difficulty of getting people to move thousands of miles from friends and family. The story "California Babylon" in progs 1731-4 showed that the city remained in ruins in 2133, dominated by mutant gangs that had moved in. A few remaining Judges were trapped in a Tek bunker but were swiftly slaughtered when the gangs found them, with only Judge Siobhan Garrison surviving to seek aid from Mega-City One.
Outside of the comic, the editors later explained that the Hondo MC-2 related to a planned storyline which was then discontinued, and the next mention of the city was as ruins in "California Babylon". When a reader questioned the continuity clash in 1738, the editor (as Tharg the Mighty) said he had made "an emerald executive decision" that the Hondo story did not count, because nobody had paid any attention to it since; in 1741 he had said he would "rather forget the idea was ever mooted", viewing it a mistake. "Babylon" Michael Carroll would later write into a story that revealed that the Hondos did rebuild part of the city calling it the Hondo Cluster but had abandoned their attempt after a series of strange murders and the population being upset at being moved hundreds of miles from friends and family, bringing the reconstructed city back into the canon.
In 2135, Mega-City One deported its Sov-immigrant citizens to the Mega-City Two ruins, as an alternative to sending them to East-Meg Two or keeping them in internment camps. An area was reclaimed and named "Sovsec", policed by an understaffed Judge force run by Judge Garrison. (In the former story, artist Andrew Currie mistakenly drew it as East-Meg Two with Sov-controlled city; this was explained away later as the Sov Judges being there to help transfer the citizens.) The reclaimed area was under constant mutant attack, supplies were rationed, and construction of housing was slow (homes were given by lottery), with the Judges undermanned; a visiting Galen DeMarco viewed it as "a stop-gap solution that's only going to blow up in everyone's faces". SovSec is close to the Compound, a survivalist fort set up by anti-mutant Mega-City One residents after the apartheid laws were repealed; mutants are shot on sight.
City of Courts
IDW Publishing ran a Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two, City of Courts miniseries in 2014, by Douglas Wolk, Ulises Farinas, and Ryan Hill. Wolk said "my internal rule was to not contradict anything in either the IDW Judge Dredd series or the British stories, and to avoid picking a side in cases where details of continuity were in dispute." This led to the story being set in 2094, allowing the city and its Judges (depicted with white-gold uniforms and a 'teddy bear' logo after California's state flag, while SJS wore grey-white with 'dead face' logos) to look different to in The Cursed Earth.
In 2094, Mega-City Two was run by Chief Judge Kazou-Juan Kennedy out of the Mountain of Justice. His exploits as a Street Judge had been documented in eight seasons of the show "Bulletproof Law". To cut out the block war problem, Kennedy introduced the court system. Each block or neighbourhood (called "communities" in MC2) could have its own distinct laws, with the same judge force for all.
Due to the power and importance of the entertainment industry, refugees were only allowed into the city if they fit a list of available roles for extras. The intense crowding on the city's roads mean that the roadbots - which are controlled by a queen node in a hive intelligence - will sometimes build traffic knots in densely populated areas. The rich can escape quickly but everyone else can be stuck in the traffic for days.
- Prog 61, start of "The Cursed Earth"
- Map of North America in prog 81
- 2000 AD prog 1515
- Judge Dredd: The Apocalypse War
- Judge Dredd Megazine #1.1: "Chopper: Earth, Wind, and Fire"
- Judge Dredd Megazine #345
- Prog 1822
- Prog 1830: "The Forsaken part 1"
- Post by writer Michael Carroll on 2000AD Online forums, "Prog 1822"
- Judge Dredd Megazine #343
- Judge Dredd Megazine #344-5
- City of Courts trade paperback: "Notes by Douglas Wolk", first two pages
- Mega City Two #1
- Mega-City Two #3
- Mega City Two #2