JudgeJoe Dredd is the toughest, most feared cop in crime-ridden U.S futuropolis Mega-City One. Cloned from ‘Father of Justice’ Chief Fargo, this huge-booted, perma-helmeted, leather and elbow/shoulder/kneepad-clad model of sobriety patrols the densely-overcrowded sectors dispensing justice as a brick-chinned, one man court service. In this case, imagine a court with a very big gun: Dredd is judge, jury and executioner.
Despite being a ramrod-rigid stickler for the law, he is a maverick.
He first appeared in the comic 2000 AD.
Detective Sergeant Jim Bergerac works for Le Bureau des Étrangers on the channel island of Jersey. An unorthodox character, this leather-blousoned, recovering alcoholic smoothly roves the island solving crimes whilst charming the female populace and annoying the devious menfolk.
Like the best cops, he is also a maverick. After countless acts of insubordinate behaviour towards the Bureau, he finally quit to become a private detective.
He appears in the dreams of many, but mainly in the TV series Bergerac.
THEY PACKING MUCH HEAT?
Dredd has even more weaponry at his disposal than the Pope. He carries a boot knife, a crammed utility belt containing the likes of stumm gas knockout capsules, a Lawgiver gun that fires off 6 different rounds (including heat-seekers and ricochets), a Lawrod extreme long-range rifle and - just in case he finds himself a bit short - a huge fuck-off cannon located at the front of his Lawmaster motorbike. On top of this he is a hardened combatant, channeling the repressed sexual energy of 50+ years of enforced celibacy and teetotalism into hitting and shooting things very hard in the face.
Although not an arsenal-wielding shootist, after a brandy-soaked accident that crushed his leg against a harbour wall Bergerac nurtures the contained rage of a man who knows that his next drink will be his ruin. This tightly-coiled spring lets his demons loose on the island’s unwary crooks and fillies in carefully-controlled bursts. Jim’s unruffled, independent attitude is personified by his burgundy 1947 Triumph Roadster, a car thoroughly unsuited to the narrow, crime-soaked roads of Jersey. What it lacks in huge fuck-off cannons it makes up for with its elongated bonnet; perfect for ploughing through hedgerows into renegade farmers.
THEIR BACK: WHO HAS IT?
When you’ve made as many enemies as Dredd (who has even been attacked by his own housekeeper, Maria, and his once loyal droid, Walter the Wobot), it pays to have your back covered. Problem is that most of his associates end up on the conveyor belt at Resyk, the victims of many a violent undoing. Despite this, Dredd can count on back-up from a stalwart array of surviving Justice Dept stalwarts such as Psi Judge Anderson, ex-Chief Judge Hershey, Judge Rico (cloned from the same DNA) and eager-to-impress young stars of the force such as Judge Beeny.
Working for the Bureau, Big Jim B has recourse to the very best personnel that Jersey can offer: several sidekick detective constables, Chief Inspector Barney Crozier and his redoubtable secretaries Charlotte and Peggy. Bergerac’s ex-wife Deborah is an occasional source of help but can’t hold a candle to her father, aspiring tycoon Charlie Hungerford, who seems to have fingers in every single crime-pie under investigation but is an invaluable, although shady, source of gossip.
NUANCES AND WHATNOT
Dredd was twice stalked by the infatuated Bella Bagley. Married exclusively to The Law, he sent her away indefinitely to the kook-cubes. On escaping she tried to kill Dredd. Guess who won.
Bergerac enjoys an ongoing flirty relationship with glamorous jewel thief, Philippa Vale, known as the Ice Maiden. His twinkly demeanour in her company suggests he’d like his jewels grabbed by her one day, if you know what I mean.
If you do not, please Google the phrase ‘Scrote erotica’. It only takes a few seconds, but the lesson you learn will stay with you for a lifetime.
IT'S CLOBBERING TIME
This is where we run the above vital information into our ‘Look at the state’ of the art computer - the bastard offspring of an ill-advised early 80s wire-entanglement between Mr Babbage, the Family Fortunes mainframe, and Max Zorin’s ‘super stallion’ programme from A View to a Kill http://tinyurl.com/bsrykly
Denuded of weaponry for the purposes of purest combat, the two crime-busting titans eye each other warily as they slowly circle each other. Pink dust settles in the creases of Bergerac’s trusty fawn-coloured multi-pocket action trousers, purchased via a special offer in the Sunday Express. Flexing his gloved fingers, Dredd cracks his knuckles menacingly; then cracks his knees and hips considerably less so.
Then Bergerac pounces! The lither, nimbler, shorter Jersey cop bouncing off Dredd’s ridiculously-oversized boots to launch a swinging uppercut to the vast expanse of chin that juts from beneath the aged law-jockey’s helmet. Big mistake. Dredd may be feeling the years but his jaw’s been broken so many times it’s impervious to such namby swatterings. He retaliates with a Mean Angel-style headbutt that breaks Bergerac’s nose, sending the crumpled cop floorwards to resemble a pile of bloodied Marks and Spencers-purchased laundry.
The ‘Blue Harbour’ range, since you ask.
As the crowd cheers the impassive, advancing Dredd, Jim B pulls out a checkered hankie from his collarless tan-leather blouson, dabs his nose and backs towards the arena wall, eyes piercingly searching his robotic tormentor for signs of a weak spot. Then, quick as a flash, he’s sprinting up to Dredd, aiming a kick to the older combatant’s knackers but failing as Dredd sidesteps to deftly swipe Bergerac’s legs from beneath him. Once more Bergerac hits the floor, cursing the fact that he skipped his last BUPA check up because of that late continental breakfast appointment at Charlie’s. As the grizzled lawman bears down, Bergerac spits dust from his parched mouth, dreaming of a cooling carafe of Pimm’s to sate a relentlessly rising thirst. As his inner demons demand drink, the Jersey investigator controls an urge to scream skywards, instead choosing to smirk charmingly in a fashion that wows more than just the female Sqwallgaxians.
Impervious, Dredd reaches down with a huge green gauntlet and pulls Bergerac up by his collar. Almost cockily, his other knuckledusted glove pulls slowly back like a pinball spring but before he can pummel Bergerac to a fleshy peach-stone, his feisty opponent grabs Dredd’s helmet and flings it across the arena! The crowd falls silent as Dredd holds his pose, seemingly paralysed by a move that reveals to the watching world a gnarled, patchwork head, grotesquely ravaged by age and duty. He looks up at these features as they gaze confusedly back at him from the giant, panoramic viewing screen that dominates the bowl. He looks down at the younger policeman, whose smooth cheeks still glow rosily with promise, and grunts.
‘We’re on the same side, kid. What the drokk are we doing here?’
Bergerac squints back at Dredd, noticing the manufactured, inhuman eyes of his foe. They resemble ice cubes, tormenting him from some unreachable daiquiri in Cristina’s bar at St. Aubin’s Bay. He can’t think straight as a savage, primal craving for booze surges through his veins, causing his clenched knuckles to glow white. Suddenly his lunging thumbs are pressing into those eyes, brutally gouging and squeezing upwards as Dredd screams like a girl, his bucket chin an omelette of juices, damp-bionics and blood. The crowd recoils along with Dredd, as though feeling the piercing pain that flows from deep within the very guts of the man as he slumps to his knees like a felled redwood.
Wiping the treacly eye-juice onto his ripped navy linen shirt, Bergerac callously kicks the hapless Dredd to the dust, rips the old man’s name-badge from his chest and pops it into his back pocket, making sure to fasten the velcro safety-flap afterwards.
‘Sentiment, Dredd. Always has been your downfall. Takes a good cop to find out these things,’ says Jim, striding away from his victim as a familiar slap bass and saxophone refrain lazily wafts over the arena.
AND THE WINNER IS...
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in:
"WE WILL SETTLE THIS THE GYPSY WAY"
If you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them below.