Judge dredd: the cursed earth
Return of the Big Mac
Satire’s always been a vital ingredient in Judge Dredd stories, but one of the earliest Dredd mega-epics pushed the satirical boundaries a little too far. The Cursed Earth follows Dredd on a voyage across the radioactive wastelands of America to save Mega-City Two, and the original 25-part epic featured encounters with remixed versions of corporate characters like Ronald McDonald, the Michelin Man and the Jolly Green Giant.
Thanks to a threatened lawsuit, those chapters were never reprinted in the UK and left out of previous collections – but now, thanks to changes in the UK’s parody laws, publishers Rebellion are finally releasing the complete story in a snazzy hardback “uncensored” edition.
The Cursed Earth is still a landmark in 2000 AD’s early history, a punky explosion of adventure that features top-notch artwork from seminal Dredd artists Mick McMahon and Brian Bolland. The restoration of the original colour double-page spreads makes this handsome edition even more attractive, but it’s the two “uncensored” stories – 26 pages of restored material – that are the main highlight.
“Giants Aren’t Gentlemen”, which stars a genetically engineered Jolly Green Giant, is noteable for Bolland’s typically sharp visuals, while “Burger Wars” is a ferocious romp that pitches Dredd against the warring fast-food clans of the McDonalds and the Burger King. Featuring energetic art from McMahon, it’s a blackly comic classic that lives up to its reputation, and once again proves how strong the early years of 2000 AD were. Saxon Bullock