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Mega-City One Twilight Last Gleaming

Dredd looks out on the city, by John Burns

Established in 2032, Mega-City One was conceived as an answer to the massive overcrowding plaguing the cities of North America. Originally designed to house 350 million citizens, the population of Mega-City One soon swelled to an astounding 800 million people, a number that would remain constant until the city was devastated by the effects of the Atomic wars - the Great Atom War of 2070 and later the Apocalypse War of 2104, which reduced its population to 400 million people with living space for half that number. Due to a number of other disasters and crises that have affected the city, and immigration to Mega-City One, the population remained stable until 2134. Following the Day of Chaos, the city has been reduced to a devastated minor state.

In the early 22nd century, it stretched roughly from southern Maine down through Florida, far into Ohio and/or West Virginia to the west, and to the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor in Canada in its north west.[1] From 2104 onwards, it had been scaled back to roughly New Hampshire through North Carolina. [2]

(The Architects Journal placed it at No. 1 in their list of "comic book cities".[3])

HistoryEdit

Origins Judges

The first deployment of the Judges

A sprawling conurbation had sprung up in the 2020s, stretching from New York City to Washington and growing. Crime had skyrocketed in the overcrowded sprawl, leading to the rollout of the Judges in 2031.[4] The American government would turn this into Mega-City One: the first megacity. The perceived success of MC-1 would lead to the construction of Mega-City Two and Texas City. (Official and semi-official timelines have placed MC-1s construction in 2031 and the others being planned in 2039) The population continued to grow as people moved to the city.

Justice Department would split into three autonomous branches, with one covering Mega-City One, and in 2052 the city was given sweeping powers under the Autonomy Act. Now, only foreign affairs and the military were outside of the city's remit. It flexed its muscles in 2055 when it imposed harsh immigration laws on American citizens that wanted to move to the city.[5]

Origins Goodman broadcast

The problems with housing, infrastructure, and crime only became worse after the Atomic Wars. Mega-City One was spared total destruction due to experimental laser defense screens but most of the rest of America was in ruins. The Judges took control of the city, citing the Declaration of Independence to turf out President Robert L. Booth to public approval.

Millions streamed into the city and it ramped up its immigration laws: mutants were forced out under the genetic apartheid laws. Mega-City One was going it alone.

Origins are they happy

Judges turn from protectors to oppressors in the 2070s

The 2070s saw harsh rationing and drinking water had to be checked for radiation. (This meant the death game Inferno was a huge hit, the extreme decadence being a relief in times of austerity.[6] Mega-City One had more fully covered by 2080 and tried flexing its foreign policy muscles. An attempt to secure Texas City's resources led to war between MC-1 & MC-2 and their southern neighbour, ending in a truce by 2086; to improve relations, Luna City One was constructed by the "United Cities of North America" in 2088. More successful, Mega-City One installed a friendly Judge regime in war-torn Brit-Cit[7] and was able to dominate the surviving European Union and resulting Euro-City into following its lead.[8]

Megacity scientists were able to engineer apes (or "uplifts") to be human-level intelligent. Having achieved this, humans promptly stuffed them in the Apetown ghetto and ignored them until they began forming crime syndicates.

MC1 prog 2

City in 2099 - the Empire State Building is dwarfed and derelict

By the 2090s, robot slave labour meant that most of the city was on welfare instead of having to work. People were often desperate to have work[9] and extreme crazes sprung up to deal with boredom, starting with the laz-knife craze in 2089.[10] The Judges, however, believed that the citizens would balk at having to work more than ten hours a week.[11] A decadent youth culture built built up around drugs, the pinstripe sound, and illegal comics.[12] Mega-City One had grown to the height of its size and power, with 800 million inhabitants and stretching down the east coast to Miami & east to annex Canada's Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.

Tempest 2090s juves

City street in 2095

In 2095, Chief Judge Clarence Goodman announces a policy of mass interstellar colonisation to give Mega-City One the resources it needed.[13] This would bring the city great wealth over time but also embroil it in constant wars against alien empires, indigenous alien races fighting conquest, and insurgents on the colonies. The Space Corps constantly saw action.

Another regime change took place in 2100 when the insane Cal, head of the Special Judicial Service, assassinated Chief Judge Goodman and seized control. Only a few Judges had escaped his brainwashing program and under Dredd, they formed a dedicated rebel force that eventually brought him down. Chief Judge Griffin and a new Council of Five took control. A sharp increase in the cold war with the Sov Block began under Griffin, as East Meg One began to test the city for weaknesses.

The brutal Apocalypse War with East Meg One saw the population slashed by half, the entire south destroyed, all but one of the Council killed, and all of the north-west and upper north lost except for a small North West Hab Zone. The city had to renumber its surviving sectors to make sense of the new setup. [14] (The isolated Hab Zone would descend into crime and corruption, and become known as "the Pit") A few years of hardship - starvation, disease, homelessness, and the segregation of fatties - was endured before the city was able to recover.

A democracy revival movement had grown in strength in the mid-2100s and by 2109, tens of millions were peacefully demanding a return to an elected government. Chief Judge Silver called this "the greatest threat to the city since the Apocalypse War" and authorised a horde of dirty tricks to stop and discredit the movement.[15]

From 2104 to 2133, the city's population remained roughly at 400 million. Part of the reason for this was recurring emergencies that could kill millions of citizens: the Dark Judge takeover of "Necropolis" in 2112, the zombie invasion "Judgement Day" of 2114, the meat virus in 2115, "The Doomsday Scenario" robot war in 2121, and the nuclear bombings of Total War in 2126. Sixty million citizens died in Necropolis and the population was counted as 350 million the year after[16], but this swiftly climbed back to 400m.

Necropolis broadcast

Mega-City One transformed into "Necropolis"

The twin hits of Necropolis and Judgement Day in two years left the city weakened (allowing Judge Grice's revenge plot in 2115 to work). The Judges were weak for several years and its space policy shaky. It recovered and, during the early 2110s, entered a short period of glasnost with the Sov Block. The Justice Department briefly fell into chaos as Chief Judge Hilda McGruder suffered from increased dementia, with no legal way to remove her.

Under Chief Judge Hadrian Volt, new checks and balances were put in to ensure this would never happen again: the Chief Judge was no longer part of the Council of Five and senior Judges could petition to vote for a new leader. A small measure of power was also returned to the citizens, the most obvious example being the reinstatement of the Mayor of Mega-City One.

Mega-City One Dave Taylor

Mega-City One in 2131, by Dave Taylor

2130 saw a major change when Chief Judge Barbara Hershey and the Council of Five repealed the anti-mutant laws. Millions of 'norm' citizens rioted, mutant hate crimes were ubiquitious, and the new mutant citizens often had to remain in segregated "mutant blocks" for their safety. The Judges were disgruntled with the change, propelling Dan Francisco to Chief Judge. Francisco set up townships in the Cursed Earth where mutants would be 'encouraged' to move to. Despite the violence, many mutants remained in the city.

Day Of Chaos riot

Riots after the fall of the Statue of Judgement

In 2134, a Sov revenge plot - "Chaos Day" - saw Mega-City One finally collapse. A combination of plague, terrorism, and anarchic uprising reduced the population to roughly 50 million people and left the city in ruins, the economy crashed, and the Judges undermanned and demoralised. The destruction was so vast that Judge Bachmann, head of Black Ops, considered the city and its Judges to be a failed model - her attempted coup would have run the city under a Heaven/Hell model, with MC-1 being the Hell that all perps would be condemned to.[17] By 2137, corpses were still being cleared out and would be until 2139.[18]

The once-strident immigration laws have been relaxed in order to grow the population again[19], while citizens of Sov descent were actually deported to Mega-City Two's "Sovsec" to protect them from reprisal attacks. The Judge force has been using foreign Judges and Cadets rushed into action to bolster its numbers, while a number of systems and services were privatised as Justice Department was unable to run everything solo[20]. Convicts were forced into labour gangs rather than iso-blocks, with Judges encouraged to take prisoners instead of killing (to get the extra labour), and emergency laws mean children from age 12 up can be required to do work. Both welfare and the banking system collapsed, but a crude form of welfare was soon re-established in many sectors: children under 11 would be fed and clothed (barely), and those physically unable to work would receive rations (though Admin found creative ways to reclass disabled citizens as fit to work). Otherwise, even by 2137 the city could only afford starvation rations for the work gangs in the worst-hit sectors.[21] In other sectors, however, the economy partially recovered. Privately-owned corporate blocks (kept for employees) were mostly unaffected by the chaos.[22]

Even the city's space empire took a hit - shortly after the fall, the Luther-led insurrectionists spread and the alien Zhind launched a massive attack on human space, starting with MC-1's Gateway colony. While Mega-City One fought off the Zhind and massacred the insurrectionists (despite them aiding the city against the aliens)[23], the wars ravaged their military. In 2136, the Titan penal colony was able to successfully rebel because the city lacked the military power to do anything about it.[24] In 2137, members of a conspiracy on the Isle of Man assured the Emerald Isle - both small, militarily weak states - that the city was weak enough that risk angering.[25]

By late 2137, the population had reached 72 million and was increasing due to the relaxed immigration laws and expatriate citizens (who'd sat out Chaos) returning home. The population growth was faster than the Judges could handle though: their numbers were still low and the post-Chaos Academy was still inadequate. [26]

In 2138, relations between Brit-Cit and Mega-City One were breaking down after Dredd exposed the Isle of Man conspiracy; this escalated as the Grindstone Cowboys began destroying crucial Cursed Earth farms. Dredd's apparent death at the Cowboy's hands [27] led the city to beg Texas City for the loan of a thousand Judges, in exchange for accepting heavy terms.[28] Unknown to MC-1, this was part of a plot against them by Texas: the mutant gangs were a proxy designed to weaken them, forcing them to accept increasing Texan control (starting with a repeal of mutant immigration) as part of Chief Judge Oswin's plan to reunify America. By the time Hershey realised this was a takeover, thousands of Texans loyal to Oswin over her were on the streets. [29]

Government in Mega-City OneEdit

Chief Judge discusses pies

Chief Judge McGruder and a citizen council delegation

When first established, Mega-City One was operated by a municipal government much like that found in real-world cities and towns, with the Autonomy Act giving them greater powers than traditional US states. The Judges soon began to take their own autonomous action, starting with immigration controls that the Mayor's office only approved after the fact.[30] The Chief Judge was answerable only to the President of the United States. However, in the political vacuum left in the wake of the sentencing of President Booth and dissolution of the US Senate in 2071, the Judges are left as the de facto government of both Mega-City One and the United States of America.

The Judges, organized into the Justice Department of Mega-City One, are responsible for seeing to the total welfare of the citizens of Mega-City One, overseeing welfare and housing programs as well as collecting taxes, governing businesses, and the necessary duties of policing and sentencing. However, for more mundane and non-essential tasks the Justice Department created and still maintains a municipal council that is lead by the Mayor of Mega-City One.

The municipal council of Mega-City One is responsible for such tasks as the daily weather vote held as the Weather Congress. After reforms under Chief Judge Volt, the Mayor and his council have also been responsible for part of the city's planning permissions and some welfare controls.[31] The Mayor is allowed to have autonomy from the Grand Hall but can still be pressured to do what the Chief Judge wants, as shown by Sinfield and Mayor Byron Ambrose.

The second most popular and well-liked Mayor Mega-City One has had was Mayor Dave the Orangutan, an orangutan who held the office of Mayor from 2104 until he was assassinated in 2107. (After that, no mayor was mentioned for ten years) The most popular, and also the most efficient, was the aforementioned Mayor Ambrose (who was actually the serial killer PJ Maybe in disguise).

The Justice Department of Mega-City One has also been faced with groups arguing for a restoration of democracy to Mega-City One, who've used tactics ranging from banned literature to nuclear terrorism. The Judges considered the matter over when a referendum was held in 2113 and the citizens of Mega-City One voted to maintain the dictatorship. The democrats, however, have become increasingly more violent and nihilistic.

Following Chaos Day, the Mayor's office is seen as a non-entity[32] and the Judges have attempted a (failed) major revamp of their structure.[33] To a large extent, the Judges still attempt to rule the same way they have before - even though it's increasingly clear their old methods aren't working in a post-plague city.[34]

JudgesEdit

Mega-City One is the founder of the Judge system and to this day has one of the harshest judicial systems: it takes fifteen to twenty years to become a Judge and cadets have to sign up when only a few years old. Many Judges are clones, 'born' into service.

The Judges themselves are not exempt from the law; they are expected to obey it more strictly than any other. A violation that would earn a citizen a few months in an Iso-Cube would get a Judge a twenty-year sentence, served as hard labour on the moon Titan, after surgical modification to enable the convict to survive outside there without needing an expensive space suit.[35] Over time, all elements of Justice Department and the government have been run by Judges. The Academy of Law trains Judges to work as Accounts Judges, medics, PR men, and spies. They also run an Auxilary Judge system, similar to special constables: assisting the Judges but with less powers.

Military Edit

Judge Troopers

Defence-Div Judges, as seen on cover of Extreme Edition #17

The original United States Armed Forces no longer exist. When Booth was overthrown after the Atomic Wars, the remains of the US Army were routed and finally destroyed in 2071's Battle of Armageddon. (In the immediate aftermath of the war, military discipline broke down and the Judges had to kill or arrest soldiers that were preying on the citizens.)[36]

Mega-City One's military forces are inconsistently portrayed. During crises inside the city, regular Judges or Citi-Def are almost always shown doing the fighting instead and the military is usually mentioned in outer space – "Day of Chaos" eventually explained that they're unlicensed to act against the civilian population.[37] From "The Cursed Earth" onwards, the city's armed forces have usually been presented as a branch of the Judges: stories by Gordon Rennie introduced a Defence-Div, 1990s spin-off Maelstrom had heavily armed STAR (Strategic Target Attack Retaliation) Judges to carry out targeted strikes, The Corps had Fireteams taken from the most antisocial cadets, and the Insurrection serials give the Special Judicial Squad its own space fleet and armed force to stamp out rebellions. In contrast, stories by John Wagner have presented the military as a separate group, with some members believing the Judges are too lenient.[38] Uniforms differ depending on the story.

The Citi-Defs (Citizen Defence) are a reserve force composed of citizens.[39] Each city block contains a Citi-Def force in case of crises, though usually they turn up in Dredd as rogue factions waging block wars.

Insurrection Liberty

Colony reserves

Similar to Citi-Def, colony worlds have their own reserve soldiers in case of invasion. Unlike in the city, these can include apes and robots.

The STAR Judges were given an origin as founded in 2108 by Commander Brand, with Brand and his original squad secretly left to die after committing an act of genocide in 2111 (this was covered up as a legitimate act of war and the STARs turned into martyrs, allowing Mega-City One to still claim the devastated planet).[40]

The main military force mentioned is the Space Corps, composed of marines and fleets, who fight against alien races that threaten the colonies. (When originally introduced in The Corps spinoff, they were Judges but in later stories these are recruited citizens.) Another force are the Genetic Infantry: genetically engineered men, bred in a lab to be dedicated soldiers.[41] (The story Warzone had an ex-Genetic Infantry soldier who was a primitive version of the Genetic Infantry from Rogue Trooper.[42])

Mega-City One also runs spy networks and a Black Ops Division of Judges. Under Judge Bachmann, their agents were brainwashed to worship the city as a god.

During "Day of Chaos", military forces such as the 51st Hoverbourne Division were brought in to assist the overwhelmed Judges due the extreme circumstances.[43] Following "Day of Chaos", the regular military (particularly the Space Corps) spent time helping to keep order in Mega-City One. Tensions existed between them and the Judges[44] and they were later withdrawn. By 2136, following Chaos Day and Luther's insurrections in the colonies, Mega-City One no longer had the military power to stop a rebellion on Titan.[45]

Geography of Mega-City OneEdit

Mega city 1 Total Administrated Area

MC-1 before 2104

Megacity1map

Post-2014 map of MC1

The Judges have divided Mega-City One into a number of different zones, each containing a number of sectors, in order to make the city easier to manage:

  • MegCentral (Sectors 1 - 20). The Grand Hall of Justice is here.
  • MegEast (Sectors 21 - 108)
  • MegSouth (Sectors 109 - 160)
  • MegWest (Sectors 161 - 240)
  • MegNorth (Sectors 241 - 300) Seat and most populous Sector of this Zone is the former city of Boston ,Massachusetts.
  • North-West Habitat Zone (Sectors 301 - 305); A small land-mass in Southern Ontario separated from the rest of Mega-City One by "Radlands" on all sides and connected to MegNorth by an elevated Megway.

Various slum areas exist, including:

  • Apetown, known as the Jungle by the 2120s when the Judges had mostly stopped bothering with the area.
  • The Pit (Sector 301) is considered the worst sector in the city and had been used as an unofficial dumping ground for sub par Judges. Chief Judge Hadrian Volt changed this in 2118 by putting Dredd in charge of the sector. He weeded out most of the corruption and left behind a force of harder, more effective Judges.
  • Sector 13, commonly called Angeltown, is another corrupt and seedy area. 2120s Sector Chief's Daveez (The Simping Detective) was highly corrupt and replaced in the early 2130s by the even more corrupt Judge Kruger (Marauder). Under Kruger, the Street Judges worked as gangsters. (After his death, Daveez was placed back in power as an asset for Judge Bachmann)
  • The Low Life stretches across unspecified sectors

Transit systems Edit

The high population density of Mega-City One requires a complex system of transport. This often serves as accommodation as well as a means of getting around the city.

Pedestrian Edit

  • Back street: Two-way passages, located in Old Town and City Bottom.
  • Broad-Way: A large pedestrian plaza.
  • Crossway: Any pedway intersection (AKA Crosslink).
  • Eeziglide: One-way pedestrian conveyance that functions as a human conveyor-belt.
  • Pedway: Pedestrian-only walkway found right across the City at all levels. Subpeds are enclosed pedways that run under Pedways.
  • Zipstrip: One or two-way pedestrian walkway that links blocks and smaller interchanges. Enclosed zipstrips are called Pipeways.

Vehicular Edit

  • Boomway: One or two-way multi-level Mega-Way (between four to ten lanes width, two to four levels height).
  • Filter: One-way exit or entrance to and from parking areas.
  • Flyover: Skedway that passes over a city block (AKA Overzoom).
  • Inter-Block Zoom: Maglev train-system which replaced the old Sky-Rail network in the late Twenty-first Century. Provides a link between all the city blocks in any given sector.
  • Intersection: Road junction.
  • Judge's Lane: Two-way road that runs parallel to major roadways, reserved for Justice Department usage.
  • Median Strip: Protective barrier which prevents accidents in one half of a road from spreading to the other half.
  • Mega Circular: Two-way, six-lane Meg-Way which bypasses through-sector traffic to benefit long-distance drivers.
  • Meg-Way: Largest road design in Mega-City One. Two-way, between four to twenty lanes, and central reservation (AKA Megaway, Speedway, Throughway, X-Pressway).
  • Parkarama: Ground vehicle park.
  • Podport: Hover vehicle park.
  • Skedway: One-way highway, between one to five lanes. Interskeds connect one skedway to another (AKA Feedway). Underskeds are single-lane roads, often reserved for public service traffic only, that pass underneath skeds. Overskeds are the same, but pass over skeds.
  • Sky-Rail: Obsolete monorail public transit-system introduced in the early 21st century. One-third of Mega-City One still actively uses the Sky-Rail network while it awaits upgrading to the zoom-system. The largest Sky-Rail intersection in the City is Hell's Junction.
  • Slipzoom: One-way, between one to four lanes, used for larger interchanges. An Underzoom (AKA Flyunder) is a single-lane road often reserved for public service traffic only that passes under a Slipzoom.
  • Superslab: The longest Meg-Way in Mega-City One, bisecting the City from north to south. Twenty-four lanes, 1,220 kilometers in length (AKA Mega-City 500).
  • Wayby: Small zones set aside Meg-Ways and Skedways in regular intervals where drivers can pull-off and temporarily park their vehicles.
  • Zoomtube: The most recent traffic innovation in Mega-City One. An enclosed road-system where all traffic is platooned and computer-controlled for optimum speed and driver-safety.


Life in Mega-City OneEdit

The Americans streetview

An average day in 2131

An unfortunate side-effect of the technological advances that have been made is soaring unemployment, which has lead to extreme boredom, crime, and general disgruntlement and despair. The citizens have invented a wide variety of pastimes, both good and bad. Some of the big ones include the fatties who overeat to fill their time, which turned competitive eating into a sport; the ugly craze, where people deliberately try to look like hideous freaks; and simps, who try to look and act as bizarre as possible (no mean trick in Mega-City One).

"Crazes" also regularly and briefly sweep the city, often changing by the day. Crazes known to have swept the city in the past have included Synchronized Leaping, PowerBoarding, and Boinging. These are often disruptive and dangerous but are also necessary to distract the citizens from the boredom and horrors of Mega-City One - in the case of atrocities like Necropolis, necessary so people can bury the mental scars.[46]

Transportation systems exist in Mega-City One that accommodate every way of travel, from pedestrian to public transit to hover vehicles. Baffling though these different systems may be, each is surprisingly efficient a vast majority of the time, typically becoming troubled only during large-scale emergencies.

A side effect of the intensity of megacity life is Future Shock Syndrome, or "futsie", where a stressed citizen will experience something that causes their mind to finally snap: reality seems too absurd to exist. The first case was Michael Kerrigan in 2089 after he saw a las-knife. [47]

Once dead, all citizens become the property of the city. It's possible to be buried but this is an expensive process: it costs a 950 credit release fee just to get the corpse back.[48] Most citizens will be sent to Resyk and turned into a variety of useful products[49] (some available from Resyk's giftshop[50]). It is possible to be buried but the cost is extremely high.

Mega-City citizens are often very, very stupid.

LawsEdit

Mega-City One's laws are harsh, with many crimes not found in present-day law. Possession of sugar, for example, is illegal, as is the smoking of tobacco outside of licensed Smokatoriums, and coffee is banned as an illegal stimulant. A number of these laws are harsher than even the other megacities: tea and coffee are legal in Brit-Cit and Euro-City, for example. In some cases, Judges have arrested mugging victims for incitement.

Most ordinary citizens are sent to the Iso-Cubes, tiny cells located within huge prisons. In extreme cases even the death penalty may be imposed, although relatively sparingly compared with the present day, reserved for mass murder or endangering the security of the city.[51]

Unlike the contemporary United States (and Texas City[52]), Firearm possession is only legal with the right permits.

CrimeEdit

Crime is endemic in Mega-City One, known as the Most Dangerous City in the World, with a serious crime occurring somewhere in Mega-City One every second of every day. Many have become desensitised to it and see it as a spectator sport. It doesn't take much for the masses to join in when they see a good riot. There are also numerous minor crimes, with even things like spitting likely to get you a visit from the Judges. Crime blitzes, where teams of Judges raid a home for any sign of lawbreaking, and the less violent crime swoops, are a major part of the Judge's arsenal - they almost always find something and get suspicious if there's nothing.[53]

Juve crime is especially rampant, with block gangs being an unstoppable law among themselves. The sheer lack of future for most juves makes it near-impossible to stop them reoffending[54] and adults can look fondly back on their violent juve days.[55]

Ape Gang

Don Uggie Apelino, boss of the Ape Gang

Organised crime in Mega-City One is a constant war between mobs, many run by flamboyant and bizarre leaders, who have to constantly battle each other, the Judges, and the sheer madness of the world they live in. For big hits, they send in blitzers: hitmen with bombs implanted who will self-destruct if arrested so their employer can't be implicated. Some mobs have psis to give them an edge. From 2112 to 2121, the mysterious supervillain Tempest was the secret overlord of all the crime bosses - his empire crumbled when Nero Narcos declared war on the city for a whim. [56]

Sedition is a crime and many have been arrested for defaming the Judges or possessing banned material.

Block-wars have been a steady problem for the Judges, often resulting in casualties in the hundreds of thousands of citizens. Block-wars are a form of riot in which two or more neighboring City Blocks (large apartment blocks capable of housing upwards of 50,000 residents each) literally go to war with each other, often initiated by bored Citi-Def units of rival blocks.

Some of the more common organised crimes include:

  • Body-sharking: loaning money to people willing to put a loved one into cryonic storage for collateral.
  • Chump-dumping: conning aliens into believing Earth is a paradise, taking their money, and then dumping them into space.
  • Organleggers: cutting up people to sell their parts on the black market.
  • Stookie glanding: butchering Stookies, an intelligent alien race, for the anti-aging drug they produce.
  • Vi-zines: torturing people to death and filming it for sickos
  • Drug dealing: this not only includes dangerous substances like zzizz, it includes sugar, coffee and tea, all of them banned in the city. Umpty candy is also flogged ("umpy baggers"), addictive due to its incredible taste.

After Chaos Day, organised crime has changed: new rackets have replaced the old, such as disguising people as mutants to smuggle them to the townships, dealing in black market clean water, or protection rackets that threaten to tell everyone you're shirking the work gangs. Vi-zines are a dead vice as people can just look out their window to get their jollies. [57]

Food sourcesEdit

Mega-City One produces its own food in labs, all of it processed slop like Grot Pots. [58] Chocolate and caffeine drinks have been replaced with synthetic equivalents. Even bits of recycled corpses have been put in food.[59]

More 'normal' food comes from MC-1 controlled Cursed Earth towns and facilities, as well as farms in foreign cities.[60] This still includes mutant species like treetmeat or munce.

Attractions and LandmarksEdit

MC-1 window view

View by Greg Staples: note the Statues of Judgement and Liberty and the Grand Hall

Mega-City One has developed a rich history since its establishment, and as such has a wide variety of landmarks and attractions for tourists and citizens alike to visit and enjoy. A brief list of some of these places can be found below:

  • The Jungle ; Also known as Ape-town, this area was set aside for a small sub-population of genetically modified primates and was, at the time of its unveiling in 2080, a state-of-the-art City Block that was purpose-built for ape usage. Unfortunately, the residents were uninterested in civilization and retained a number of their less than human habits, turning Ape-town into one of the city's worst slums within its first year of existence. Humans are unwelcome, and the Judges leave the apes to their own so long as they stay within the borders.
  • The Maze ; An abandoned City Block that was rendered uninhabitable by its own design. The interior of the F. Lloyd Mazny Housing Scheme is an ever-changing mess of hallways, pedways, and plazas that only a few people are willing to call home.
  • Academy of Law ; Located in Sector 44, the Academy of Law is the place where all Cadets begin the long, grueling journey towards becoming full Judges. The largest part of the interior of the Academy is a life-size reproduction of Mega-City One known as the Street-Sim where cadets are able to practice their skills.
  • Apocalypse Monument ; Located in the exact centre of Mega-City One, this monument is dedicated to the citizens of Mega-City One who lost their lives as a result of the Apocalypse War of 2104.
  • Grand Hall of Justice; Also located in Sector 44, this is the headquarters of the Justice Department. The Grand Hall has become a tourist attraction in and of itself, surrounded by a variety of memorial plazas, and boasting such attractions within its walls as the Hall of Heroes and The Black Museum.
  • Smokatorium ; After smoking in public was banned by the Judges as a public health risk, the Smokatorium remains the only place residents of Mega-City One can legally consume tobacco products. The polluted air is sucked into a filter that takes out the impurities before recycling it.
  • Fergee Memorial Statue ; A statue in the memory of the the hulking hero Fergee who saved Mega city from Cal at the cost of his own life.
  • Statue of Justice ; A massive statue erected in the name of the Judges.
  • The White Cliffs of Dover ; Moved to Mega City by a rich eccentric.
  • Devils Island ; A prison that is near imposible to escape due to its location.
  • Aggro Dome ; A place where aggressive and violent people could work out their feelings on inanimate objects (or each other, if consensual).
  • Alien Zoo ; A zoo for unintelligent Aliens.

Judge Dredd (1995 film)Edit

1995 NA

Location of Mega-City 1 in the film.

In the movie, the city is seen as consisting of New York City and adjoining parts of the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

In a council meeting Chief Judge Eustace Fargo mentions that the current population of the city (circa 2139) is 65 million people (and growing) crammed into housing designed for 20 million.

Dredd 3D (Film - 2012)Edit

Capture image

Mega-City One boundaries in Dredd 3D.

In this movie, the violent, vast, metropolitan sprawl is more accurate to the comics than the previous film, although the sprawl extends only from Boston to Washington D.C and is only 438 miles long. However, the City is very wide, extending to the Pennsylvania/Ohio Border. Sector 13 is located near what was Trenton, New Jersey. According to the map at left. Trenton is the capital of what is now New Jersey and is located very close to New York City and also Philadelphia. Mega-City One was only designed to house 350 million. Judge Dredd says in a voiceover narration at the beginning that the population of the city is 800 million people. The population of Mega-City One soon swelled to an astounding 800 million people with crime rates skyrocketing so badly that people were afraid to leave their homes. The solution to this and the overcrowding was building up; "Mega-Blocks", gigantic housing project towers capable of housing entire cities' worth of populations from birth until death without anyone ever having to leave. Corruption and crime flourished in these environments, with many Judges refusing to enter. An average of 17,000 crimes are reported daily in Mega City One. Things are only made worse when an addictive new drug called "Slo-Mo" is introduced, which slows the user's perception of time to 1% of normal. The drug is a hit with junkies, who use it to make the bleak, horrific metropolis more beautiful. The answers to the dilemmas of unchecked crime and overcrowding were few but large: unmanned patrol drones that fly over the city, observing for criminals and heightening police powers so that police (now known as Judges) have the authority of judge, jury and executioner on the spot. The basics of the city are the same as the original comic backstory, with some differences. In this film's canon, since almost all of the US is now uninhabitable due to radiation which has caused severe toxic desertification nationwide, five mega-states have been established on the ruins of the old cities, often building over major cities and connecting several states with unbroken concrete. These Mega-States are likely Meg-One, Meg-Two, Texas City, Las Vegas and Uranium City.

The only people to travel between these Mega-States are Judges. The end shot of Mega City One shows the Mega Blocks rising from the concrete like tombstones in the mist. After the Chief Judge tells Judge Dredd to throw Judge Anderson into the "deep end", Judge Dredd replies by claiming that the entire city is a deep end. The city is divided into various sections, Long Island is "The Finger", and there are others, such as "Meg-East", "Meg-South", "Meg-West" and "Meg-Central".

DevelopmentEdit

MC-1 Ezquerra prog 3

The first splash page of MC-1, by Carlos Ezquerra

When the series Judge Dredd was being developed in 1976–77 it was originally planned that the story would be set in New York, in the near future. However when artist Carlos Ezquerra drew his first story for the series, a skyscraper in the background of one panel looked so futuristic that editor Pat Mills instructed him to draw a full-page poster of the city. Ezquerra's vision of the city – with massive tower blocks and endless roads suspended vast distances above the ground with no visible means of support – was so futuristic that it prompted a rethink, and a whole new city was proposed. Art director Doug Church suggested that the city should extend along the entire Eastern Seaboard, and be called Mega-City One, and his idea was adopted.[61]

While the first Judge Dredd story is set in "New York 2099AD", prog 3 retconned that and said New York was just part of Mega-City One.[62] The back of prog 3 included an Esquerra "Futuregraph" poster of Mega-City One (a page from an unused Dredd story), which said the city stretched from Montreal to Georgia and had 150 million citizens; it was part of the "United States of the West" (USW).[63] Prog 4 then established that Mega-City One was surrounded by wildernesses from the Atomic Wars. The 150 million population was later revised to 100 million in strips and abruptly bumped to 800 million later on.[64] The United States of the West concept was dropped entirely; a "United Cities of North America" of three megacities was mentioned in prog 42 and then itself dropped in favour of Mega-City One being an independent polity.

In early strips, the Judges existed alongside a regular police force,[65] their reign was semi-popular with the citizens, and the people enjoyed robots doing the work, with the "Grand Judge" saying they wouldn't consent to work more than ten hours a week.[66] These elements were steadily dropped. Prog 118, written when unemployment was going up in Britain, established that citizens resented being unemployed and took up bizarre crazes to deal with the boredom.

InconsistenciesEdit

Bob's Law reorganisation

The (oft-ignored) layout after the Apocalypse War

The internal geography of Mega-City One has often been ignored or changed, for the needs of any given story. Bob's Law in prog 355 set out a specific numbering system for sectors: the landlocked City Central, far from New York, was sectors 1 to 20, City East was sectors 21–108 "radiating in sequence" from Central, South and West followed a similar pattern, and North would do the same "on an east-west basis". This was then consistently ignored. For example, Sector 13 was given docks in The Simping Detective[67] to better fit the noir style; Sector 1 generally seems to be in the former New York City, based on the Statue of Liberty being near the Grand Hall of Justice; and wherever a character enters the Undercity, it will almost always arrive in the ruins of Manhattan. Despite being built over other cities, "City Bottom" is level with the ground at the Cursed Earth and the sea.

One of the more egregious clashes was in Inferno, where the Statue of Judgement is destroyed and falls through the western wall[68] – which is many miles away from the eastern coast in every other story.

Even though the city covers Canadian territory, this has never come up in the strip itself.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Prog 62: "Tweak's Story", the cover of prog 245, prog 355: "Bob's Law", and prog 100 with the Ohio River
  2. "Bob's Law"
  3. Top 10 comic book cities: #1 Mega City One, Architects Journal, July 8, 2009
  4. Prog 1511
  5. Prog 1515
  6. Dredd Year One - Wear Iron chapter 3 by Al Ewing - grandfathering in Harlem Heroes sequel strip Inferno
  7. Armitage backstory, particularly fleshed out in Megazine 2.19 - 2.21
  8. Megazine #355: "The Cop Prologue"
  9. Prog 118
  10. Megazine #275
  11. Prog 11
  12. Megazine 270: Tempest: Here Comes Trouble Part 4
  13. Megazine 2.73: "Maelstrom part 1"
  14. Prog 355, "Bob's Law"
  15. Revolution, progs 531-3
  16. "School Bully"
  17. Trifecta
  18. Megazine 366
  19. Megazine #350, Dead Zone Part 1
  20. Megazine #336
  21. Megazine 356: "The Cop Part 1"
  22. Megazine 358: "The Cop Part 1"
  23. Insurrection III
  24. Titan
  25. Pog 1938
  26. Megazine #365
  27. The Grindstone Cowboys
  28. Megazine 371 and prog 1979
  29. The Lion's Den, Megazine 273
  30. Prog 1515
  31. Megazine #266: "What i Did For ChrissMas" and other Mayor "Ambrose" stories
  32. Prog 1875
  33. Prog 1803
  34. Megazine 366
  35. First depicted in "Return of Rico"
  36. Prog 2007: "Origins Part 14"
  37. Prog 1779
  38. "Reprisal", prog 1317; "Day of Chaos" in prog 1750; Judge Dredd: Mandroid trade paperback
  39. First introduced in prog 198, "Pirates of the Black Atlantic Part 2"
  40. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Maelstrom.2C_Megazine_2.73.E2.80.932.80
  41. "Reprisal", prog 1317
  42. Megazine #238
  43. Day of Chaos: Endgame
  44. Prog 1801-2, "Payback"
  45. Prog 1862 to 1869: "Titan"
  46. Megazine 270: Tempest: Here Comes Trouble Part 4
  47. Megazine #275: "Tales from the Black Museum: Build a Better Mousetrap"
  48. Bury My Knee At Wounded Heart, Megazine 2.46
  49. The Fink
  50. Judge Dredd VS Aliens
  51. 2000 AD progs 261, 630, 1337, and Batman vs. Judge Dredd: Die Laughing (1998)
  52. Texas City Sting
  53. prog 128
  54. Midnight Surfer Part 2, prog 425
  55. The Americans
  56. Megazine 270: Tempest: Here Comes Trouble Part 4
  57. Megazine 356 and 357
  58. The Pit: True Grot
  59. The Fink
  60. Ciudad Barranquilla "treemeat" farm in The Monsterus Mashinashuns of P.J. Maybe
  61. Pat Mills's blog, September 22, 2012 (retrieved November 12, 2012).
  62. Progs 2 and 3: "Judge Whitey" and "The New You."
  63. Prog 3 "Futuregraph" map, reproduced at Pat Mills's blog, September 22, 2012
  64. Prog 59
  65. Progs 10–12, "Robot Wars" Parts 1–3; Prog 30, "Return of Rico"
  66. Prog 11
  67. Megazine 238: "Petty Crimes"
  68. Prog 850

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