Judge Minty, the Judge Dredd fan film.

Judge Minty Edmund Dehn
Judge Dredd Greg Staples
Director Steven Sterlacchini
Director of Photography and Digital Imagery Stephen Green
Prop and Costume Creator Daniel Carey-George of Custom Creations
Storyboards & Concepts Barry Renshaw
Written By Steven Sterlacchini & Michael Carroll, based on the work of John Wagner

Monday 22 December 2008

Why Minty?

Judge Minty only appeared twice in 2000AD, the first time over eighteen years ago.

It's a classic Judge Dredd tale, written by creator John Wagner and illustrated by one of the definitive Dredd artists Mick McMahon. It stood out at the time, because it showed a Judge with feelings. In a few pages Wagner and McMahon managed to create a fully formed person. Also, a number of issues are touched upon in this story, which will be mirrored in Judge Dredd's life much later on, namely doubts (about the 'justice' system) and 'The Long Walk.'

Illustration by Mick McMahon.
Copyright of Rebellion.

In the story, Judge Dredd is assigned to assist an older Judge in the routine arrest of a gang of criminals. During the tracking down and apprehension of the 'perps' Dredd remarks on a number of flaws in Minty's methods. Eventually Minty is wounded when he hesitates to shoot one of the gang.

As Minty recovers in hospital, Dredd informs him that he had to file an adverse report and that Minty is going to be retired from the streets. Minty gives a poignant response, "It had to come... I -I always knew you were on this case just to watch me... When you get old, you start gettin' strange notions... like maybe people aren't so bad. Maybe if we treat 'em with kindness, the good in them will come out! I guess that's when it's time to quit."

Dredd explains that due to his excellent record Minty is eligible to become a Tutor at the Academy of Law. However Minty declines the offer "I've been on the streets too long, there's only one way for me... The Long Walk!"

After Minty recovers there is a small ceremony, as he leaves Mega City One to enter the radioactive wastes that surround it, "there to take law to the lawless - until death."

One thing that always struck me, in the final panel of the story Minty almost appears to be smiling as he walks out in to the 'Cursed Earth'.

Minty's second appearance came in the 1982 Judge Dredd annual, in a written story by Jack Adrian called 'Desperadoes of the Cursed Earth' with illustrations by Dave Gibbons. The tale follows a gang of criminals escaping from Mega City One in to the Cursed Earth. They crash land in a frontier town and immediately begin intimidating the inhabitants and pushing around the local, elderly, sherif. Of course the sherif turns out to be Minty, who has settled down and become even more of a pacifist. He tries to settle the situation peacefully, but when it becomes clear that there is no other alternative, there is a gun fight in which he despatches the gang with ease.

Our story will take place directly after the first appearance, with Minty setting out in to the Cursed Earth and his initial experiences there.

Minty's strength of character and reluctance to resort to violence, made him a very interesting contradiction for a Judge. The quiet, unassuming, Henry Fonda style, lawman of Minty, juxtaposed against the totally confident, black and white, Clint Eastwood, tough cop of Judge Dredd (at the time).

The Judge Minty story is available to buy as a reprint in Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 03.

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