The recent images and trailers coming from the New ‘Judge’ Dredd movie are quite spectacularly gritty ‘and’ in some cases the ‘Red-Band’ trailers are quite gruesome: but this is what I’d come to expect from Judge (Joseph) Dredd from my early Comic Book Days. After all, he is the most badass and famous of ‘all’ the elite corps of Street Judges that ran Mega-City One. Some of the best imagery to be released from the new film is their ‘Future Noire’ vision for Mega-City One, which personally I think they’ve got absolutely spot-on. Almost precisely how Ridley Scott nailed the visual landscape proscenium for Bladerunner
But with such a back story…what is Mega-City One? :Well..Mega-City One is this huge fictional city-state covering much of what is now the Eastern United States in the Judge Dredd comic book series. The exact boundaries of the city depend on which artist has drawn the story. The city seems to have grown outward from the present-day Northeast megalopolis, extending down to the Atlanta metropolitan area southwards, and the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor northwards.
The origin of Mega-City One evolved out of a growing urban conurbation stretching from Boston to Washington, which took form in the 21st century to cope with the escalating population crisis in America and – due to the high crime rate – led to the introduction of the Judge system. Originally centered on New York City, eventually Mega-City One stretches all the way from Washington to Toronto, and down to Miami, Florida. Mega-City One was one of three major areas to survive the nuclear war in 2070, due to an experimental laser missile-defence system built not long before. Quickly growing outwards, Mega-City One swelled to hold most of the population of the East Coast, reaching 800 million by the end of the century. The population and city sprawl was halved by nuclear attack and Soviet invasion in 2104 (in the 1982 story The Apocalypse War), with the loss of the entire south in a saturation nuclear strike. It remained at around 400 million until it was reduced to 50 million in 2134 (the 2012 story Day of Chaos).
Mega-City One has a far greater population density than any city in the present-day world. Most city dwellers (citizens) live in huge apartment blocks (50,000+), and due to this close habitat living it sometimes escalated into the notorious Block Wars, though many of the Mega City One citizens lived a perpetually nomadic existence in vehicular mo-pads (mobile homes) due to this inadequate and crowded housing provisions. These citizens travel the city via the many futuristic public transport routes available, rarely stopping. I was quite envious of some of these quite luxurious mo-pads, complete with swimming pools and countless gadgets.
Much of the city was destroyed by nuclear warheads in the Apocalypse War. A small part of the city, known as the North West Hab Zone, became separated from the rest of the city by a stretch of radioactive wasteland called Nuke Alley. The Hab Zone is connected to the main city by a bridge. A tunnel is under construction.
For administrative purposes the city is divided into 305 sectors, most of them renamed to fit the new size of the city after the Apocalypse War. Sectors 1 (the centre) to 300 constitute the main city. Sectors 301 to 305 form the North-West Hab Zone; Sector 301 is disparagingly nicknamed “The Pit” due to its high crime rate.
Outside of Mega-City One, most of the United States has been reduced to the Cursed Earth after a nuclear war.
All we do now is wait for Dredd 3D The Movie to be released in the UK on the 7th September to see if they’ve captured the true essence of Mega-City One.
[Reference] Wikipedia & Comics from the Attic 🙂
7 thoughts on “Mega City One”
very interesting images. and thanks for the visit, Carl.
Carl, I know this is an older post, but wow! I should have read this before seeing Dredd (even though I liked it a lot anyway). It would have given me so much more backstory. How did you like the movie?
Thanks… I thought it was great…It was the kind of violent, gritty, future urbanism that the comic stories of my youth were like
20-30 years ago there was a film called ‘Soylent Green’! (I think it was with Charlton Heston)
And in another 10-20 years we may in fact be there – or close! Check it out!
Hi Carl,these images make me think of Giger, the illustrator and photographer. A lot of si fi movie makers have been looking at his work.
Have yourself a good day
greetings from Amsterdam