The latest Judge Dredd story Origins has been perfectly competent but a little underwhelming for a story that purports to finally reveal the secret history of the Judge Dredd universe. So far, that history has revealed little that we didn’t know before, albeit with some nice touches such as revealing “Bad Bob” Booth – the last President of the United States – as a born again alcoholic who stole the presidency and whose waging of a neocon agenda engulfs the world in flames (sound familiar?). The first time Booth turned up in a Dredd story it was 1978 and not surprisingly he came across more as a Nixon figure (in the same strip that had Jimmy Carter’s face added to the Rushmore Memorial).
I did however like the twist this week, revealing that the reason the fictional Judges felt they had the authority to overthrow the fictional presidency is rooted in the very much real Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. â€” That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, â€” That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
I’m not sure imposing a police state was quite what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted this, but it was a nice touch nonetheless. George Bush take note.