Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham is a collaboration comic that combines two famous comic book characters, DC Comics' Batman and 2000 AD's Judge Dredd. This one-shot special publication was first released in 1991. It is the first of four comics that feature the collaboration between Batman and Judge Dredd.

The story of Judgment on Gotham was written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, with artwork by Simon Bisley. The story begins when Batman battles against the monstrous villain Judge Death, who has teleported himself from Gotham City to Judge Dredd's world, Mega-City One. Judge Death has decided to destroy all living beings, and to stop him, Batman must team up with Judge Dredd. This unusual alliance may be the only way to prevent Judge Death's destructive plan.

Although there were already some significant collaboration projects in the comic book world before Batman and Dredd's story, this project was still special because the comic's significance specifically emphasizes the differences between these two characters' worlds. Batman's Gotham City is infamous for its corrupt police force and criminal organizations, but it is still located in a more realistic and familiar world. Batman's role is to protect Gotham from criminals and restore order to the city.

On the other hand, Judge Dredd's Mega-City One is a dystopian society located far in the future, where overpopulation, violence, and corruption thrive. In this world, maintaining law and order is left to so-called judges, such as Judge Dredd. Judges act simultaneously as police officers, judges, and executioners, and they have the power to decide the fate of the guilty. Judge Dredd is not a traditional hero, as he reads the law in a black-and-white manner, which gives the character strong fascist traits. This differs significantly from Gotham City.

The selected antagonists in the story are interesting, and it makes one wonder why these characters were chosen for this story. Judge Death is one of Dredd's worst enemies, so his selection is obvious. But Scarecrow? Why not Joker or another character more bloodthirsty than Scarecrow? Perhaps the answer lies in Scarecrow's theme, which is fear.

Both Judge Death and Scarecrow are significant characters whose themes and actions touch on people's deepest fears. Judge Death is a dark and frightening character who represents death and seeks to destroy all life. His philosophy is based on the belief that all crimes are caused by life, and therefore, removing life is the only way to stop crime. This extreme and disturbed worldview creates horror and despair.


Judge Death's arrival in Gotham City may seem arbitrary. The story does not provide a specific explanation for why he chose Gotham City as his target. This may be because the central purpose of the story is to bring Batman and Judge Dredd together, and randomness may be a way to quickly and efficiently get these two characters to meet. Although this may seem like a minor weakness in the script, it may not necessarily detract from the story's overall quality or distract from its strengths. Perhaps in this case, Judge Death's motivation does not need to be explained. It probably doesn't matter to him where he acts, as long as his goals are achieved. In this sense, small weaknesses in the script are not crucial. Extra points for the heavy metal band in the story.


It's hard to say what wouldn't have happened without this work, but Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham undoubtedly had a positive impact on the comic industry and inspired other collaborative projects and experimental stories. It also strengthened the popularity of both characters and made them even more well-known among comic book fans.

Before Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham, there were some significant collaborations in the comic book world, such as:

Scarecrow, on the other hand, is a psychologist who specializes in studying people's fears and uses this knowledge to manipulate and control his victims. He uses chemicals and other means to induce and enhance fears, which allows him to control people's minds and make them act according to his will.

By combining these two characters, the story evokes powerful emotions in readers. The combination of death and fear is highly effective because these are universal fears that almost every person feels to some extent. This choice helps readers to identify with the characters and become immersed in the story, making it an even more impactful and memorable experience.

The supporting characters in the Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham comic are more Dredd-centric and play an important role in the story's progression. Mean Machine Angel is one of Judge Dredd's enemies known for his brutish nature and ability to cause destruction. His role in the story is to take a dimensional belt that causes Batman to end up in Mega-City One and encounter Judge Dredd.

Judge Anderson is a telepathic judge who belongs to Judge Dredd's world. She plays a significant role in the story by helping Batman return to his own world and pulling Judge Dredd along with him. Her telepathic abilities help the characters communicate and solve problems, and she acts as a unifying factor between two different worlds.

Through these supporting characters, the reader gets to see how the characters from Dredd's world interact with Batman's world and how their unique traits and abilities affect the story's progression. They also help develop and deepen the interaction and cooperation between Batman and Judge Dredd. Although there are no similar supporting characters from Batman's world, the story's emphasis is on Batman and Judge Dredd's encounter and the comparison of their different values and approaches. The supporting characters help build this contrast and contribute to the story's progression and atmosphere.

Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham was generally well-received by critics and readers alike. The comic's script was praised for combining the worlds of two different and well-known characters, Batman and Judge Dredd, in an interesting and exciting way. John Wagner and Alan Grant's script succeeded in creating a story that respected both characters' original comics and created a believable encounter between them.

Simon Bisley's artwork also received a lot of praise. His style was considered suitable for the story's dark and gritty nature, and his art brought to life the action and violence that are typical of both characters. His depictions helped capture the unique visual elements of both Batman and Judge Dredd and created a shared atmosphere between them. For me, the Batman drawn by Simon Bisley is the best thing you can do for the character. In some of my fan art works of Batman, you can clearly see Bisley's influence. That's what happens when you read this kind of comic at an early teenage age.

  1. Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man (1976): This was the first major collaboration between two different comic book companies, DC Comics and Marvel. In the story, these two great superheroes meet and team up to fight common enemies.

  2. Superman and Spider-Man (1981): This was the second time these two popular characters met. In this story, Superman and Spider-Man team up again to fight Doctor Doom and Parasite.

  3. The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans (1982): This collaboration brought together Marvel's X-Men team and DC Comics' Teen Titans. In the story, both superhero teams meet and join forces to stop their common enemy, Darkseid.

  4. Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk (1981): This collaboration between DC Comics and Marvel featured Batman and Hulk meeting and working together. In the story, they must prevent the Joker and a character named Shaper of Worlds from carrying out a horrific plan.

The significance of Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham lies in how it brings these two different worlds and characters together. The collaboration reveals both Batman's and Judge Dredd's strengths and weaknesses and shows how their own values and approaches to maintaining law and order differ from each other. This conflict and tension make the story fascinating and give it a unique significance in the history of comics. Judgment on Gotham showed that collaboration between different comic book characters from different companies can produce interesting and successful stories.

It opened the door to many other collaboration projects, such as Spiderman/Batman, Superman/Aliens, and Predator vs. Judge Dredd. The work also showed that combining two different characters can create new types of stories and expand both characters' worlds. It encouraged writers and artists to experiment with new ideas and combinations.

Judgment on Gotham achieved cult status and is still popular among comic book enthusiasts. It helped keep Batman and Judge Dredd interesting characters and showed that they can be part of diverse and innovative stories.

After all this reflection, I can say that this is a damn good comic! If you love visuals, this is your choice. If you love a dark story, this is your choice. This is not a typical Batman story, nor is it a typical Judge Dredd story. I don't know what the creators were thinking when they made this, but I assume they realized that they were working on something truly unique.

5/5 stars

One more note!

A total of four Batman/Judge Dredd comics were released in collaboration:

  1. Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham (1991)

  2. Batman/Judge Dredd: Vendetta in Gotham (1993)

  3. Batman/Judge Dredd: The Ultimate Riddle (1995)

  4. Batman/Judge Dredd: Die Laughing (1998)

Of the sequels, I can recommend Die Laughing the most, which has almost as good artwork as Bisley's, and in the story, Batman and Dredd face not only Judge Death but also other black judges. I remember you can buy a digital package with all of them on Amazon.

Alan Grant (9 February 1949 – 20 July 2022)

John Wagner

Simon Bisley

Bruce and Joe's warm friendship begins.