Join the club
Judge Dredd is rolling with the new gay in town.
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Remember the days when you used to dream of Superman, with his brave guns and alarmingly rippled torso, saving you from the fire of a burning building? Or dreaming that you were Catwoman (Michelle Pfieffer, OBVS) clawing your way to the man behind the mask? Well, forget Batman and Spiderman (he’s never going to shoot his web on you) there’s a new gay comic icon in town and he’s more than just a pretty face.
We spoke exclusively to Rob Williams, the mastermind behind the 2000 AD/Judge Dredd series, who has produced an action-packed storyline for his latest issue, Closet. "Closet focuses on Taylor, a teenager in Judge Dredd's futuristic city, who is realising he's gay but who is rightly scared of the reaction of his father," he said. "A violent act occurs, Taylor's father disappears and Taylor is faced with a life of hiding who he really is. And then he discovers a Dredd themed gay club where everyone dresses as Mega City One's most famous law man. But the Judges arrive on a raid and Taylor finds himself face-to-face with Dredd himself."
On why he wrote the story: "You're always looking for plots and settings that haven't been dealt with before in Dredd's 35 year history, and gay culture has rarely been featured, amazingly. Homosexuality isn't illegal in Dredd's city but would some of the same prejudices still exist? The idea of a Dredd themed gay club struck me as funny, given the character's overtly macho image - subverting that by putting Dredd face-to-face with a club full of men dressed as him is a fun scene. And focusing on a teenager coming to terms with who he really is grounds the story and gives it a bit of heart, hopefully."
We say it will be alright in the end – because it gets better, right? And, if not, we hear the Dredd-themed club does a mean vodka and cranberry. It’s also Dredd’s first gay-themed story in the comic’s 35 year history, so isn’t to be missed. Can we get a hashtag Team Taylor up in here?
The 2000 AD Prog 1817 is on sale Wednesday 30 January. You can purchase through the store’s online shop or via iTunes and Clickwheel.
Words: Daniel Phelan