First published in progs 416-427 in 1981 in black and white. Republished multiple times.
Writer: Alan Grant and John Wagner
Artists: Brett Ewins, Cliff Robinson and Robin Smith
After a fairly quick turnaround between Death’s first two outings, it would be another four years before we’d see the return of Death and the Dark Judges in their main timeline (Behold the Beast came out in 1983 but doesn’t follow this continuity). They returned in Revenge (known also as Four Dark Judges in reprints), which ran across eleven progs in 1985. With more room to work in, this story would give the Dark Judges even more opportunities to kill the citizens of Mega-City One but with even more emphasis on creative deaths, echoing what was going on with films at the time, such as the Friday the 13th sequels.
This story is notable for being a Judge Anderson one and not featuring Dredd. Indeed, she specifically asks to lead on the case instead of “Old Stony Face” Dredd. Also, Brian Bolland is not on art duties for this one. That said, the art is still great here with Ewins, Robinson and Smith living up to the Bolland legacy and the story elevates both the shock factor and the humour making this an essential Death story.
We left the four Dark Judges crumbled on the floor in the Great Square outside their own version of the Halls of Justice but across the dimension gap in Mega-City One, Judge Anderson begins to have premonitions and visions of Judge Death. Eventually these become powerful enough that she decides to return to Deadworld to investigate. Of course, this is a trap and the Dark Judges manipulate her mind and make her create fresh(ish) hosts for them.
They depart Deadworld after Judge Death executes some long-awaited justice on Anderson and they go back to rampaging in Mega-City One. Anderson however is not dead and follows them back. Of course, she’s in a shitload of trouble but this isn’t a judge who is big on formality and process so she decides to take care of the threat first and worry about her own punishment later.
The Dark Judges, at this point tired of being thwarted constantly, bring teleportation devices with them, allowing them to evade the long arm of the law and protect their host bodies in order to keep the judgement party going. This works quite well for them as they tear through another residential block but eventually Anderson tracks them down and uses booby-trapped dimension jump devices to send the judges into the void with no way of returning.
Trapped in a dimensionless void.
Buy it now
Your best bet is Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges which includes this story as well as Judge Death and Death Lives.