In this Epic Battle we see two comic favorites go toe-to-toe with each other, one serving justice, and one making justice his own. It’s the judge, jury and executioner edition.
In the first Epic Battle we published, we sent two of the biggest, baddest cybernetic robots toe to massive toe in a battle to the death. This time around, in one corner we have Judge Dredd, a character that has been in circulation since 1977 and is one of the best known comic book characters in the UK. On the opposing side, stands one of the most violent sociopath vigilantes in the known comic book universe; The Punisher. Both are brutal killers; one stands on the right side of the law, and the other stands alone carving his own justice. In a fight against one another, who would come out on top?
To start, lets break down Judge Joseph Dredd. He is the most famous of all the Street Judges who keep Mega City One safe; he comes in at 6’2″, and weighs in at around 200 pounds. He was cloned from the DNA of Chief Judge Fargo, the first Chief Judge in 2066, the name Dredd being chosen to “instill fear in the population”. Judge Dredd holds his duty above all other priorities, however it is not blind loyalty. He is a formidable police officer and has even had to pursue his own brother after corruption charges were laid and he was forced to kill him. Dredd has no qualms about killing, and is authorized to terminate suspects on site if necessary.
Judge Dredd is outfitted with the incredibly powerful Lawmaster motorcycle, which comes with side mounted cannons and a mounted laser with a full AI. It can respond to orders from the Judge and can drive itself. When it comes to firepower, Dredd is sent out with the handgun named Lawgiver. It is DNA coded so that only Dredd himself can use the powerful gun and will explode if another person tries to use it. They are standard issue to Judges, firing six types of ammo (standard bullets, rubber ricochet, armour piercing, heat-seeking, incendiary, and high explosive). It can also fire tracking bullets, stun shots and more. However, it does need to be reloaded to do so. Dredd also carries a Scattergun (pump action shotgun), a “daystick” (a mean looking two handed cudgel) and a boot knife. He is one mean police officer loaded with some serious weaponry.
For protection, his uniform consists of a navy-blue bodysuit, green padded boots, knee pads, elbow pads and gloves, gold alloy shoulder pads (the right in the shape of an eagle for the Justice Department), and the famous blue and red helmet which almost completely hides Dredd’s face and has a protective lenses, a respirator and communicator built in. Only the exposed mouth, jaw and neck remain exposed. The one main weakness that could work against Dredd is that unlike most other comic book characters, he has aged as time goes on. In the current comic, he is over the ripe old age of 70; he’s packing bionics but he’s still getting old.
Lets have a look at our other contender for the crown of street justice. The Punisher, aka Frank Castle, has also been around in the comic universe since the 1970s. Frank is from New York City and is a former Marine where he developed his combat and weapons skills. He became the Punisher after a day in the park with his family where they were caught in a crossfire of a gang shoot out, resulting in the deaths of his wife and two children. With his family dead and the guilt on his shoulders from living, the Punisher rose from the ashes to exact extreme justice by his own judgement and by any means necessary. He comes in at 6’1″ and 200 pounds, so neither hero has an advantage size-wise. However, from Frank’s time in a special operations unit in the Marines, he does have expertise in assassinations, ambushes, hit and runs, bombings, urban and guerrilla warfare, psychological warfare, and use of whatever resources are available. Essentially, he is a remorseless, cold blooded killer.
Just like Dredd, the Punisher has no superpowers, and relies heavily on his previous military training. He has also been cross-trained with Australian SAS, and has kept his training up to date even in his life as a vigilante. He is proficient in not only basic infantry skills, but in special operations and can use specialized firearms and explosives. He is expertly trained in infiltration, and is trained in all forms of camouflage and stealth. Punisher is also highly adept with hand-to-hand combat, is trained in several martial arts, and has a unbelievably high tolerance of pain. The majority of his weapons he carries in his van; high end assault rifles, pistols, shotguns and grenades are usually found in The Punisher’s kit. Where Dredd can travel light with his Lawgiver, Punisher will need to carry all his weapons into the fight instead of having one handy pistol available.
As far as personal protective equipment, The Punisher goes into a fight wearing a Kevlar uniform that can protect him from most gunfire. His head is exposed and would certainly be a point of weakness. Repeated shots can and will penetrate his armor. He wears his distinctive white skull on his chest as a way of intimidation and to lure enemy fire to the more heavily protected section of his armor. Punisher does have a whole slew of incredibly powerful armor suits used for almost every situation however for our purposes we will go with Punisher’s basic outfitting.
So now that we know more about The Punisher and Judge Dredd, if it really came down to a fight between the two who would come out on top?
Both would be highly motivated being that Judge Dredd would want to take down the Punisher for his history of violent murder and other crimes which would warrant an immediate execution based on Mega City One laws. Punisher would be motivated based on the perceived threat that Dredd was pursuing him and would want to use all means necessary to continue his war on crime and stop Dredd before he stops him. The Dredd fan in me would instantly side with him based on his history of taking on extremely powerful enemies (Batman included). But on the other side, Punisher is no small threat either having taken on all manner of super powered villains and heroes. Both have been killed in their respective books over the years and returned from death itself; in Dredd’s case having literally fought and killed Death (Judge Death that is). Now keep in mind that both of these men are armed to the teeth, so this would be no light battle. This would be a drop down drag out fight to the last breath, especially when both have no issues continuing to fight through their own pain and suffering.
In my personal opinion, as much as I love and respect Judge Dredd, I really think that The Punisher’s overall military training and ability to set elaborate traps, his cunning, and his expertise without a weapon may be the tipping point. Realistically I would highly doubt that it would be gunfire or explosives that would take down either man as they would likely be able to evade or take hits to their respective body armor. Dredd’s Lawmaster would take apart Punisher’s Battle Van; I think in the end it would come down to the most cunning up close and personal warrior. This is where I think Punisher has the edge with his background in hand to hand, martial arts, and his time in Vietnam. Believe me, the end result caused a lot of uproar between our writing team that ended in a divide down the middle of who we thought might win.
Winner: The Punisher (if it’s close hand-to-hand combat) otherwise it’s a tie — a complete stalemate between two dominating forces.
Although, to be fair if it came down to film representation, Judge Dredd wins by a landslide as Karl Urban’s Judge Dredd was absolutely fantastic. (And we demand a sequel but that’s another battle for another day) Who do you think would win in this match, or do you think the two would tie? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to vote!