11:46am PT by Graeme McMillan
Banned Judge Dredd Episodes To See Print Next Year
A curious piece of comic book history will see the light of day for the first time in almost four decades next year, when Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Uncensored will print the infamous "banned" episodes of the science fiction strip for the first time since their original publication in 1978.
The four episodes of the fan-favorite storyline have remained unseen, unusually, for legal reasons; the episodes — "Burger Wars" parts 1 and 2, and "Soul Food" parts 1 and 2 — featured parodies of Burger King's corporate mascot, the Michelin Man, McDonald's Ronald McDonald and other corporate mascots in satires on corporate loyalty and consumer culture. "Burger Wars" featured gang warfare between supporters of Burger King versus McDonalds, while "Soul Food" sees Dredd and his team drugged by the Michelin Man, Jolly Green Giant and others as part of a plan to keep the corporate figures alive.
The initial publication of these episodes saw then-Dredd owner IPC threatened with legal action, leading to the stories being shelved in subsequent collected editions and reprints of the overall "Cursed Earth" storyline throughout the years. Next year's Cursed Earth Uncensored, however, follows changes in British parody laws, leaving current publisher Rebellion able to finally return the episodes to fans.
"The most common question we have been asked at conventions over the years is: 'Will you be reprinting Burger Wars?' It’s a delight, and frankly a relief, to be able to finally say 'Yes!' " Rebellion's head of books and comic books Ben Smith said in a statement from the publisher. "In this special edition of The Cursed Earth you’ll see pages from the legendary artists Brian Bolland and Mike McMahon, unseen for 37 years, in unparalleled quality."
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Uncensored will be released in July.