'Batgirl' Artist to Draw 'Judge Dredd' This Summer

Babs Tarr will illustrate a story by Emma Beeby in the upcoming '2000 AD Summer Special.'

As part of this year’s 2000 AD Summer Special, Mega-City One’s top cop Judge Dredd will get a makeover courtesy of a new creative team: Emma Beeby, who’s written both Dredd and spinoff series Anderson Psi Division, and fan-favorite artist Babs Tarr, making her 2000 AD debut.

“It was a weird honor to be the first woman to write [Dredd],” Beeby tells THR about her history with the iconic character. (Beeby’s 2013 story “Suicide Watch” was the first time a woman had written the character since his 1977 creation.) “I wasn’t really aware of that when I wrote that first story, apart from idly wondering how many other writers had on hot pink nail polish as they worked on their Dredd script, or whether their autocorrect also insisted that they really meant to type ‘Dress.’”

Tarr, whose work on Batgirl and Motor Crush has earned her a passionate following, admits that she lacks Beeby’s experience in Mega-City One. “The only experience I’ve had with ‘old stony face’ is the old-school movie with that epic costume and Stallone‘s juicy lips under that iconic helmet,” she confesses (In lieu of Tarr's still-in-process art, a still from the "classic" 1995 movie Judge Dredd is above). She adds, “Visually, he's just so fun I had to jump at the chance to get to draw him. Especially since I feel like most people wouldn’t expect me to since he's so gritty, which makes me wanna prove them wrong.”

Beeby is excited about the Summer Special, which features an entirely female creative lineup. “I'm so proud to be involved,” she says. “It hangs a banner that says all are welcome, as well as showcasing amazing talents like Babs on these iconic characters. 2000 AD has been trailblazing and diverse in its stories for over 40 years now, so this feels completely appropriate to me. It’s going to be a stunning issue that I hope will lead to even more women contributing to the pages of 2000 AD.”

The 2000 AD Summer Special 2018 will be released digitally June 19, with a print release in the U.S. the following month.