The Procedural: Judge Dredd & She-Hulk

I mentioned a need for a wider diversity of storytelling in superhero cinema.  Alyssa Rosenberg has a great article about two characters who might stretch the stories a bit.  She discusses the dynamics of Judge Dredd and She-Hulk as fully realized, complex characters.  In each case, they are able to pursue different types of stories, as Alyssa notes:

But I think I love Judge Dredd and She-Hulk so much because they’re procedural heroes rather than gods, because they get cranky, and take sick days, and get fired, and because it turns out that fighting interdimensional psychopaths or arrogant wannabes in superpowered elephant suits can be both tense and funny. And sometimes knowing that is the only way to move forward societies that change an inch at a time when they need to move miles.

By placing fully developed characters into the daily background of the procedural, both Dredd and She-Hulk are able to tell different types of stories.  They are able to focus more on the character and how she deals with life as a tights wearing, fist smashing green monster who is also creating her own, very active law practice.

Though She-Hulk is not on the slate for movies yet (and it should be), The Judge Dredd movie, simply titled Dredd, opens September 21st.  This version looks to be much grittier, violent look at the world of 2000AD. It looks to be quite a departure for most of the franchise hero films.  Collider described it this way :

Director Pete Travis‘ Dredd is 100% a hard R with incredibly graphic violence throughout the film’s entire runtime (as taste of what’s to come is on display in this clip).  This movie couldn’t possibly be more different fromSylvester Stallone’s iteration of the character, and I think fans of the comics and/or Judge Dredd character will really be happy with this pic.  That said, be prepared for a lot of violence.

At the very least this will be a different kind of movie.  Hopefully it will be more than just blood for bloods sake and will have some kind of meaning and process of dealing with the repercussions of such violence.  A She-Hulk film could be even more exciting in my eyes.  The procedural format seems to fit perfectly with television. No matter the format, properties like Judge Dredd and She-Hulk are ripe for new and better storytelling.

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3 Responses to The Procedural: Judge Dredd & She-Hulk

  1. What I find interesting is Alyssa’s comment that these characters “get cranky, take a sick day”, etc. This, of course, is very reminiscent of the early Silver Age Marvel comics where the heroes had to face more everyday concerns than had happened before. The bickering of the Fantastic Four comes to mind but Spider-Man was probably the best example of this as a hero who had to worry about paying the rent and had to fight super-villains while suffering from a cold. As I’m not really reading any current Marvel or DC comics right now (for a variety of reasons including financial), I wonder if they have moved away from this aspect? Or, has it become so commonplace that it is no longer considered important or relevant?

  2. Ronny says:

    I think FF and Spider Man are great examples. They have the capacity to address the real life of family or that of an under-paid freelance photographer. I think we see it in comic books title by title and writer by writer. Some titles are simply written with different focus, from the noir of Daredevil to the young wise-cracking Spidey of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider Man. I’m sure there are titles out there today, somewhere.

  3. What’s your fave Super Hero/Villain?

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