- City Block (Judge Dredd)
City Blocks are a part of the fictional universe recounted in the "
Judge Dredd" series that appears in the UK comic book " 2000 AD".
Also known as "starscrapers" or "stratoscrapers" (compare
skyscraper), they are the most common form of mass-housing in Mega-City One, averaging a population of 60,000. Most city blocks are between four to seven hundred stories in height, though the very tallest ascend into the thousands. The larger city blocks are like a small nation unto themselves, almost completely self-reliant like arcologies. Most are named after celebrities of past and present, reality and fiction, eg. Marlon BrandoBlock. Other blocks are 'in-jokes', named after people known to the creators, such as editorial staff or other creators.
All modern city blocks have their own defense force, Citi-Def, reserves recruited from the residents supposedly to assist the Judges in times of citywide emergency. More and more Citi-Def units are seeing active service as Auxiliary Judges, to help make up for the lack of manpower available to the Justice Department.
In an overcrowded city like Mega-City One, tensions and rivalry between neighbouring city blocks are inevitable and, very occasionally, these feelings spill over into full-scale wars. Because each city block is an independent unit in its own right, a sense of patriotism is often attached to them by their residents and wars can break out with "enemy Blocks" over the most trivial matters. For the Judges, a Block War is one of the toughest situations to police, simply because there are usually so many people involved and arrests generally have to be made in vast numbers before things can be properly cooled down and peace restored.
Although Block Wars are common enough in Mega-City One, when three quarters of the city started fighting each other, the Judges knew that there must be some outside force inspiring the violence. Indeed the madness, which came to be known as '
Block Mania', was caused by a Sov drug which had been put into Mega-City One's water supply by Orlok, the East-Meg Oneassassin. As the Western Judges were about to find out, Block Mania was just a prelude to the Apocalypse War, as the Sovs began their nuclear assault on a weakened Mega-City One.
A number of storylines have focused around the pressures of living in such high density housing, while others have featured threats to city blocks.One storyline, Total War was about the terrorist organisation of the same name setting off bombs in a number of city blocks, eventually killing around 4,000,000 citizens.
The phenomenon of Block Warfare became a
board gamein 1987 when Games Workshopreleased " Block Mania", one of several games based on the world of "Judge Dredd".
Examples of block names
Tom Cruiseand Nicole Kidmanwere the names of two warring blocks featured in a story produced shortly after the real-life couple separated.
*For around twenty years, Judge Dredd lived in Rowdy Yates block, named after a character in the TV series "Rawhide" who was played by Dredd's own inspiration,
*In "Judge Death Lives", the
Dark Judges, led by Judge Death, took over Billy Carterblock (named after the brother of former US president Jimmy Carter).
*In "Four Dark Judges", the Dark Judges attacked
Ronald Reaganblock (named after the 1980s US president) and massacred its "elderly and infirm" citizens, before proceeding to Caspar Weinbergerblock (named after Reagan's long-serving Secretary of Defense) and overwhelming its City-Def squad. They also attack Dunc Renaldo and Doug Church blocks during their rampage, the former (named after a Western actor) becoming important in the later story "Necropolis" as the entry-point of the Sisters of Death into Mega-City One.
*The first name ever featured as a block name was
Charlton Hestonin 1979.
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