Judge Joseph Dredd is a comics character whose strip in the British science fiction anthology 2000 AD is the magazine's longest running, having been featured there since its second issue in 1977. Dredd is an American law enforcement officer in a violent city of the future where uniformed Judges combine the powers of police, judge, jury and executioner. Dredd and his fellow Judges are empowered to arrest, sentence and even execute criminals on the spot. The character was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, although editor Pat Mills also deserves some credit for early development.
Judge Dredd is amongst the UK's best known home-grown comic characters. So great is the character's name recognition that his name is sometimes invoked over similar issues to those explored by the comic series, such as the police state, authoritarianism and the rule of law. Judge Dredd was named the Seventh Greatest Comic Character by the British magazine Empire. In 2011 IGN ranked him 35th in the Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.