Judge Dredd: The story of Rico Dredd

05 March 2023
Rico Dredd is a major character in the Judge Dredd comics, created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra. He first appeared in 2000 AD #30 in 1977, and his story has been a major part of the Judge Dredd mythology ever since.


Rico Dredd is the older "brother" of Judge Dredd, the protagonist of the series. They are not biological siblings, but were cloned from the same DNA sample, with Rico being created first. Rico was also one of the first judges to be trained in Mega-City One, along with Dredd.

Story Arc:

Rico's story arc is one of the most tragic and morally complex in the Judge Dredd comics. At first, he is portrayed as a loyal and dedicated judge, just like his "brother" Dredd. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that Rico has a darker side.

Rico becomes increasingly disillusioned with the Justice Department and its methods, believing that the judges should have more power and authority over the citizens of Mega-City One. He also becomes involved in criminal activities, using his position as a judge to cover up his actions.

Eventually, Rico's crimes are exposed, and he is brought to justice by Dredd himself. In a climactic confrontation, Rico and Dredd battle it out, with Dredd emerging victorious. However, the emotional toll of the conflict is clear, as Dredd is forced to confront the fact that his "brother" has become a criminal.
rico dredd

Morals and Themes:

The story of Rico Dredd explores many themes, including loyalty, power, corruption, and the nature of justice. The character of Rico represents the darker side of the Justice Department, highlighting the potential for corruption and abuse of power even among those who are meant to uphold the law.

The conflict between Rico and Dredd also raises questions about loyalty and family. Although they are not biological siblings, the two judges were raised together and have a deep bond. The fact that they end up on opposite sides of the law is a powerful commentary on the ways in which relationships can be strained and tested by external forces.

The Stallone movie:

The 1995 movie "Judge Dredd," starring Sylvester Stallone in the title role, loosely adapted the Rico Dredd storyline from the comics, but with significant changes.

In the movie, Rico Dredd is played by Armand Assante, who gives a memorable performance as the film's primary antagonist. Unlike in the comics, Rico is portrayed as a biological sibling of Judge Dredd, rather than a clone. He is also depicted as a criminal mastermind who has been imprisoned for years before escaping and seeking revenge on his "brother."

The movie's portrayal of Rico is significantly more one-dimensional than in the comics, with his motivations and character development largely glossed over. The conflict between Rico and Dredd is portrayed as a simple battle between good and evil, rather than the morally complex story of loyalty and corruption that it is in the comics.

Despite these changes, the character of Rico remains an important part of the movie's plot. He serves as a foil to Judge Dredd, highlighting the differences between the two characters and their approaches to justice. Rico's actions also set the stage for the movie's climactic showdown, in which Dredd and Rico face off in a dramatic battle.


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My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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