Thanks to this week’s Major Spoilers Podcast TPB, I’ve been flipping back through my old Judge Dredd comics and found it interesting to note that, in an age where all the traditional rules of story and narrative are intentionally being broken, 2000 AD still observes the cardinal rule: NEVER SHOW JOE DREDD’S FACE.  He is, after all, the faceless strong-arm of brutal, totalitarian authority and, while Stallone’s movie version of his adventures had MANY flaws, having Dredd unmasked (unhelmed?) sealed it forever as a failure.  In a world where Commander Spock nearly kills Captain Kirk in an emotional rage, where Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuriakin hate one another, where Batman rushes into battle in a massive, cannon-covered tank, it’s nice to see creators standing by their own internal logic.  Of course, this is comics we’re talking about: Bucky Barnes came back from the dead, Mark Millar tried to do a story that revealed that Aunt May was secretly Peter Parker’s mother thanks to a teenage tryst, and Captain America’s unbreakable shield has been repeatedly broken, leaving me to wonder how long they can resist a dramatic reveal, and leading to today’s sacrosanct query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still thinks that breaking all the traditional rules only leads to different stories, not necessarily better ones, as seen when Peter Parker unmasked circa Civil War, asking: What one storytelling rule (i.e. “Never show Judge Dredd’s face”) do you consider the most important for creators to observe in your favorite fiction?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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3 Comments

  1. Steve Cramer
    September 2, 2015 at 11:48 am — Reply

    “The Fantastic Four are primarily explorers and also a family.”

  2. September 2, 2015 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    Spider-Man doesn’t kill.

  3. Chris G.
    September 3, 2015 at 1:01 am — Reply

    Just one? At least three came to mind.

    “Doctor Strange doesn’t have any powers of his own. He’s all about knowledge. He knows what to say and what to do in order to achieve magic, because he isn’t a magical being himself and had to be taught sorcery.”

    “Deadpool is a tragic character. He suffers from depression and his sense of humor is a coping mechanism.”

    “Bugs Bunny is a force of retribution. His trickery doesn’t start unless someone messes with him first.” (The main reason I hate ‘Buckaroo Bugs’)

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