Originally published in JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE 2.70.

 

Cover Date: 6th January, 1995.

 

The 1990s was something of a boom for Dredd World spin offs. Some bright spark in the nerve centre had hit upon the idea that if there were other cities aside from Mega City One, then they would all be likely to have their own system of Judges. Thus we saw strips featuring judges from Britain, Japan, Africa, and in this unique case the somewhat less obvious choice of Antarctica.

 

Scripted by Robbie Morrison, Wynter is the tale of a judge who has been exiled from Mega City One, due to being too violent in his treatment of perps. Finding himself sent to the isolated Antarctic City, the eponymous Judge Wynter has to deal with an influenza outbreak amongst the children of the city, who have no immunity against the disease.  When a supply ship carrying an Influenza vaccine from Mega City One crashes out in the snowy wastes of Antarctica, it is down to Judge Wynter to fight off the looters who are attempting to steal it for themselves. Needless to say Wynter takes no prisoners and guns down every last one of the looters, whilst managing to save the vaccine in the process.

 

At just nine pages long there is a surprising amount of story crammed in. In the space of these nine pages Morrison succeeds in giving us some of Judge Wynter’s background, a look at the hardships faced by the people of this frontier city, whilst also managing to tell a decent story. Its testament to the writer that in this single story we manage to get a pretty good feel for both the setting and the main character. Kevin Walker’s somewhat scratchy black and white art serves as a perfect foil for Morrison’s strip, nicely evoking the harshness of the Antarctic climate. Despite having only this single story published, Wynter was actually reprinted twice. Firstly in 2000 in the Best of 2000AD special edition, then again in 2006 in an Extreme Edition. Despite being considered good enough to be included in the best of special, no further Wynter stories would materialise.

 

After reading the single instalment of Wynter then, I have to say that it’s a crying shame that it wasn’t picked up for a full series, especially when vastly inferior Dredd World spin offs such as Shimura were given a chance. With a potentially great main character, and a genuinely intriguing setting (and a part of Dredd’s world that has remained pretty much untapped, with the exception of this story) Wynter has to go down as a missed opportunity.

 

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