Henry Flint – Three is the Tragic Number!

From: 2000AD Covers Uncovered

Not content with unleashing an horrific virus, wiping out PSU, allowing PJ Maybe to escape and kicking off a civil war between the Justice Department and the City Def Units, John Wagner has invited the Dark Judges to Judge Dredd’s Day of Chaos! Following an excellent teaser campaign by Simon Parr (see all the images here) the alien super fiends have returned to Mega-City One and are the stars in this astonishing cover by wonderful Henry Flint.

On his twitter feed, Henry said the cover was ‘Mixed media, oils, crayon, markers all fixed in photoshop. Inspiration from many artists!’ He also pointed out the similarity between Fear’s cloak and that of Batman from the Judgement on Gotham cover (see further in this post,) which is a cool touch!

Below we can see Henry’s rough. Note how he draws your eye across the three badges!

And again, the beautiful finished cover…
And finally the cover with that all important speech bubble!

A huuuuge thanks to Henry for sending the images (you can see ’em on his blog too.) Henry truly is one of the greatest 2000AD artists ever and it’s always a thrill to see a cover by him! Thanks again Henry!

Of course, this isn’t the first time Henry has tackled the Dark Judges, no siree! Firstly we can see one of my all time favourite covers, 50 Years on the Streets which features most of the nasty buggers Dredd’s come up against over the years…

And I’ve been dying to show these cup designs that he did back in the day….

Of course, the man responsible fot the amazing design of the dastardly foursome is Brian Bolland, I’m sure many of us still remember where we were when we first saw this terrifying spread below (me? Canvey Island on my worst holiday ever, thank Grud for 2000AD!)

Those with a solid grasp of Dredd history will know that Death first appeared in Prog 149 in the imaginatively titled “Judge Death” story (which you can read here for free!) The story introduced the concept of Judge Death as well as his nemesis, the lovely Cassandra Anderson…
   
Thanks to the runaway success of the character, we were soon (well, a year later) treat to a sequel which introduced some of Death’s twisted brothers, the brilliant “Judge Death Lives” Below are the two prog covers from the series… 

Here’s a great Death pin up…
And a terrifying interior page which features our three boys and demonstrates just why the series is a classic…

And naturally I couldn’t leave the greatest panel to ever grace 2000AD out…

Below are three Bolland roughs which have been inked by his inker mate, Gary Martin …

Of course, that final image is from the old Titan graphic novels, I scoured the internet to find a clean image of the first Judge Dredd chronicles image but couldn’t find it. Closest I could get was a vector made by 2000AD boarder ‘The Legendary Shark’…
Below is the wraparound for prog 281 by Carlos Ezquerra, which heralded the return of one of Dredd’s old enemies, alas it wasn’t a dark judge…  

It seems you can’t keep a bad judge down though, and Death and his cronies were up to their dark deeds again in the Anderson strip “Four Dark Judges” which saw some great artwork by Brett Ewins, Cliff Robinson and Robin Smith…

And here’s a rough of that cover…

Prog-wise, the Dark Judges stayed pretty quiet after that, only making a significant comeback in the wonderful Necropolis epic. After his failure in Necropolis, Death went to ground, surfacing only to tell his twisted origin story to investigative journalist, Brian Skutter in the Young Death Story in the newly launched Megazine. Here’s the first cover for that by Peter Doherty…

And the cover of a recent graphic novel collection of the story. You can read Peter’s cover process here.

At the end of the tale, Death again disappeared, only to turn up in Gotham City, to begin the Dredd/Batman chronicles…

Bisley’s wonderful Judgement on Gotham Cover
Bisley’s not-so-wonderful initial Judgement on Gotham cover
Cool promo image for Judgement on Gotham
Jim Murray’s cover for Die Laughing
Unfortunately, by now Death had turned into a parody of himself, the horrific, sinister ghoul of the early stories was now more likely to be seen wearing a dead chicken on his shoulder, or a dress…
Greg Staples cover artwork for the excellent Dead Reckoning Story
Or even teaming up with Dredd and Mean Machine, unthinkable!
Trevor Hairsine artwork for The Three Amigos
In an attempt to bring Death back to his menacing roots, John Wagner teamed up with Necronaughts artist Frazer Irving to give us the brilliant ‘My Name is Death.’ This strip featured genuinely chilling artwork and a provocative script which saw Death slaughtering children before putting Judge Anderson in a coma and infecting her with the Half Life virus…
Two beautiful covers that show the very esssssence of Death by the brilliant Frazer Irving…
And Henry returns for this brillaint cover to Prog 1294…
After defeating Anderson, Death escaped into the Cursed Earth to re-evaluate his plans. Deciding that the best way of causing the death of millions would be by using weapons of mass destruction, he attempted to blow up Mega-City One but was himself blown up and dragged to the depths of hell by vengeful spirits. Below are some amazing covers which accompanied that series…   
Greg Staples
Variant covers for the Meg by Frazer Irving. Victims of Death above and an outstanding homage to Bolland’s Killing Joke cover below…

Poor Anderson infected with the Half Life virus in the Megazine…

Arthur Ranson

Around this time, Rebellion released the Dredd vs Death game. We were treated to some wonderful promotional artwork including this Greg Stapes classic…

Yet another beautiful painting by Greg Staples

There was also a celebratory 2000AD Extreme Edition magazine which featured this cover by Jock…

Which is kinda similar to this great Star Scan…

Over the years, many, many great artists have tackled he gruesome foursome. Let’s start with Dean Ormston with this fantastic Judge Death…

 Extremely fearsome creepy Fear…

And these crackers for the Complete Judge Dredd Magazine… 
Talking of the Complete Dredd, here’s the Cliff Robinson cover that accompanied the original Judge Death strip…
And speaking of Cliff, let’s look at some star scans and images he did for the Judge Dredd Database…

Next, an excellent cover by Dylan Teague…

 A poster by Rufus Dayglo

 

 And this startlingly realistic print by Liam Sharp…

 And finally, there’s always an excuse to show my commissions, below we have my Dark Judges series by Cliff Robinson (Judge Fire to follow shortly…)

Dredd and Death battle it out on Deadworld
Dredd and Mortis at the unluckiest block in the Meg…
 Fear puts the willies up all of us!
A commission by current king of horror, Leigh Gallagher, let’s hope he gets a chance to draw the Dark Judges in Day of Chaos…

And finally, the brilliant Chris Weston let’s the dead fluids flow!

Could it be that Fear, Fire and Mortis can succeed where their master has failed, and put the ‘Dark’ back into Dark Judges? Let’s hope so!