Ronald MacDonald and the Burger King Restored to Dredd’s ‘Cursed Earth’
If you've ever read through Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth, the sprawling epic that took the future's most brutal lawman outside of Mega-City One on a journey across an atomic wasteland in the years since its original publication, then you may have noticed that there are a couple of strips missing from the paperback collections. Four strips from the original story, the two-part 'Burger Wars' and 'Soul Food' arcs, featured versions of Ronald McDonald, the Burger King, the Jolly Green Giant, and other corporate icons, twisted into post-nuclear villains.
As you might expect, that caused a bit of a problem back in 1978, and under fears of a lawsuit, those four strips were excised from later reprints of the landmark story. Until now, that is. Today, 2000 AD announced the upcoming Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Uncensored, a new printing of the story that will restore the "banned" strips for the first time in almost forty years.
According to 2000 AD's press release, the change comes as a result of "recent changes in UK law governing parody" (and presumably that crucial A that was added to "MacDonald").
Not only will the new collection include the previously removed strips, but it will also reprint Brian Bolland and Mick McMahon's color spreads --- written by Pat Mills and John Wagner --- for the first time.
Here's the official description of the story:
The most-requested reprint in 2000 AD history, The Cursed Earth saw Judge Dredd travel into the irradiated wastelands of middle America to deliver a vaccine to Mega-City Two on the West Coast, encountering a bizarre world of dinosaurs, murderous mutants, aliens, and deadly terrain in an insanely imaginative rollercoaster ride through the twisted landscape of American culture.
In ‘Burger Wars’, after World War III self-styled ‘burger barons’ had taken control of whole areas of middle America and were worshipped with religious zeal. Dredd and his comrades are captured and forced to consume burgers and shakes, only escaping thanks to the guards being fat and lazy due to too much fast food. They are then captured by the rival side and placed on trial for eating “the wrong kind” of burger.
In ‘Soul Food’, on their way through the Great Utah Dustbowl Dredd encounters the copyright infringing creations of Dr. Moreau-like scientist Dr Gribbons – including a Jolly Green Giant, a Michelin Man, and others – who drugs Dredd’s team in order to remove fluid from their nervous systems to keep his creations alive.
And here are some nice and legal preview pages from the upcoming hardcover:
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Uncensored will be printed in the US and the UK next July with a cover price of $35.