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Why Dredd's Costume In Judge Dredd Makes No Sense

In the lawless wastelands of the post-apocalyptic "Judge Dredd" universe, the only thing resembling order are the Judges. These tough-as-nails cops serve as an all-in-one package of judge, jury, and executioner in humanity's last bastions of civilization, the Mega-Cities. There are many judges and multiple Mega-Cities, but there is still only one Dredd. As Mega-City One's most famous and effective street Judge, Dredd is a walking nightmare to those who dare break his law. And with his advanced weaponry and equipment, few stand a chance against this embodiment of justice.

It's such a shame, then, that Judge Dredd would likely get swiss-cheesed in the real world. Ignoring the fact that most of his high-tech equipment (such as his Lawgiver pistol) by no means makes him immune, some of his equipment would actually hinder his ability to fight criminals in the real world. The biggest culprit that contributes to this fatal flaw is easily his armor, which would basically turn any wearer into a clunky bullet sponge incapable of lasting more than five seconds in the line of fire. Seriously, just a simple glance at this armor will tell you that Dredd's costume simply makes no sense.

Dredd's helmet may as well be a blindfold

We aren't pulling punches here, so let's start out with what seems to be Dredd's pride and joy. Throughout the original "Judge Dredd" comics, as well as the 2012 "Dredd" movie starring Karl Urban, the titular character refuses to remove his iconic helmet unless absolutely necessary. But, maybe he should seriously consider changing that tradition. It may look cool, but he is blinded by it. Literally, Dredd is blinded by his helmet.

Just take a look at how much of his peripheral vision it impedes. And yes, while he may still be able to look down the sights of his Lawgiver, the value of one's peripheral vision should not be understated. As humans, our forward vision allows us to see details and color very well, but our peripheral vision is still an important tool in detecting space and motion in our sideline (via Science Direct). In the heat of battle, when an enemy flank is plausible and your comrades may be next to you, being able to see the action around you is almost as important as seeing what's in front of you. All it takes is one sneaky guy with a gun to creep outside the bounds of Dredd's limited sightline for him to be vulnerable.

Those shoulder pads are basically handcuffs

It's not just Judge Dredd's helmet that limits his ability to function. His armor is a huge hindrance to his movement. In most depictions of the character, including the 1995 film starring Sylvester Stallone, he sports the massive, golden shoulder pads typical of a standard Judge's uniform. However, those shoulder pads would ostensibly sign his death warrant in the real world because they severely limit his range of motion. Fighting in Dredd's costume would be like fighting in football pads made of iron. The man wouldn't even be able to scratch his back, and in a fistfight they would be too bulky for him to brawl effectively.

On top of all that, their massive size and bright shine would make him an easy target to spot on the battlefield. Unless he was fighting in a room made entirely of gold (in which case the rest of his outfit would stand out), Dredd's gargantuan shoulders would stick out like a sore thumb. At best, Dredd could hope that the light reflected off of his big pads would blind his opponents. But, in reality, they would just make it all too easy for some guy with a rifle to pick him out and gun him down.