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Judge Dredd Fans Upset By Suggestion He's Gay
Judge Dredd is set to cause a sensation among fans as the writers suggest he might be gay.
The latest edition of the comic 2000 AD, which is due out next week, is titled Closet, and deals with the issue of a teenager coming out.
The first page has been released on the internet and shows a figure who looks like Dredd kissing the youth in a gay club full of characters dressed as the judge.
Reaction to the teaser, which was released online last month, has been mixed, with some fans so hostile to the idea they have threatened to burn the comic.
But writer Rob Williams said Dredd's sexuality - whatever it is - was buried beneath his love for the law.
He said: "Sure, Dredd could be gay. You can't look at the original costume design of leather and chains and not see a fetishistic edge there.
"But Dredd's feeling are so deeply hidden, he is extremely unlikely to ever let them show."
The writer said comics were a "great" place to deal with issues such as homophobia.
He said: "As long as you stay true to the character throughout - which I think Closet does - you can deal with all sorts of issues in a story.
"And if they push people's buttons, fine. I'd rather a story be provocative than just 'and they have a fight'.
"Plus, putting Dredd in a gay club filled with men dressed as him is a pretty funny image. It's worth it for that alone."
A spokesman for the comic said reaction had been quite "extreme".
"Dredd has always been satirical, while touching on serious issues. This is another example of this," he added.
But there is a twist in the tale, with all not being as it seems, the spokesman said.
Dredd is a Street Judge in the American metropolis Mega-City One, with the power to enforce law and impose an instant sentence, including execution.
The strip, illustrated by CLiNT magazine's Mike Dowling, will be available on Wednesday.