'Muties on the Bounty' is a short strip featuring Judge Joyce which will appear in the first issue of the 2000AD fanzine 'Tales From the Emerald Isle'.
I don't dabble much in fan-fiction (which seems almost funny to say at the moment, considering that in addition to 'Muties on the Bounty' I've recently had a Strontium Dog script commissioned by Dogbreath and find myself elbows-deep in a three-part Dreddworld script for Zarjaz) because a) I don't really feel comfortable writing characters others created and b) I have waaaaaaay too many ideas of my own - but when I had the opportunity to have a go at a Judge Joyce strip I couldn't say no. 'Why?' you ask (probably you didn't really ask 'Why?', but I'll tell you anyway).
You see, way back when and once upon a time, the little kid version of me wandered into a newspaper shop and picked up a comic called 2000AD. In it, Judge Dredd had to travel to Emerald City to investigate a crime - and found himself partnered with Judge Sergeant Joyce.
Judge Joyce immediately became my favorite character in the magazine. I liked his happy-go-lucky nature, his smile-in-the-face-of-death attitude and the fact that he was much more human - and therefore relatable - than Dredd. He laughed, he cracked jokes, he tipped the frosty mug during his shift; there was a lot of joy in Joyce.
So of course I went and ruined all of that.
'Muties on the Bounty' finds an older, more world-weary Judge Joyce. He's been beaten down by reality, killed one man too many, seen an awful lot of suffering. Fake smiles, hollow laughs; this isn't the Judge Joyce we remember.
When a group of mutants hijacks a ship sailing the Black Irish Sea, Joyce is the first Judge on the scene...and what he finds is not at all what he expected...the glimmer of humanity in a bunch sub-humans.
Brigonos Mac Giolla Chomhgaill aka Professor Byah is handling the art duties, and his work so far is stunning.