Judex (real name Jacques de Trémeuse) is a fictional French vigilante hero created by Louis Feuillade and Arthur Bernède for the 1916 silent film Judex. Judex (whose name is Latin for "judge") is a mysterious avenger who dresses in black and wears a slouch hat and cloak. He was originally conceived as a heroic version of the criminal character Fantômas, whom Feuillade had directed a popular 1913 serial about, Fantômas. The character has since appeared in other films, in novels, on stage and in comic books. Judex appears to have been an inspiration for the American pulp hero The Shadow, who was himself an inspiration for Batman.[1]

Judex
Judex1963poster.jpg
Poster from the 1963 Judex remake
Publication information
Created byLouis Feuillade
Arthur Bernède
In-story information
Alter egoJacques de Trémeuse
Notable aliasesM. Vallieres
Abilities
  • Expert detective
  • Skilled marksman and hand-to-hand combatant
  • Master of disguise
  • Master of stealth

CreationEdit

Louis Feuillade had already made two earlier serials, Fantômas (1913) and Les Vampires (1915) which were popular with audiences, but drew criticism for glorifying criminals. As a consequence Feuillade decide to create a heroic persona, Judex, but one who had all of the sinister trappings of the flamboyant villains who were popular at the time. Judex was conceived by Feuillade and novelist Arthur Bernède, who also published a novel based on the script and adapted the original film for the stage in 1923.

DescriptionEdit

After his father committed suicide as a result of being ruined by the villainous banker Favraux, Jacques de Trémeuse adopted the guise of Judex and assembled an organization of ex-criminals and circus people to bring down Favraux and his lethal mistress Marie Verdier. He anticipated later pulp heroes and superheroes in many respects. He was a masterful fighter and an expert at disguise, and boasted a secret headquarters. In the subterranean passages beneath a ruined castle Judex had a base outfitted with technological gadgets. He also had a secret identity, as Judex (the Latin word for judge) is a nom-de-guerre he has adopted in his quest for revenge. Although the original Judex serial derived from the first Fantômas also directed by Louis Feuillade, the story bore several similarities with The Count of Monte Cristo.[1]

While in the first serial, Judex acted solely out of personal revenge, the second one, Judex's New Mission, showed him acting as a vigilante and a defender of the innocent.[1]

Judex initially appeared in movie serials, but has been adapted into other media over the years.

FilmsEdit

The character Judex first appeared in the 1916 serial film Judex. Though Judex was made in 1914, the outbreak of World War I delayed its release. It finally premiered in December 1916, and subsequently went into wider release in 1917–1918.

A sequel serial was released in 1917 titled Judex's New Mission (La Nouvelle Mission de Judex).

A remake, also named Judex, was made in 1934, directed by Maurice Champreux, and starring René Ferté as Judex.

Another remake, again named Judex, was done in 1963 by director Georges Franju. The story was shortened and simplified but remained true to the original. American magician Channing Pollock played the title role.

CastEdit

Character Film
Judex
(1916)
Judex's New Mission
(1918)
Judex
(1934)
Judex
(1963)
Judex/Jacques de Trémeuse René Cresté René Ferté Channing Pollock
Le banquier Favraux Louis Leubas Alexandre Mihalesco Michel Vitold
Jacqueline Favraux Yvette Andréyor Louise Lagrange Édith Scob
Alfred Cocantin Marcel Lévesque Marcel Vallée Jacques Jouanneau
Roger de Trémeuse Édouard Mathé Jean Lefebvre  
Le petit Jean Olinda Mano Jean Borelli  
Marie Verdier/Diana Monti Musidora   Blanche Bernis Francine Bergé
Robert Moralés Jean Devalde   Nino Constantini Théo Sarapo

BooksEdit

NovelsEdit

Judex: Published in 1917, by Arthur Bernède and Louis Feuillade, based on the 1916 serial, and reissued in 1925 as Les Nouveaux Exploits de Judex (Judex's New Adventures).[2] Black Coat Press published an adaptation by Rick Lai in 2012.

Judex' New Mission: Published in 1919, by Arthur Bernède and Louis Feuillade, based on the 1918 serial, and reissued 1925 as La Dernière Incarnation de Judex (Judex's Last Incarnation).[2] Black Coat Press published an adaptation by Rick Lai in 2013, titled The Return of Judex.

In 2013, Black Coat Press published a new screenplay by Robert L. Robinson, Jr., of a new adaptation of the Judex character.

Short storiesEdit

Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 1: The Modern Babylon: Published in 2005, Judex appears in two short stories, "Mask of the Monster" by Matthew Baugh, and "Penumbra" by Chris Roberson.

Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 2: Gentlemen of the Night: Published in 2006, Judex appears in one short story, "Lost and Found" by Jean-Marc Lofficier.

Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 3: Danse Macabre: Published in 2007, Judex appears in one short story, "Two Hunters" by Robert L. Robinson, Jr.

Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 7: Femmes Fatales: Published in 2010, Judex appears in two short stories, "What Rough Beast" by Matthew Baugh and "Faces of Fear" by Matthew Dennion

Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 8: Agents Provocateurs: Published in 2011, Judex appears in two short stories, "Judex vs Belphegor" by John Gallagher and "The Affair of the Necklace Revisited" by Jean-Marc Lofficier & Randy Lofficier

Night of the Nyctalope: Published in 2012, Judex appears in one short story, "Justice and Power" by Christofer Nigro

The Shadow of Judex: Published in 2013. Contains all the above Judex short stories and 16 additional ones.

Reference booksEdit

Shadowmen: Heroes and Villains of French Pulp Fiction: Published in 2003, by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier, published by Black Coat Press is an encyclopedic guide to some of the most important characters from French Fiction, including Judex.

ComicsEdit

French comic magazine Hurrah! published by Editions Mondiales in June 1940 began a comic series of Judex, which was in actuality, a French translation of the American syndicated Shadow comic strip.[2]

As an homage, writer Matt Fraction featured Judex as a member of a team of European superheroes of the early 20th century, in a 2012 issue of The Defenders.[3][4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Xavier Fournier, Super-héros : une histoire française, Huginn Muninn, 2014, p. 69-73
  2. ^ a b c Coolfrenchcomics Judex Page
  3. ^ Defenders Vol 4 #8 (September, 2012)
  4. ^ Avant-Première VO: Review Defenders #8, Comic Box, 5 July 2012

External linksEdit

MoviesEdit