Noted (and Notable) Judges of Mega-City One
A closer look at the most famous Judges to walk the streets of Mega-City One
Judge Giant was a cadet when Dredd first met him, having only just been awarded the accolade of Rookie Judge. Giant’s father had been a famous aeroball player for the Harlem Heroes, but Giant’s Pappy, wanting something better for him, had encouraged him into trying to become a Judge. In order to become a full Judge, however, Giant would have to prove his abilities and knowledge of the law to Dredd. He accompanied Dredd on patrol, but Giant’s first encounter with a perp was far from successful: in his eagerness to impress Giant shot Dredd in the face, only the Judge’s helmet saving him. Dredd failed Giant but when news reached them of a kidnapping Giant pleaded to be given another chance. Dredd agreed, letting him handle the kidnapping situation on his own. The duo sped to the Old Heroes Bowl, where Giant’s Pappy had played aeroball. Using a combination of inherited athletic prowess and heroism Giant dealt with two of the perps, but a third perp was holding a kidnapped kid hostage up on the girders of the stadium, threatening to explode a bomb that had been strapped to the kid. Giant used a jetpack to reach the kidnapper and the hostage.
Giant knocked the kidnapper from the girders, grabbing the kid and managing to release the bomb just in time. Giant hurled the bomb away just as it exploded. However, on reaching the ground Giant discovered Dredd apparently about to break the law by shooting the two perps and pretending they’d been killed escaping. Giant intervened, drawing his own gun on Dredd and risking his future as a law enforcement officer. But Dredd’s actions turned out to be a ruse, designed to see if Giant would uphold the law even if it meant endangering his own career. Giant was awarded the black helmet and full-eagle badge of Mega-City Judge, much to the pride of his father.
Galen DeMarco was enrolled into the Academy of Law by a caring father who wanted his daughter to find a real purpose in life beyond the vast amount of credits his business had accrued. He died during her training, leaving Galen heir to the DeMarco Foundation and the sixteen billion credits held in interests throughout three galaxies. Remaining loyal to her father’s dream, she stayed within the Academy despite being able to quit at any time and finally graduated as a full street judge. DeMarco’s career in the Justice Department began in a most inauspicious manner, when she requested transfer to Sector House 301, commonly known as the ‘Pit’ and regarded at the time as the worst sector in the entire city, to be close to her lover, Judge Warren. Judge Dredd was dispatched to bring Sector House 301 back into line and in DeMarco he found a reliable judge whom he could trust to root out the corruption that riddled the judges of the sector. However, her indiscretion with Judge Warren was soon uncovered and Dredd immediately placed her under suspension though she was quickly reprimanded and reinstated.
DeMarco’s diligence to duty and persistence in staying with the Justice Department despite her immense personal wealth proved sufficient to give DeMarco a solid grounding for her future with the Justice Department. Several missions involving Judge Dredd proved successful and, in 2120, she was promoted to Chief of Sector House 303, the youngest judge to achieve this in judicial history. However, her very human feelings were to prove DeMarco’s ultimate downfall when she requested that Dredd be seconded to sector 303 to aid in a case. Unknown to him, Galen had fallen hopelessly in love with the stern judge. Expressing her feelings to him, Dredd is disappointed by her conduct but did not report her. However, Judge Edgar of PSU became all too aware of DeMarco’s indiscretion and influenced the SJS to report her to Chief Judge Volt. Galen was immediately stripped of her rank and ordered to undergo compulsory re-education. Realising that the Justice Department was never going to be her whole life, DeMarco resigned to pursue her dreams elsewhere.
Though in a position to become the most eligible single woman in Mega-City One and enjoy the playgirl lifestyle, DeMarco instead bought out a poorly run agency and set herself up in perhaps the one career more dangerous than being a street judge – a private investigator. Teaming up with Travis Perkins, the Simian Sam Spade, DeMarco is still adjusting to life as a citizen and still retains much of her former idealism. Choosing cases based on her own code of honour rather than the credits they bring in, DeMarco is one of the few places citizens can turn to when the Justice Department fails them.
Judge Joe Dredd graduated with honour from the Academy of Law in 2079, after having been a model cadet. Since that time, he has consistently proved himself the finest street judge in Mega-City One, if not the entire world, even those his rigid adherence to the Law and quintessential hardness has earned him the nickname ‘Old Stoney Face’ from his fellow judges.
Whenever Mega-City One has faced its greatest times of need, Judge Dredd has inevitably been at the heart of the action, fighting to uphold the Law and protect the citizens he has sworn to safeguard. Throughout the Robot Wars, the Apocalypse War, Judge Caligula’s mad reign and the Judge Child incident, Dredd proved himself utterly inflexible and unbreakable – no matter what the challenge, he always put the Law and his city first, so much so that those closest to him began to wonder if he were not more machine than man. This all changed after the Democratic Charter March of 2109 was ruthlessly broken up by the judges. Following this incident, Judge Dredd received a letter from a young boy asking questions about the judicial system and its effects on the citizens of Mega-City One that Dredd could just not answer to his satisfaction. This led to his resignation and Long Walk into the Cursed Earth though he was later to return and reclaim his position among the ranks of street judges when his city fell under the sway of the Dark Judges’ Necropolis. Since then, Judge Dredd has remained a staunch defender of the Law though those closest to him have noticed he now shows a little more sympathy, if not actual concern, for the citizens of Mega-City One.
There have been several occasions where Dredd has been offered the chance of promotion to Chief Judge of Mega-City One. He has, however, consistently turned down the offer, firmly believing his place is where it has always been – on the streets, fighting crime and upholding the Law.
Psi-Judge Cassandra Anderson has always been regarded as one of the elite within the Justice Department’s Psi-Division though the flippant nature common to many psi-operatives has often placed her at odds with judges on the street. Despite this, her courage and raw natural talent have impressed even the likes of Judge Dredd, with whom she has shared many high-profile missions. Her first major investigation took place upon Judge Death’s first visit to Mega-City One, where Anderson heroically sacrificed herself when the foul creature possessed her mind. This was to come to naught when the other three Dark Judges – Fire, Fear and Mortis – came to the city and freed Death. Teaming up with Judge Dredd, Anderson travelled to the Dark Judges’ own dimension and entered Deadworld, where she was able to act as a psychic conduit for the immense mental power for all the Dark Judges’ billions of past victims. Wielding this incredible energy, it was presumed that the Dark Judges had finally been laid to rest.
The Dark Judges were, however, to continue to feature in Psi-Judge Anderson’s investigations. Judge Death was later able to influence her into releasing them from their enforced dimensional imprisonment, an action which came very close to seeing Anderson sentenced to the Titan penal colony. Defying her suspension, she embarked on her most desperate mission yet to risk her life and banish the Dark Judges once more using experimental dimension jump devices. It was this action alone that lifted her suspension and avoided criminal charges.
Throughout her career, Anderson was to take part in many notable missions, including joining Judge Dredd’s Apocalypse Squad aimed at the heart of East-Meg One and travelling to the future in the Proteus time machine to aid Dredd in defeating a powerful being called the Mutant, who threatened to bring ruin to Mega-City One. Her illustrious service, however, began to fall apart upon the suicide of her close friend Psi-Judge Corey.
Anderson was already experiencing doubts about her role in the Justice Department when an encounter with a powerful mutant child named Hope accidentally removed memory blocks placed in her mind when she was a child, forcing her to remember the abuse she had suffered earlier in life. Anderson was left with the difficult task of reconciling her past. She continued to experience severe doubts about the Justice Department, particularly when partnered with the brutal Judge Goon. The crisis came to a head during a mission to Mars, which culminated in the destruction of Eden City and the death of its two million citizens. Anderson quit the Justice Department altogether, and spent several months wandering the galaxy, but eventually returned to Earth following a precognition of an impending disaster. The threat – an entity that believed itself to be an incarnation of Satan – was swiftly defeated and Anderson was soon patrolling the streets once again, prepared to put aside her doubts in order to continue protecting the innocent.
Chief Judge Hershey
Noted as being one of the toughest street judges ever to patrol Mega-City One, Judge Barbara Hershey’s first major case was to work alongside Judge Dredd himself on the deep space expedition to locate the Judge Child. Though many senior judges believed, at the time, that the mission was a failure, Hershey was greatly commended by Dredd in his personal log – this no doubt played a great part in her meteoric rise through the ranks of the Justice Department.
Hershey proved her great resilience when Fink Angel infiltrated Mega-City One on a mission to assassinate her and other judges for their part in the deaths of his Pa and brothers. Though ultimately rescued by Judge Dredd, Hershey survived a long period of time in the hands of the Fink. When Judge Dredd assembled his squad to take the Apocalypse War straight into the heart of East-Meg One, Hershey proved a natural choice to accompany him. Her actions during the war resulted in her being promoted to senior judge and within four years, Hershey found herself appointed to the Council of Five, the youngest ever judge to do so.
While Chief Judge McGruder attended a meeting of judges from all over the world to discuss the defeat of Sabbat the Necromagus, Hershey was asked to fill the position of acting-Chief Judge. This, however, only served to confirm McGruder’s questionable judgement that Hershey was after the top job ion Mega-City One, a feeling she felt confirmed when Hershey joined other senior judges in lobbying for the reformation of the Council of Five, disbanded since Necropolis. McGruder finally stepped down after one of the Mechanismo robots she strongly championed attempted to kill her. Hershey was beaten to the post of Chief Judge by Hadrian Volt in a vote among senior judges, due in no small part on her insistence that the government of Mega-City One be more accountable to the citizens.
Five years later, Chief Judge Volt committed suicide over what he believed was his inadequacies during the Second Robot War, when crimelord Nero Narcos made his bid to gain domination over the city. In recognition of her indomitable spirit and new ideas, Hershey was subsequently elected as Chief Judge. She has inherited a city wracked by disasters of the past and retaining a legacy of severe manpower shortages in the Justice Department. Among the senior judges who know her best, however, there is little doubt that she will prove a worthy successor to all the Chief Judges who have gone before.
Travis Perkins, or the ‘Simian Sam Spade’, as the vidnets like to call him, is an oddity among ape-kind. Despite having been raised in the largely lawless Jungle of Mega-City One, he was fortunate to have a mother who embodied ‘high moral ideals’ as he calls them. Turning his back on the rampant crime of the Jungle, he actually managed to enlist into the Academy of Law during one of the more liberal recruitment drives and looked set to be an incredibly capable law enforcer. However, even Mega-City One was not yet ready to see a huge gorilla in a judge’s uniform.
Returning to the jungle, Travis became an undercover ape, a job he excelled at until he had to blow his cover during one case in order to save the life of a human child. No longer wanted in the Jungle and knowing that there was little need for an undercover ape elsewhere in Mega-City One, Travis applied for and obtained a city-wide clearance and set himself up as an urbane gorilla – butler and bodyguard to the stars.
He soon found employment with the DeMarco Foundation and was legally contracted to protect Galen DeMarco after she left the Justice Department. However, with their morals and agendas so closely aligned, ape and human soon developed deep respect for on another and Travis has since become DeMarco’s unofficial partner in her detective agency. Together they aim to help citizens in need, be they man, ape or anything else.
Travis Perkins is an incredibly well-spoken ape, with a flair for the poetic. He affects an accent most confuse with Brit-Cit, though he has never left Mega-City One in his life. Normally relying on his charm, wit and incredible strength to protect Galen during investigations, Travis can also rely on his Mauley Blastgun, specially modified for his physique as a gift from the DeMarco Foundation.