Judge Dredd (Franchise)
“I am the Law!”
Judge Joseph Dredd is a fictional character created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra. He first appeared in the second issue of 2000 AD (1977), which is a British weekly anthology comic. He is the magazine’s longest-running character. He also appears in a number of film and video game adaptations.
Judge Dredd is a law enforcement and judicial officer in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One, which covers most of the east coast of North America. He is a “street judge“, empowered to summarily arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals.
In Great Britain, the character of Dredd and his name are sometimes invoked in discussions of police states, authoritarianism, and the rule of law. Over the years Judge Dredd has been hailed as one of the best satires of American and British culture with an uncanny trend to predict upcoming events such as rampant mass surveillance, rise of populist leaders, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2011, IGN ranked Judge Dredd 35th among the top 100 comic book heroes of all time.
Judge Dredd made his live-action debut in 1995 in Judge Dredd, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone. Later, he was portrayed by Karl Urban in the 2012 adaptation Dredd. In audio dramas by Big Finish Productions, Dredd is voiced by Toby Longworth.
Mean Machine Angel
The third son of the notorious Angel Gang, Mean Machine is a large hulking man with cybernetics, including a dial on his head which controls the power of his cybernetically-enhanced headbutts.
He made his first appearance in 1980 in the Judge Child story arc, alongside his family who are used by the titular child to be his pawns until he later kills them once they have served their purpose. Mean Machine himself was killed by Judge Dredd in the same story, but due to his popularity he was later revived and became one of Dredd’s long standing foes, usually but not always in comedy stories. He would later father a son named Mean Junior from his ex-wife.
Dredd last met mean in a story published in 2007, in which Mean had become so old and frail that he was paroled since he was no longer a danger to the public.
The “alien super-fiend” Judge Death is the founder and leader of the Dark Judges, and is considered an arch-enemy to Judge Dredd and Judge Anderson. Because he cannot be permanently killed, he is the most recurring villain of the Judge Dredd stories.
According to Judge Death, he was originally born Sydney De’Ath (pronounced “Dath” since the “E” is silent), a human boy who at an early age enjoys torturing animals, even tricking the family dog Woofie into leaping to his death. His father, a traveling dentist, hates people and takes pleasure inflicting pain on patients, even killing some. After Sydney attempts and fails to kill his own sister, his father sees a kindred spirit and makes the boy his apprentice. Sydney later concludes that being a Judge would give him greater opportunity to cause death without penalty, so he turns his own father over to the authorities. Favored for his actions, Sydney is allowed to activate the electric chair that executes his father.
After honing his skills and framing a fellow trainee for his own crimes, Sydney De’Ath becomes a merciless Judge on his Earth, sentencing people to death for even minor offenses, arguing this ensures no repeat offenders. He decided to make his new nickname “Judge Death” his official name. After executing his mother and sister, he meets three like-minded, younger Judges who become his lieutenants. He later meets the two dark witches known as the Sisters of Death, learns they have similar views of life and death, and falls in love with the pair. The Sisters reveal they can make others undead through “Dead Fluids”, endowing power and removing the sin of being alive. Judge Death and his lieutenants are transformed into the undead Dark Judges. Judge Death then kills his home’s Chief Judge, declaring himself now in charge and proclaiming life itself is a crime and the sentence is death.
After eliminating all life on his Earth, turning it into Deadworld, the other three Dark Judges are satisfied they can rest now but Judge Death is increasingly restless. When aliens explorers from another dimension appear, Death kills them and takes their dimension-hopping technology, concluding he must spread death to other Earths too. The other Dark Judges don’t think this is necessary, so Death travels alone to Judge Dredd’s Earth. Despite his power, he is defeated by Judge Dredd and Psi-Judge Cassandra Anderson. After his body is destroyed, his mind is telepathically imprisoned by Anderson. He is freed a year later, becoming a frequent menace to Mega-City One and Dredd while developing a particular hatred for Judge Anderson. Judge Death later remarks that he and Anderson share a telepathic link and he can never truly rest while she still lives.
Following the “Necropolis” story where the Dark Judges temporarily controlled Mega-City One, Judge Death hides, eventually renting an apartment at the Sylvia Plath block from nearly blind landlady Mrs. Gunderson, using the alias “Jay De’Ath”. During this time, Death tells his life story to journalist Skuter, later killing him when the man sells a truncated version of the story to a tabloid. He then travels to the DC Comics version of Earth in Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham, meeting the villain Scarecrow before being defeated by Batman, Judge Dredd, and Judge Anderson. Imprisoned in Anderson’s mind again, he is brought back to Dredd’s Earth and his spirit is imprisoned in a special cell. Over the next several years, Death escapes a few times only to later be imprisoned once again, sometimes within a special “glasseen crystal” that can only be destroyed with liquid nitrogen.
During “The Wilderness Days” (Judge Dredd Megazine #209-216, 2003-2004), Judge Death travels under the name “Jay De’Ath” and considers the scope of his quest. He concludes he has made his task harder by killing victims face to face when weapons of mass destruction would destroy greater numbers. After destroying Las Vegas and its entire population, the Judges defeat him again.
Judge Death takes great joy in causing death and fear, but he also takes his work seriously. He sees death as a great gift he is generously giving and one which he must not fail to deliver, while those who oppose him are “ungrateful” fools who torment him and obstruct a holy cause. His favourite method of killing is to thrust his razor-sharp claws directly into the victim’s chest or head. As an undead monster, he is resistant to conventional injury and possesses superhuman strength. His body can be destroyed by heavy weaponry and other methods, at which point Judge Death’s spirit will leave the corpse as a sentient gas and attempt to possess a new host. Judge Death will not have the same full supernatural power in his new host body unless the host is killed and then treated with a special process to make the body undead. In Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham, it is revealed that Judge Death fears and hates bright, cute, colorful things such as unicorns.
Judge Death’s uniform is a twisted parody of the standard Judge uniform, replacing the helmet’s visor with a portcullis, the uniform zipper with crude stitches, and the eagle ornament on the shoulder with a pterodactyl.
The Sisters Of Death
In 2066, Joseph Dredd and his older (by twelve minutes) “brother” Rico Dredd are cloned from the DNA of Chief Judge Fargo, the founder of the Judge System, who was said to have died in the line of duty years before. Their growth is artificially accelerated in gestation so they are “born” with the physiological and mental development of a 5-year-old child, with appropriate knowledge and training already implanted in their brains. The last name “Dredd” is chosen by the genetic scientist who created them, Morton Judd, to “instill fear in the population.”
In 2070, the corrupt President Robert Linus Booth starts World War III, also known as the Atomic Wars, and the Judges move to restore order to the panic-stricken public. Cadets Joe Dredd and Rico Dredd are temporarily made full judges to help restore order under the supervision of Judge Kinnison, despite being physically and mentally only nine years old. They make their first kills stopping a rape gang but are unable to prevent Kinnison’s death in action. During the war, they discover their clone-father Eustace Fargo is still alive, hidden by higher ranking judges. Seeing them as kin, Fargo recruits Joe and Rico to be his temporary bodyguards. He openly tells them his doubts regarding about the Justice Department, wondering if the system has taken away “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” while trying to instill strict order and control. Three weeks later, Fargo is placed in suspended animation and the Dredd brothers return to the Academy. After the Battle of Armageddon in 2071, President “Bad Bob” Booth is captured, tried for war crimes, and sentenced to suspended animation. In the wake of World War III, the office of the President is retired and the Judges now have full control over what’s left of America.
Distinguishing themselves, the Dredds are fast-tracked through the Academy of Law. Rico graduates at the top of their class in 2079, with Joseph graduating second. Joe’s final assessment is done under the supervision of Judge Morphy, who is impressed with the young man and passes him. Joe later discovers Rico has embraced corruption, engaging in multiple crimes including murder, justifying his actions by saying Judges are thugs and killers by nature. Rico asks Joe to help him cover his crimes, but Joe arrests his brother instead, sentencing him to 20 years of labor on the penal colony on Saturn’s moon Titan (a typical punishment for corrupt Judges). Joe Dredd continues operating as a judge, quickly gaining a reputation throughout the city as a formidable and incorruptible law enforcement agent. In 2099, Rico Dredd returns to Earth after serving his 20-year sentence. He comes after Joe for revenge, challenging him to a fast draw. No longer used to Earth’s gravity, Rico loses and Joe shoots him dead in self-defence. Visibly upset, Joe insists he be the one to carry his brother’s body away.
Over the decades, Joe Dredd becomes a major force protecting Mega-City One and is sometimes the biggest catalyst in preventing its destruction. Offered the opportunity to become Chief Judge in 2101, Dredd declines, preferring to serve on the streets enforcing the law, though he does temporarily serve in other senior positions. In “Tour of Duty“, Dredd is appointed to the Council of Five, Mega-City One’s highest governing body below the Chief Judge, on which he serves for two years (2132 to 2134). On several occasions, he saves his city from conquest or destruction by powerful enemies, and in 2114 he saves the entire world during the Fourth World War.
In 2107, Dredd loses his eyes in combat during the story City of the Damned. He has them replaced with bionic eyes that granted him night-vision. In 2112, he suffers near-fatal wounds when a battle leads him to fall into a lake of acidic chemicals, burning his entire body. Later on, he undergoes rejuvenation treatment, healing him and added more vitality than a man his age would normally have. In 2130, Dredd is diagnosed with cancer of the duodenum, though it was benign. In 2138, at 72 years old, Dredd undergoes another “rejuve” treatment after being ordered to. It is specified that his entire epidermis, vascular, and muscular tissue are rebuilt on a cellular level, once again restoring some lost youth and vitality. He turns down an offer for a full treatment that would rebuild his internal organs and skeleton.
Although Dredd holds his duty above every other priority, this devotion is not blind. On two occasions (in “The Robot Wars” and “Tale of the Dead Man“), Dredd resigns from the force on principle, but both times he later returns, believing the Judge System while imperfect and vulnerable to corruption is the best protection that currently exists for people. In 2113, Dredd insists the Justice Department gamble its existence on a referendum to prove its legitimacy. In 2116, he risks 20 years imprisonment with hard labour when he challenges the policy of a Chief Judge. In 2129, Dredd threatens to resign if the Chief Judge doesn’t change the city’s harsh anti-mutant apartheid laws.
In 2129 (2000 AD #1535), Dredd is present when his clone-father Eustace Fargo is revived from cryogenic suspension only to die later the same day. Before Fargo dies, he calls for Dredd to be at his side and admits his conclusion that the Judge system was a mistake that killed the American Dream, that it was meant to fix things but not last forever. Since Joe and Rico Dredd are his blood, Eustace hopes they will fix his mistakes, implying they should replace the Judge System with something else (he was unaware Rico Dredd had gone renegade and later died at Joe’s hand). After Eustace Fargo dies, Dredd decides not to share the man’s final words.
In more recent years, Dredd has met other Fargo clones such as Kraken and Nimrod, and a rogue clone of himself called DRƎDD. He has also developed a family of sorts with the introduction of two younger clones of his own named Judge Dolman and Judge Rico (no first name). Dredd also discovered his older brother Rico Dredd fathered a daughter, Vienna Dredd, who now looks on Joe as an uncle.
Mega-City One’s Most Wanted
|Class Level||Street judge 18|
|Initiative||+6 (+2 Dexterity, +4 Improved Initiative)|
|Defence Value||25 (+15 Reflex)|
|Damage Reduction||6 (body suit uniform)|
|Attacks||+21/+16/+11/+6 melee or +20/+15/+10/+5 ranged|
|Special Qualities||Aura of Justice, bionic eyes|
|Saves||Fort +13, Ref +15, Will +11|
|Abilities||Strength 17, Dexterity 15, Constitution 15, Intelligence 13, Wisdom 10, Charisma 15|
|Skills||Balance +6, Bluff +8, Climb +5, Computer Use +2, Concentration +12, Drive +7, Intimidate +16, Jump +3, Knowledge (law) +17, Ride +23, Search +12*, Sense Motive +17, Spot +16*, Streetwise +lo, Swim +5|
|Feats||Advanced Leadership, Ambidexterity, Bike Leap, Bike Wheelie, Bloodline (Fargo), Improved Arrest, Improved Initiative, Intuit Perp, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Luck of Grud, Menacing Presence, Nark, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Sure Grip, Toughness, Weapon Focus (Lawgiver)|
Possessions: Standard issue Justice Department equipment
Aura of Justice: As a clone of Eustace T. Fargo, the first Chief Judge of Mega-City One, Dredd possesses the Aura of Justice common to the bloodline. He gains a +2 circumstance bonus to all Back-up and Arrest checks.
Bionic Eyes: His original eyes lost during the famous time-travelling mission to the City of the Damned, Dredd was fitted with the most advanced bionic replacements available in Mega-City One.
* Affording 20/20 vision and a superior reduction in blink-rate, Judge Dredd gains a +4 circumstance bonus to all Spot and Search checks.
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 though his rigid adherence to the Law and quintessential hardness have 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.
Rico Dredd (2066–2099) was the “clone brother” of Joseph Dredd, which is to say that they were both cloned from the same genetic source, in their case Chief Judge Fargo. Their growth in the cloning tanks was artificially accelerated, so that within 16 months they emerged with the physical development of children aged five years. They also had their brains electronically induced with knowledge and training which greatly surpassed their apparent physical age, so that they could immediately begin training in law enforcement. Rico was removed from the cloning tanks twelve minutes before Joe, and so he habitually referred to Joe as his little brother (or “Little Joe”).
At the Academy of Law Rico consistently demonstrated higher levels of skill than Joe, and he graduated at the top of their class in 2079, with Joe coming second. During his time as a cadet, he requested to join the older cadets in restoring order to the streets of Mega-City One in the immediate aftermath of the Atomic Wars of 2070. Rico and Joe served with distinction, and were personally chosen to take part in the raid on the White House to depose President Booth (who had usurped his office and had started the War).
However, following an injury during a training mission in the Cursed Earth, Rico began to become more aggressive, underhanded, and determined to prove himself better than Joe. After graduation, Rico began engaging in criminal activities, including extortion, assault and racketeering. Joe suspected that this was the result of exposure to radiation when Rico was injured on a training mission in the Cursed Earth.
When Joe witnessed Rico murder an innocent cafe owner who had refused to pay him protection money, Joe arrested him. Rico was sentenced to twenty years hard labour on the prison colony of Titan, where he grew to hate his brother. While on Titan there he illicitly fathered a daughter, Vienna, with a reporter who was interviewing him.
After serving his time on Titan, Rico returned to Mega-City One seeking revenge on Joe. Confronting him at his home, Rico challenged him to a duel to settle their differences, knowing that with his superior skills he could always outdraw his brother. However he had grown used to the weaker gravity of Titan after his twenty years there. This slowed him down by a split second and allowed Joe to shoot him dead. Carrying his brother’s lifeless body out into the street, Joe declined a paramedic’s offer of assistance, allowing the writer, Pat Mills, to conclude the story with a line from the Hollies song, “He ain’t heavy – he’s my brother!”
Although in the original story, Rico was depicted wearing a judge’s badge with the name “Dredd”, some artists in later stories have erroneously drawn him with a badge labelled “Rico” as though it were his surname. This is possibly based on confusion with the character Judge Rico, whose surname is Rico and whose badge therefore bears that name.
The 1994 Judge Dredd novel Dread Dominion by Stephen Marley depicts a universe where Dredd executed Rico rather than arrest him and descended into madness. The fact that Rico’s badge read “Dredd” was part of the plot. In a parallel universe, Joe shot Rico instead of arresting him. The bullet went through the second D in Rico’s badge. Joe kept the badge as a souvenir, and eventually had the letter A substituted and wore it, and changed his name to Dread.
Judge Barbara Hershey first appeared in The Judge Child in 1980, in an episode written by John Wagner and drawn by Brian Bolland. For nearly two decades she regularly appeared as Dredd’s junior colleague, before being promoted to become his superior in 1999; she was chief judge twice. She also had her own solo series, Judge Hershey, in the Judge Dredd Megazine (1992–1997). In the 1995 film Judge Dredd, Hershey is played by Diane Lane.
Shortly after her graduation from the Academy of Law in 2102 at age eighteen, Judge Hershey joined the crew of the spaceship Justice 1 for the dangerous deep-space mission to find the Judge Child, who had been abducted by the Angel Gang. Two years later, during the Apocalypse War, Hershey was called upon again by Judge Dredd to join his “Apocalypse Squad” for a daring commando raid which ended the war.
When Chief Judge McGruder resigned her position in 2108, she appointed Hershey as the youngest ever member of the Council of Five, Mega-City One’s highest legislative body. Her meteoric rise up the Justice Department’s “greasy pole” saw her hotly tipped to become chief judge in due course, but she denied any real ambitions in this direction. Even so, she soon experienced the power that goes with the office when she was asked to serve as acting chief judge while McGruder – back for an unprecedented second term of office – attended a crisis meeting of judges from all over the world to find a way to defeat Sabbat the Necromagus in 2114. Her sister Hillary, a civilian, was killed by Sabbat’s zombies, leaving her son Anton, Barbara’s nephew, an orphan. The following year, when Anton was kidnapped, Hershey rescued him.
When McGruder resigned for the second time, in 2116, Hershey was one of the candidates to replace her, but she received only 13 votes from the 400 senior judges who voted. Chief Judge Volt appointed her to the new Council of Five, and in 2120 she became deputy chief judge. The following year she became acting chief judge following the suicide of Volt at the end of the Second Robot War. In 2122 she was elected chief judge in her own right, trouncing the only other candidate, Judge Loblaw.
In 2130 she repealed the anti-mutant laws (largely at Dredd’s insistence), making her unpopular with the public and many judges. In the following year senior judges began a campaign to have her voted out of office and replaced with a hardline candidate who would reinstate those laws. Judge Dan Francisco won the election by a landslide, and appointed Hershey to a position on another planet. At over nine years, Hershey had the longest reign (2122–2131) of any chief judge since Clarence Goodman, and the longest since the comic strip began in 1977. Dredd described her as “the best chief judge we’ve ever had.”
After two years away from Earth, Hershey returned to Mega-City One and resumed her old role as a street judge. In the story Day of Chaos, set in 2134, a deadly plague wiped out seven eighths of the city’s population. Francisco resigned and appointed Hershey to form an interim government.
In 2139 Hershey reintroduced the Mechanismo robot judges, the failure of which had ended Chief Judge McGruder’s career 23 years earlier. Her efforts to win Dredd over failed.
In 2141 Hershey decided to step down for a second time, and nominated Judge Logan as her successor. Publicly she retired due to desire to move on from the top post, but in private she had concealed a terminal illness contracted during her time off world and had managed to hide it from all but her doctors. Hershey was the third longest serving chief judge (after Fargo and Goodman), having held office for a total of sixteen years.
Several months later, with no signs of improvement, Hershey asked to be euthanized. This story, “Guatemala,” was published in September 2019, 39 years after the character’s first appearance. In later episodes of the same story, it was revealed that Hershey had had another sister (not named in the story), who lived in Guatemala. As this sister was unable to have children, Hershey had donated her eggs, and so the resulting child and grandchildren were genetically Judge Hershey’s own. Years later, Guatemala was taken over in a coup and Hershey’s sister was murdered. Hershey’s last request to Dredd was for him to go there and rescue her surviving relatives from danger. Dredd later infiltrated Guatemala under the guise of a diplomatic mission, located the family and was able to rescue Hershey’s daughter, granddaughter and unborn great granddaughter; however her grandson was killed in the operation. The family were returned to Mega-City One to live under Justice Department protection.
Hershey’s death was not as it seemed however and was in fact faked. Hershey believed she had been poisoned by her enemies and that a cure existed somewhere. She faked her death in order to retire and leave the city to hunt down the agents of former black ops chief Judge Smiley who she believed was responsible for her illness and held the cure. She teamed up with undercover Judge ‘Dirty’ Frank and during their first investigation she was seriously wounded losing an arm and leg. But after receiving bionic replacements vowed to fight on.
Mega-City One’s Most Wanted
|Chief Judge Barbara |
judge 15/sector chief 2
|Initiative||+2 (+2 |
|24 (+14 |
|6 (body |
melee or +18/+13/+8/+3 ranged
|Face of |
|Saves||Fort +12, |
Ref +14, Will +16
|Abilities||Strength 13, |
Dexterity 15, Constitution 13, Intelligence 15, Wisdom 14, Charisma 15
|Skills||Bluff +12, Climb +5, Computer Use +12, Concentration +lo, Intimidate +18, Jump +5, Knowledge (law) +20, Ride +15, Search +14, Sense |
Motive +14, Spot +13,
Streetwise +17, Technical +5
Control Crash (ride), Data Access, Far Shot, Improved Arrest, Improved Interrogation,
Intuit Perp, Iron Will, Leadership, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Aim, Skill Focus
(computer use), Spot Hidden Weapon, Weapon
Focus (bike cannon), Weapon Focus (Lawgiver)
Possessions: Standard issue Justice Department equipment
Noted as being one of the toughest street judges ever to patrol Mega-City One, Judge Barbara Hersheys 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 McGruders questionable judgement that Hershey was after the
top job in 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 Mechanism0
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 cormdted suicide over what he believed were 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
the 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.
The Judge Dredd Megazine, 1994.
Judge Cassandra Anderson, created by writer John Wagner and artist Brian Bolland in 1980, is a fictional character that started as a supporting character in the comic strip Judge Dredd of 2000 AD and eventually rose in prominence and became the star of her own strip, which is entitled Anderson: Psi Division.
Like her namesake Cassandra she has psychic powers. In addition to being able to sense approaching danger and foresee events of the near future, as did her namesake, she also has telepathy. This allows her to read other people’s minds and use mental attacks. These abilities allowed her to enlist in Mega-City One’s corps of Judges as member of the Psi Division, which includes all Judges possessing psychic abilities.
Originally appearing while the city was facing the first attack by Judge Death of the Dark Judges (a group of undead Judges from another dimension who seek to destroy all crime by destroying all life) she was instrumental in stopping the attack. She has since been involved in many other attacks by the Dark Judges, who even managed to use her as an instrument of their plans for a while. Despite her efforts to end their threat, which even included exiling them to empty pocket-dimensions, the Dark Judges always manage to return eventually, ever determined to fulfil their mission. Though both sides claim it as their mission to prevail, in time Anderson and Death have become personal enemies to each other.
Meanwhile she has become a prominent member of her division and has gained the respect of Dredd despite their differing attitudes. In contrast to Dredd she has always been critical of the weaknesses evident in the Judicial system of Mega-City One, though she has been deemed too valuable to her Division to face consequences for it. Also in contrast to Dredd she has a sense of humor and she is able to form personal friendships with fellow Judges. She is able to feel doubt and remorse, two feelings that Dredd doesn’t allow to himself. But her determination to a mission she accepts as her own is similar to Dredd’s own and the two have been able to co-operate
effectively during a number of missions.
She has had a crisis of conscience following the resurfacing of childhood memories of an abusive father (as told in the story Engram). She was shocked to find that her Division was aware of it but had set mental blocks in her mind to make her forget. Though she understood the Division’s belief that she was more effective without those scars threatening her mental health, she still didn’t agree with it and temporarily left the force. She had a series of space travels while soul-searching and eventually returned to the force. Dredd has had a similar experience and they can somewhat relate to each other. They are both considered veterans currently and are seen with awe by younger and less experienced Judges.
After a deadly run in with Judge Death, she was placed in a coma and infected with the psychic Half Life virus that would be released if she ever awoke. She was able to contain the virus within a web of psychic constructions and illusions, but she was slowly dying. A team of Psi-Judges was sent in to rescue her and destroy the virus; they succeeded in rescuing Anderson, at the cost of nearly the whole team, but Half Life passed on to Judge Gistane, who was then experimented on by the mad Judge Fauster so he could use the virus to achieve immortality. When Half Life was unleashed on the city causing a wave of mass murder, Anderson was the one
who stopped it.
Since exiting her coma,
Anderson is still dealing with her increasing age; she is now almost fifty and
bald (she wears a wig), and since being a Psi stops her from using the drugs
& treatments that keep aging Street Judges like Dredd active, she knows
she will eventually be unable to do her job anymore.
|Judge Cassandra Anderson|
|Initiative||+2 (+2 |
|22 (+12 |
|6 (body |
melee or +18/+13/+8/+3 ranged
+I 1, Ref +12, Will +15
|Abilities||Strength 12, |
Dexterity 14, Constitution 12, Intelligence 16, Wisdom 16, Charisma 19
|Skills||Bluff +10, Computer Use +4, Concentration +17, Intimidate +8, Jump +3, Knowledge |
(law) +7, Knowledge (psi-talent) +18, Listen +7, Psi-Scanning +22, Ride
+12, Search +7, Sense
Motive +lo, Spot +5, Streetwise +10
Fuel, Combat Manifestation, Greater Power Penetration, Improved Arrest,
Inner Strength, Iron Will, Necrospan, Point Blank Shot, Power Penetration,
Psychic Inquisitor, Psychoanalyst, Talented
issue Justice Department equipment
Power Points: 1
0 level: daze, detect
psi-talent, empathy, inkling, mental sting, mind shield, missive, xenoglossia;
3rd level: blanking,
danger sense, fabricated realise, psi-scan;
4th level: aura
sight, detect psi-scanning, divination, domination;
5th level: mind
probe, psychic static, sense psi-talent;
6th level: aura
7″ level: insaniy, mind bomb
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 Morti’s. – 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 poper 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. 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.
*Specialist telepaths and Andersons new powers are detailed fully in the Rookie’s Guide to Psi-Talent
Although wounded in the
encounter, Judge Dredd found one of the Samurai’s shuriken (throwing stars) and realised that it alone was capable of penetrating Shojun’s psionic shield. Although Shojun saw it coming, even he could not stop it and he was killed.
However, Shojun’s death did not stop the Seven Samurai as Dredd had hoped. With the street judges helpless against this unprecedented threat, it fell to Psi Division (psychic judges) to defeat them. Judge Omar, head of Psi Division, destroyed the Seven Samurai, but at the cost of his own life, a price he knew in advance he would have to pay.