To skip the intro and get to the pictures click here. Otherwise, read on. In the early 21st century overpopulation finally peaked with hundreds of millions of people crammed into the massive megacities. With over 80% of the population unemployed and frustrated crimerates skyrocketed worldwide. To police these urban jungles a new breed of police were needed. Empowered to sentence criminals on the spot the Judges were the police, judge, jury and (if need be) executioner rolled into one. Originally just an elite police force after President Robert L. "Bad Boy" Booth began the atomic wars the surviving populace turned to them and the Judges took power. By this time all nations had adopted variations on the Judge System and this signaled the start of all of them taking political control of what remained of their homelands. With most of America a wasteland thanks to the nuclear exchanges and decades of environmental abuse the country ceased to exist as the three American megacities became autonomous citystates. Citystates where conditions were worse than ever as their populations swelled yet again from the influx of refugees. With the nightmares spawned by the radlands outside and an urban jungle within the walls the Judges have to maintain an iron grip to keep their cities from spiraling into chaos and self destruction. Mega-City 1 covers most of the East Coast of North America. The most crimeridden of the megacities it is also the home of Judge Dredd. "Mega-City 1 ... 800 million people and every one of them a potential criminal. The most violent, evil city on Earth ... But, God help me, I love it!" - Judge Dredd, Prog 59 "Return to Mega-City" The most prominent judge in the city and perhaps the world he has saved Mega-City 1 (and during "Judgement Day" the entire planet) from total destruction on several occasions. He has also defeated a variety of threats from both larger than life adversaries and the regular but still lethal crime that permeates Mega-City 1. But good as he is Dredd can't do it alone and he's worked with a lot of other Judges. Here's one of them. Dredd first met Judge Barbara Hershey during the search for the Judge Child. Fresh from the Academy, Hershey had been assigned to the Spacecruiser Justice-1. The ship headed off in pursuit of the Angel Gang who had abducted the Judge Child but stopped to investigate an asteroid mining ship they encountered enroute. Echo Bravo 4 had been reported missing three years ago and it only carried supplies for one year Dredd was very suspicious of the captain's claim that they had dropped out of sight due to a radio malfunction. Dredd and Hershey boarded the ship to find everyone dead and the central computer of Echo Bravo 4 the culprit. Fearing its own obsolesence EB4 had exterminated the crew and continued mining operations automatically to prove it still had many years of service left. Mimicing Dredd's voice to assure Justice 1 that everything was under control Echo Bravo 4 got to work solving its problem. It had already decided that to continue operations it had no option but to kill everyone who discovered the truth.
Click here for a closeup of Hershey in the Rig Robot's grip After they escaped the rig Justice 1 destroyed Echo Bravo 4 and continued on ts way. To make a long story short Dredd wiped out the Angel Gang and found the Judge Child. However having become convinced the Judge Child was evil he decided the boy wasn't the prophecised saviour of Mega City 1 and left him on planet Xanadu. A few years later it would become obvious that Dredd made the right decision but there was some more immediate fallout. While Pa, Link, Junior and Mean Angel were dead there was a fifth Angel who had left the gang years earlier. Upon hearing that his family was dead Fink Angel set out to avenge them by tracking down and killing the Judges on the Judge Child mission. Having suceeded in killing Larter, Justice 1's pilot, Fink went after Hershey next and during a vicious struggle he managed to hit her with his paralysing pizen (poison) and drag her off to his hideout. Fink was just waiingt for darkness to make moving around easier. Luckily for Hershey, Dredd managed to rescue her before Fink could succeed in feeding her into Resyk alive. Resyk being Mega-City 1's corpse recycling plant where the deceased are broken down into useful components to fuel the city's industries. Their motto being, "We use everything but the soul". Anyway Hershey survived that ordeal and proved herself time and time again to the extent that she has risen through the ranks to Chief Judge of Mega-City 1. This is not necessarily a good thing as Chief Judges seem to have very brief lifespans. In fact Dredd was responsible for the deaths of at least two of them. If Hershey can be the first Chief Judge to sidestep the curse and live to retirement remains to be see. Before wrapping up this page I should mention that Judge Hershey was played by Diane Lane in the Judge Dredd movie.
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