Judge Beeny

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Judge Beeny
Beeny.jpg
Beeny as a cadet (illustration by Colin MacNeil).
Publication information
Publisher Rebellion Developments
First appearance Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 no. 20 (1996)
Created by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil
In-story information
Full name America Beeny

Judge America Beeny is a fictional character in the Judge Dredd comic strip in 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine. She appeared as a cadet in most of her stories, graduating to full street judge in a story published in early 2008.[1]

Her mother, America Jara, was the daughter of immigrants from the Puerto Rican Wastes but before 2011, Beeny was depicted as Caucasian. During "Day of Chaos", colourist Chris Blythe started to colour her with darker skin. The change was flagged in prog 1764's letters page, with the editor referring to Jara and indicating this was a permanent editorial change.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Beeny is the child of the two main characters who appeared in the first America story, America Jara and Bennett Beeny. She herself first appeared briefly in the sequel to that story, but her first main story was the third in the America trilogy,[2] in which she took a lead role.

In 2119 Beeny was enrolled as a cadet in the Academy of Law by her father just before his untimely death,[3] and served well enough to qualify for the accelerated graduation program. In her tenth year, as with all tenth year cadets, she was required to plan and execute a criminal investigation on her own. Allowed to choose her supervisor, she chose to work with Judge Dredd, and decided to take another look at the terrorist attack depicted in the previous America story, since she had decided that the first investigation had failed badly (leading indirectly to the Total War terrorist bombings).[4]

In spite of her parentage (she was descended from anti-judicial activists), America Beeny appears to have the makings of a very good judge. She does however want to reform the system from the inside. With both parents dead, the closest thing she had to family was her father's old robo-servant, Robert. When Robert was destroyed in an attempt on her life Dredd observed "we're your family now." Despite this, Beeny has sometimes visited the remains of the Statue of Liberty, where her mother was killed, as "it's as close as I'm ever going to get to her".[5]

During her assessment Dredd noted Beeny's skill, comparing her to a ten-year graduate, though he did suspect that her insistence on going through the paper trail first was a means of needling him, as Dredd's hatred of paperwork is legendary. In a later story she was specifically chosen by Dredd as part of his team investigating the city's mutant facilities.[6]

In 2130 she graduated to full judge at age 15 (not seen but stated to have been under Judge Jeffries, "the Hanging Judge"), after only eleven years in the Academy (the usual time being fifteen years) — two years quicker than Dredd himself managed. In fact her graduation had been accelerated on Dredd's recommendation. She was however partnered with veteran Judge Roake, until she gained enough experience to venture out on her own. Older judges were disgruntled about receiving instructions or suggestions from someone so young, forcing her to assert her authority as a judge. In one of her first cases she investigated and solved a series of PJ Maybe copycat killings - the investigation had been steered to the wrong culprit, but she followed her suspicions (which no other judge had) and was able to uncover the real copycat.[7] In another, she showed herself to be somewhat liberal by Judge standards; while not agreeing with every decision she had made, Dredd defended her before a review board.[8]

When Dredd was assigned to supervise the construction of new townships for mutants in the Cursed Earth, Beeny was sent with him as his deputy, without Roake: an example of Deputy Chief Judge Sinfield removing any of Dredd's allies from positions of influence.[9] She returned to the city with Dredd when Dredd was ordered to investigate PJ Maybe's attempts to murder Sinfield. It is a sign of Dredd's confidence in her that he entrusted her with Maybe's interrogation.[10]

Once the case was solved and Sinfield was deposed, Beeny was transferred to the Special Investigations Unit at Sector 302,[11] where she won the respect of juve street gangs.[12]

Beeny and Roake assisted Dredd in investigating a Soviet bioweapon plot in the Day of Chaos story. During the investigation Roake was murdered by a sleeper agent; Beeny was left distraught but refused to take time off from the investigation.[13] The sleeper was already infected with Chaos Virus but by tracking him down, she found another sleeper and interrogated him.

As the situation got worse, Beeny was permanently attached with Dredd as he fought to pacify select blocks and contain the infected. The grim nature of the work – executing any and all lawbreakers and infected – wore Beeny down, causing her to strike a citizen. Distraught, she tried to turn in her badge but Dredd refused, saying it was currently legal and he needed her too badly. He privately wondered if she was going to be another promising career that burnt out.[14]

In late 2136 Beeny was assigned with Dredd to the Block Judge team at Gramercy Heights, following the murder of the previous block judge. While there she once more served as Dredd's number two, while they attempted to clean up the block and deal with a major gang problem.[15]

In late 2137 Beeny and Dredd investigated a Total War terrorist cell which had assassinated a member of the Council of Five. Following the arrest of the perpetrators, Dredd recommended that Beeny be appointed to the vacant Council seat, and Chief Judge Hershey agreed.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2000 AD prog 1569
  2. ^ Cadet, in Judge Dredd Megazine #250-252, 2006
  3. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 #25, 1996
  4. ^ Cadet, in Judge Dredd Megazine #250-252, 2006
  5. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine #300
  6. ^ 2000 AD #1542-1545
  7. ^ 2000 AD progs 1569-1575
  8. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine #300
  9. ^ 2000 AD #1650
  10. ^ 2000 AD #1674-1686
  11. ^ 2000 AD #1687
  12. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine #302
  13. ^ 2000 AD #1773-74
  14. ^ 2000 AD 1788
  15. ^ 2000 AD #1900–1909
  16. ^ "Terror Rising," in Judge Dredd Megazine #365–367

External links[edit]