Judge McGruder

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Judge McGruder
Judge McGruder (comics character).jpg
Chief Judge McGruder (painted by Peter Doherty)
Publication information
Publisher Rebellion Developments
First appearance 2000 AD #182 (18 October 1980)
Created by John Wagner, Alan Grant and Brian Bolland
In-story information
Full name Hilda Margaret McGruder

Chief Judge Hilda Margaret McGruder is a fictional character in the Judge Dredd stories published in the British comic 2000 AD. She was the first female Chief Judge of Mega-City One, and the first Judge of Mega-City One to become Chief Judge twice (in 2104–2108 and 2112–2116). Her first names are a reversal of the first names of Margaret Hilda Thatcher, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time the character was introduced to 2000 AD.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Judge McGruder
Chief Judge of Mega-City One
In office
2104–2108
Preceded by Judge Griffin
Succeeded by Judge Silver
In office
2112–2116
Preceded by Judge Silver
Succeeded by Judge Volt

After the death of the insane Judge Cal, McGruder was appointed to eliminate corruption from the discredited Special Judicial Squad. She was head of the SJS from 2101 to 2104.[1]

She led the resistance to the invading forces during the Apocalypse War after Chief Judge Griffin was killed and Judge Dredd was taken prisoner. As the only surviving member of the Council of Five after the war, she became chief judge by default.[2] In her first term she established herself as one of the city's most able rulers as she set about rebuilding the war-torn city.[3]

She resigned after four years in office following the Seven Samurai incident, blaming herself for a massacre she thought she could have prevented (although most of her colleagues were more forgiving and begged her to stay), and took the Long Walk into the Cursed Earth. (Her final act in office was to dismiss all of the senior judges who disagreed with her decision to resign, saying this proved they had poor judgement.) She was succeeded as chief judge by Thomas Silver.[3]

Illustration by Cliff Robinson

Her years in the Cursed Earth had had a damaging effect on her mental health, leaving her with a volatile temper, cruder mannerisms and (it was implied) a degree of multiple personality syndrome as she began referring to herself as "we".[4] She also looked visibly older and her facial hair began to grow unchecked. She ran into Dredd during the Necropolis crisis (ambushing his transport on assumption it contained criminals) and returned with him to fight the Dark Judges. With Silver missing and presumed dead, she subsequently returned to the office of chief judge[5] by appointing herself on the grounds that everyone else capable of holding the post was dead or missing presumed dead.[dubious ]

Her first task was to once more get the city and Judge force back on their feet, as well as to deal with all the dead. She decided not to appoint a Council of Five, but instead take advice from any and all Senior Judges when the time came; in an early such discussion, on Dredd's advice, she agreed to a public referendum over whether the Judges should continue to rule the city. She also became snappy with some of the Senior Judges, accusing Judge Grice and others of coming under the Dark Judge's control due to weakness.[4] She entered talks with Murphyville, the megacity in former Ireland, trying to get them to sign the Judicial Charter.

The circumstances of her return to office caused a constitutional crisis in the following year, when an undead Silver returned to reclaim the office which he asserted was rightfully his. The dispute was settled by Dredd himself, who ruled in Silver's favour, before executing Silver's zombie for gross dereliction of duty during the Necropolis incident.[6] She would go on to lead Mega-City One during the Judgement Day crisis, personally fighting the zombie hordes on two occasions.

However, following Judgement Day her second term became increasingly beset with doubts about the quality of her leadership and her sanity. (Med-Judges were aware by 2116 that she had severe lesions on her brain but kept it quiet due to her rank.[7]) To cover up the losses of Judges from the recent crises, she began a programme of robot judges which went disastrously wrong. However, she kept trying to revive the Mechanismo project despite clear evidence it was unworkable, and without a formal body like the Council of Five there was no way to oppose her if she would not listen to advice. In 2116 a deputation of senior judges - including Dredd - attempted to persuade her to reform the Council (with a view to then removing her from office), but they were unsuccessful, partly as she realised they'd try to do away with her.[8] She also oversaw an attempt to remotely control the alien dune sharks in the Cursed Earth, though even the scientists working on this had no idea why she wanted it done.

Her final attempt to revive Mechanismo caused the robots themselves to try and assassinate her. By this point, Dredd was under arrest for his unlawful attempts to stop the project and McGruder's growing madness had embarrassed her on a tour of the colony world Hestia. When the assassination attempt was uncovered, and when Dredd was the sole reason she (and others) survived it, she pardoned him, scrapped the project, and agreed to stand down from office.[9] She was succeeded by Judge Hadrian Volt.

Declining to take the Long Walk again, she became a civilian and decided to write her memoirs. In her retirement she developed Alzheimer's disease and her mental health rapidly deteriorated even further.[10] When Judge Dredd heard that she had been scheduled for compulsory euthanasia he abducted her and led her to a more honourable death fighting criminals in the Cursed Earth.[11] The facts of her death were covered up.[12]

A Mega-City One battleship and a street were named after her in her honour.[13]

Other versions[edit]

Judge McGruder in Judge Dredd portrayed by Joanna Miles.

In the 1995 feature film there was a character called Judge Evelyn McGruder who was played by Joanna Miles. Her appearance is based on McGruder and her role in the movie is to serve as prosecutor in the trial of Judge Dredd (Sylvester Stallone) for murder. During the trial she reveals that all lawgivers fire rounds with the DNA code of the Judge to whom the weapon belongs, thus making identification of the shooter possible with the recovery of the slugs from a victim. She successfully prosecutes Dredd. She was later shot dead along with the Council by Rico.

Her name appears briefly as the arresting judge on a rap sheet in the 2012 film Dredd.

Bibliography[edit]

The comic character appears in the following stories.

  • Judge Dredd:
    • "Block War", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Brian Bolland, in 2000 AD #182 (1980)
    • "Knock On the Door", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ian Gibson, in 2000 AD #195 (1980)
    • "Pirates of the Black Atlantic", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #197–200 (1980) (cameo appearance only)
    • "Any Confessions?" written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ian Gibson, in 2000 AD #201 (1980)
    • "The Apocalypse War", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #245–270 (1982) (last two episodes only)
    • "Meka-City", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #271–272 (1982)
    • "The League of Fatties", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #273–274 (1982)
    • "Fungus", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #275–277 (1982)
    • "The Game Show Show" (sic), written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Casanovas, in 2000 AD #278–279 (1982)
    • "Gunge", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #280 (1982)
    • "Destiny's Angels", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #281–288 (1982)
    • "Blobs", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #290 (1982)
    • "Shanty Town", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #300–303 (1983)
    • "Trapper Hag", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Steve Dillon, in 2000 AD # (1983)
    • "The Prankster", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #308 (1983)
    • "Starborn Thing", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #309–314 (1983)
    • "Cry of the Werewolf", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Steve Dillon, in 2000 AD #322–328 (1983)
    • "The Graveyard Shift", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #335–341 (1983) (third episode only)
    • "The Other Slab Tynan", written by John Wagner, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in Judge Dredd Annual 1984 (1983)
    • "Pieromania", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Kim Raymond, in 2000 AD #350 (1984)
    • "Are You Tired of Being Mugged?", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ian Gibson , in 2000 AD #354 (1984)
    • "Bob's Law", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ian Gibson, in 2000 AD # 355 (1984)
    • "High Society", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ian Gibson, in 2000 AD #364 (1984)
    • "Portrait of a Politician", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #366–368 (1984)
    • "The Wreckers", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Steve Dillon, in 2000 AD #374–375 (1984)
    • "Dredd Angel", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #377–383 (1984) (first episode only)
    • "Error of Judgement", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #388 (1984)
    • "The Big Bang Theory", written by Alan Grant, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in Judge Dredd Annual 1985 (1984)
    • "City of the Damned", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art on relevant episodes by Steve Dillon, in 2000 AD #393–406 (1984–85)
  • Anderson, Psi-Division:
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "Mega-Man", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #442 (1985)
    • "The Warlord", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Cam Kennedy, in 2000 AD #451–455 (1986)
    • "Chief Judge Resigns", written by John Wagner and Alan Grant, art by Cliff Robinson, in 2000 AD #457 (1986)
    • "Necropolis", written by John Wagner, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #674–699 (1990)
    • "Nightmares", written by John Wagner, art by Steve Dillon, in 2000 AD #702–706 (1990)
    • "Death Aid", written by Garth Ennis, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD#711–715 and 719–720 (1990–91)
    • "Emerald Isle", written by Garth Ennis, art by Steve Dillon, in 2000 AD #727–732 (1991) (first episode only)
    • "Return of the King", written by Garth Ennis, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #733–735 (1991)
    • "A Clockwork Pineapple", written by Garth Ennis, art by Simon Coleby, in 2000 AD #743–745 (1991)
    • "Twilight's Last Gleaming", written by Garth Ennis, art by John M. Burns, in 2000 AD #754–756 (1991)
  • Anderson, Psi-Division:
    • "Engram", written by Alan Grant, art by David Roach, in 2000 AD #712–717 and #758–763 (1991) (ninth episode only)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "A Rough Guide to Suicide", written by Garth Ennis, art by Greg Staples, in 2000 AD #761 (1992)
    • "Judgement Day", written by Garth Ennis, art on relevant episodes by Carlos Ezquerra and Peter Doherty, in 2000 AD #786–799 and Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 2 no. 4–9 (1992)
    • "The Marshal", written by Garth Ennis, art by Sean Phillips, in 2000 AD #800–803 (1992)
    • "The Taking of Sector 123", written by Garth Ennis, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in Judge Dredd Megazine #10–11 (1992)
    • "Mechanismo", written by John Wagner, art by Colin MacNeil, in Judge Dredd Megazine #12–17 (1992)
    • "The Kinda Dead Man", written by Garth Ennis, art by Anthony Williams, in 2000 AD #816 (1993)
    • "Mechanismo Returns", written by John Wagner, art by Peter Doherty, in Judge Dredd Megazine #22–26 (1993)
    • "Unwelcome Guests", written by Garth Ennis, art by Jeff Anderson, in 2000 AD #826 (1993)
    • "Happy Birthday Judge Dredd", written by Mark Millar, art by Carl Critchlow, in 2000 AD #829 (1993)
    • "The Great Brain Robbery", written by Mark Millar, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #835–836 (1993)
    • "Ladonna Fever", written by John Smith, art by David Millgate, in Judge Dredd Megazine #30 (1993)
  • Anderson, Psi-Division:
    • "Childhood's End", written by Alan Grant, art by Kev Walker, in Judge Dredd Megazine #27–34 (1993) (last episode only)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "Inferno", written by Grant Morrison, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #842–853 (1993)
    • "Slick Dickens — Dressed to Kill", written by John Wagner, art by Xuasus and David Millgate, in Judge Dredd Megazine #34–35 (1993)
    • "Mechanismo — Body Count", written by John Wagner, art by Manuel Benet, in Judge Dredd Megazine #37–43 (1993)
    • "War Games", written by Mark Millar, art by Paul Marshall, in 2000 AD #854 (1993)
    • "Judge Tyrannosaur", written by Mark Millar, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #855 (1993)
    • "Cage of Knives", written by Alan McKenzie (credited as "Sonny Steelgrave"), art by Paul Marshall and Donnie Cox, in 2000 AD Winter Special 1993 (1993)
    • "Parallel Lines", written by Alan Grant and Tony Luke, art by Brett Ewins, in 2000 AD Yearbook 1994 (1993)
    • "Frankenstein Division", written by Mark Millar, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #868–871 (1994)
    • "The Sugar Beat", written by Alan McKenzie, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #873–878 (1994)
    • "The Manchu Candidate", written by Alan McKenzie, art by Mick Austin, in 2000 AD #881–883 (1994)
    • "The Enemy Below", written by Alan McKenzie, art by Clint Langley, in 2000 AD #886–887 (1994)
    • "Naked City", written by Gordon Rennie, art by John Richardson, in Judge Dredd Yearbook 1995 (1994)
    • "Conspiracy of Silence", written by John Wagner, art by Mark Harrison, in 2000 AD #891–894 (1994)
    • "Prologue", written by John Wagner, art by Peter Doherty, in Judge Dredd Megazine #57 (1994)
    • "The Tenth Planet", written by John Wagner, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in Judge Dredd Megazine #58–62 (1994)
    • "Wilderlands", written by John Wagner, art by Carlos Ezquerra, Trevor Hairsine and Mick Austin, in 2000 AD #904–914 and Judge Dredd Megazine #63–67 (1994)
    • "Parting Shots", written by John Wagner, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #915 (1994)
    • "Farewell to the Chief", written by John Wagner, art by Cyril Julien and Steve White, in Judge Dredd Megazine #68 (1994)
    • "Killing Time", written by John Wagner, art by Paul Marshall, in Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 no. 9 (1995)
    • "Death of a Legend", written by John Wagner, art by Peter Doherty, in 2000 AD #1009 (1996)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ 2000 AD #182; 270
  2. ^ 2000 AD #270
  3. ^ a b 2000 AD #457
  4. ^ a b 2000 AD #706
  5. ^ 2000 AD #699
  6. ^ 2000 AD #733-735
  7. ^ 2000 AD #887: "Down Below Part 1"
  8. ^ 2000 AD #891
  9. ^ 2000 AD #915
  10. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 #9
  11. ^ 2000 AD #1009
  12. ^ 2000 AD #1167
  13. ^ 2000 AD #1033; 1504

References[edit]

  • Judge McGruder at Barney (2000 AD website)
  • Judge McGruder at the Comic Book DB
  • The A-Z of Judge Dredd: The Complete Encyclopedia from Aaron Aardvark to Zachary Zziiz (by Mike Butcher, St. Martin's Press, March 1995, ISBN 0-312-13733-8) p. 104

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Unknown, eventually Judge Cal
Head of SJS
2101–2104
Succeeded by
Unknown, eventually Judge Niles
Preceded by
Judge Griffin
Chief Judge of Mega-City One
2104–2108
Succeeded by
Thomas Silver
Preceded by
Thomas Silver
Chief Judge of Mega-City One
2112–2116
Succeeded by
Hadrian Volt