Judge Shenker

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Judge Shenker
Judge Shenker.jpg
Drawn by Arthur Ranson
Publication information
Publisher IPC Media (Fleetway) to 1999, thereafter Rebellion Developments
First appearance 2000 AD #457 (1986)
Created by John Wagner and Alan Grant (writers)
Cliff Robinson (artist)

Judge Shenker is a fictional supporting character in the Judge Dredd and Anderson, Psi Division comic strips in British comics 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Megazine. He is the head of Psi Division. He first appeared in 2000 AD prog 457 (1986). Originally with hair, he became bald in later strips.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Shenker was appointed head of Psi-Division by Chief Judge McGruder in 2108, following the death in action of his predecessor, Judge Omar. Shenker took Omar's seat on the Council of Five, Mega-City One's highest government body. His first council meeting was eventful: blaming herself for Omar's death, McGruder decided to resign. Three other members of the Council urged her to stay, insisting that she was not at fault. Only Shenker spoke in favour of her decision to resign. His opinion was greeted with derision by his three colleagues, but McGruder dismissed them from office and from the Council. Her final act as chief judge was to appoint four new councillors, at a stroke promoting Shenker from the Council's most junior member to its most senior. In this exalted position Shenker was influential in deciding the outcome of the new Council's choice of Judge Silver to succeed McGruder as chief judge. This was to be the last occasion on which the Council of Five would choose a chief judge.[1]

Shenker was one of the few who knew that Dredd had taken the Long Walk in 2112 and been replaced by the clone Judge Kraken; he was a confidant of Silver's, who was worried about his decision.[2] Shortly after, Shenker was consulted by Silver when Kraken reported the arrival of the Sisters of Death; he reported that Psi-Division believed there was a supernatural incursion but they were unable to get a clear fix due to ongoing "psionic flux".[3] Soon afterwards, Judge Agee had a vision of the coming Necropolis and Shenker held a division meeting to discuss the issue – mid-meeting, they became aware that Agee had been captured by the Sisters and Shenker called in Kraken (her last partner) to grill him for information.[4] Unfortunately, this came too late to stop the Necropolis and Shenker was one of those mind-controlled by the Sisters.

McGruder later returned to office for a second term, resigning again in 2116. Since she had previously suspended the Council of Five, and her successor had not yet been chosen, she appointed an Interim Council of three judges to run the city until a new chief judge could be sworn in. By now the city's most senior judge, Shenker was an obvious choice for this ruling body. When the new chief judge re-established the Council of Five, Shenker regained his old seat.[5]

However Psi Division's performance was declining, and it was no longer getting the results it had once boasted of. In the past, psi judges with precognitive abilities had been able to predict future crimes and catastrophes, enabling Justice Department to take pre-emptive action to avoid disaster. But Shenker's people (outside of one cadet) conspicuously failed to foresee the calamitous Second Robot War which wreaked massive devastation across the city and almost resulted in the end of the Judges' rule. After fourteen years on the Council of Five, Chief Judge Hershey asked Shenker to resign from his position on the Council to focus on improving his division's performance, a development that Shenker had not needed precognitive powers to expect.[6]

The problem is that Psi Division has always relied on a few star operators, many of whom have died or been incapacitated under Shenker's administration – including Anderson temporarily quitting as a Judge and later being in a two-year coma, the death of Fortean Events director Doctor Rickard in Tibet,[7] most of a six-strong team killed or damaged in a 2126 rescue mission in Anderson's mind,[8] and the 2127 possession of Judge Karyn. The need to recover Psi-Division's effectiveness from this led to an extreme decision by Shenker to drug and deliberately injure a prisoner, Gaia Innocenti, in order to forcibly use her as a precog.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2000 AD #457
  2. ^ Prog 671
  3. ^ Prog 675
  4. ^ 2000 AD #678-81
  5. ^ 2000 AD #915
  6. ^ 2000 AD #1178
  7. ^ Prog 711: "Shamballa"
  8. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine 226
  9. ^ 2000 AD #1422
Preceded by
Judge Omar
Head of Psi Division
2108–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent