Judge Volt

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Judge Volt
Judge Volt2.jpg
Chief Judge Volt (painted by Carlos Ezquerra)
Publication information
Publisher Rebellion Developments
First appearance 2000 AD prog 917 (1994)
Created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra
In-story information
Full name Hadrian Volt

Chief Judge Hadrian Volt is a fictional character appearing in the Judge Dredd comic strip, published by British anthology 2000 AD. He was chief judge of Mega-City One between 2116 and 2121 (appearing in the comic between 1994 and 1999).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Judge Volt
Chief Judge of Mega-City One
In office
2116–2121
Deputy Paul Herriman
Barbara Hershey
Preceded by Hilda Margaret McGruder
Succeeded by Barbara Hershey

Volt became a street judge in 2096 and fought in the First Robot War and the Apocalypse War. He later served in the SJS and in the Aliens Bureau. In 2114 he was promoted to chief of Sector 53, where his outstanding administrative ability and judgement reduced violent crime in his sector to the second lowest level in the city.[1]

When Chief Judge McGruder resigned her office in 2116, there was no Council of Five to choose a new chief judge in the normal way, since she had dissolved the Council years earlier. Therefore she ordered that her successor be elected by the city's 400 Senior Judges. After careful consideration, Volt decided to stand as a candidate in this unprecedented election, and polled a clear majority of the votes (208), defeating three other candidates, including Judge Dredd himself. (Ironically most people had believed that Dredd would win, but – as Dredd himself observed – he had annoyed too many judges over the years. Dredd even voted for Volt himself!)[2]

Volt immediately set about instituting significant constitutional reforms. He reinstated the Council and permanently established the new system of electing chief judges. In 2117 he restored the obsolete office of Mayor of Mega-City One and created a council of elected citizens to give the people more say in how they were governed (although ultimate power continued to reside with the Justice Department).[3] He also established a policy of encouraging the judges to foster better relations with the community.[4]

He was also the author of two books: Riding the Apocalypse, a history of the Apocalypse War,[5] and Just Justice, setting out his ideas for legal and political reforms.[4]

In many ways Volt proved to be an outstanding chief judge. But when the city was overrun in the Second Robot War of 2121 he blamed himself for having failed to do enough to prevent it. Even when the war was ultimately won, the burden of personal responsibility weighed too heavily on his mind for him to bear. He waited until the bitter end, and then at the moment of victory he shot himself.[6]

But the general public would never be told the truth. Acting Chief Judge Hershey decided that in the aftermath of such a cataclysmic conflict the Judges' interests required a more heroic death for their fallen leader. The Public Deception Unit therefore set about concocting a false story in which Volt had died valiantly in combat, and fabricated the evidence to prove it.[5]

Volt was the perfect Judge to reform the Justice System which under his two predecessors had become badly corrupt and damaged.[2] Ultimately however he simply was not up to the job of wartime leader. This has however been true of many chief judges, with power usually passing to Dredd in times of crisis, as seen for example in the Apocalypse War and Necropolis.

Volt was succeeded by Deputy Chief Judge Hershey, who was elected chief judge in her own right in early 2122.

In other media[edit]

A black street judge called Volt appears in a background role in the 2012 film Dredd, played by Daniel Hadebe, in which he is one of two judges responding to Judge Dredd's call for backup.

Bibliography[edit]

Volt appears in the following stories. Where more than one artist worked on a story, only the artist who depicted the character is named.

  • Judge Dredd:
    • "The Candidates," written by John Wagner, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #916–917 (1994) (in second episode only)
    • "Voting Day," written by John Wagner, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #918 (1994) (becomes chief judge)
    • "The Big Sleet," written by Peter Hogan, art by Ross Dearsley, in 2000 AD #920 (1994)
    • "Crusade," written by Mark Millar, art by Mick Austin, in 2000 AD #928–937 (1995) (in first and last episodes only)
    • "Goodnight Kiss'" written by Garth Ennis, art by Nick Percival, in 2000 AD #940–948 (1995) (first episode only)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "Megalot," written by John Wagner, art by Caros Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #952 (1995)
    • "The Decision," written by John Wagner, art by Andrew Currie, in 2000 AD #957 (1995) (Volt announces constitutional reforms)
    • "The Cal Files," written by John Wagner, art by John M. Burns, in 2000 AD #959–963 (1995)
  • Judge Hershey:
    • "Spider in the Web," written by Paul Neal, art by Marc Wigmore, in Judge Dredd Megazine (vol. 3) #9-10 (1995)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "The Pit," written by John Wagner, art by Lee Sullivan and Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #970–999 (1995-1996) (in episodes 22 and 28 only)
  • Judge Hershey:
    • "The Enemy," written by Paul Neal, art by Marc Wigmore, in Judge Dredd Megazine #12-13 (1995–1996)
  • Anderson, Psi-Division:
    • “The Protest," written by Alan Grant, art by Arthur Ranson, in Judge Dredd Megazine (vol. 3) #14 (1996)
  • Judge Hershey:
    • "Sacrifices," written by Paul Neal, art by Marc Wigmore, in Judge Dredd Megazine (vol. 3) #18 (1996)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "Darkside," written by John Smith, art by Paul Marshall, in 2000 AD #1017–1028 (1996–1997)
    • "The Big Hit," written by Graham Stoddard and Jack Couvella, art by Alan Craddock, in 2000 AD #1029–1030 (1997)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "He Came From Outer Space!" written by John Wagner, art by Jim Murray, in 2000 AD #1033 (1997)
    • "The Hunting Party," written by John Wagner, art by Sean Phillips, in 2000 AD #1033–1049) (1997) (first episode only)
  • Anderson, Psi-Division:
    • “Crusade," written by Alan Grant, art by Steve Sampson, in 2000 AD #1050–1061 (1997)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "In the Year 2120," written by John Wagner, art by Jason Brashill, in 2000 AD #1077 (1998)
    • "The Missing," written by John Wagner, art by Lee Sullivan, in 2000 AD #1078–1083 (1998) (first episode only)
    • "Sleaze," written by John Wagner, art by John Burns, in Judge Dredd Megazine (vol. 3) #40 (1998)
  • Anderson, Psi-Division:
    • “Lawless," written by Alan Grant, art by Trevor Hairsine, in 2000 AD #1102–1103 (1998)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "The Scorpion Dance," written by John Wagner, art by John Burns, in 2000 AD #1125–1132 (1999) (last episode only)
    • "Doomsday," written by John Wagner, art by Colin Wilson and Mike Collins, in Judge Dredd Megazine #56–59 (1999)
    • "Endgame," written by John Wagner, art by Charlie Adlard, in 2000 AD #1160–1164 (1999)
    • "Volte Face," written by John Wagner, art by Colin Wilson, in 2000 AD #1167 (1999)

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2000 AD #917
  2. ^ a b 2000 AD #918
  3. ^ 2000 AD #957
  4. ^ a b Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 #9
  5. ^ a b 2000 AD #1167
  6. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 #59

External links[edit]