Mayor of Mega-City One

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Mayor of Mega-City One is a fictional office in the Judge Dredd comic strip in 2000 AD. The most significant mayor to appear in the comic was serial killer PJ Maybe, in disguise as Byron Ambrose.

The real political power in Mega-City One is not held by the mayor but by the unelected judges, headed by the Chief Judge. However, the citizens are allowed some very limited degree of self-government in the form of a democratically elected council headed by a mayor, with powers over relatively minor matters and the authority to make representations to Justice Department.[1] The office did not really exist in any meaningful sense between the years 2104 and 2117.

Mayors[edit]

Mayor Amalfi was mayor until he was implicated in receiving stolen body parts from the morgue, which he used as fertiliser in his private garden. Obese and obnoxious to the Judges, he lived a life of luxury. When his crimes were discovered by Judge Dredd, he accidentally fell to his death while resisting arrest. The true circumstances of his death were covered up to prevent a scandal.[2]

Mayor Jim Grubb was mayor from 2093[3] to 2104. In 2099 Dredd rescued his son from mutants who had kidnapped him.[4] In 2101 Grubb was arrested by Chief Judge Cal and held in custody in a psychiatric ward, to remove a possible focus point of opposition to Cal's tyrannical reign. Later that year, following Cal's demise, he was re-elected, although the election was disrupted by Father Earth's calamitous attack on the city.

After the Apocalypse War of 2104 Grubb went missing and was presumed dead. However he later resurfaced, having fallen victim to a strange disease (eventually called Grubb's Disease), which gradually turned his body into a fungus. His last words were "please don't eat me!"[5] An airport was named after him.

Following the War the ruined city was struggling to get back onto its feet, and no new mayor was chosen for some time. Instead the chief judge deemed it more expedient to assume direct control over all aspects of governing the city. However, in 2106 matters had returned sufficiently to normal for the Justice Department to allow elections to resume. However, the public had such contempt for the mediocre candidates on offer that they voted for a joke candidate, an orangutan called Dave.[6]

Mayor Dave the Orangutan was probably the most popular mayor the city ever had. He was allowed to run for office as there was no specific law to prohibit it. After his assassination in 2107 no more mayors were elected for ten years. At the time, Dredd considered it a good thing if Dave won against the other candidates, and would later assure Chief Judge McGruder that the ape might be a "definite improvement" over the previous mayors.[7] Decades later, in 2133, he would view Dave as a reason why democracy could not work - "let the people decide, and they gave you Dave".[8]

In 2117 Chief Judge Volt reinstated the city council and the mayorship, as part of his constitutional reforms to give a little more power to the people.[9] Mayor Lindberg was in power in December 2118 and altered zoning regulations so his friend Ronald Chump could build Chump Towers. This came back to bite him when a hovercar crashed into the tower and the animals escaped from the building's zoo, killing Lindberg and his wife.[10]

Few of the new mayors have been named in the Judge Dredd strip since then, although in 2120 Dredd ended the career of an unnamed mayor by leaking scandalous information about him to the press.[11]

In 2129 Mayor Katz was murdered by serial killer PJ Maybe, prompting an election. Maybe stood as the Illiberal Party candidate for mayor using a false identity of (murdered) philanthropist Byron Ambrose, and won the election by framing his rival for other murders.[12] Surprisingly, as Mayor Byron Donald Ambrose, Maybe actually proved to be a very competent and popular mayor, and even had Dredd's support. Nevertheless, he still found time to murder several people, including his own deputy mayor. After three years in office, Chief Judge Sinfield tried to threaten "Mayor Ambrose" into cutting some of his liberal initiatives; angry at the threats, and by now feeling proud of his political career and wanting to protect it, Maybe attempted to kill Sinfield. He failed, was arrested, and his true identity was uncovered by Judge Dredd.[13] The truth was kept secret, however, and the public and media were informed that Ambrose had died of natural causes.[14]

Ambrose/Maybe was succeeded by Mayor Tony Blore, his former deputy.[15] Elections were planned for early 2134, with two hundred and twelve parties in the running. Blore was the favourite to win[16] until Maybe, sick of Blore using Ambrose's name for votes, kidnapped him from a late 2133 election debate and murdered the man. Several other candidates were killed in the process.[17] With a few days to go before the vote, Simp Party candidate Ribena Hardly-Lucidberry became the front runner in the polls (thanks to people trying to mock the election),[18] and the Illiberal Progressive and Liberal Conservative candidates got married to run as joint mayor. ("We're very much in love. Anyone who's very much in love should vote for us too.")[19]

Due to a Soviet-backed eruption of terrorist attacks and the release of a weaponised bacterium, the Judges suspended the 2134 elections. Several candidates, including Hardly-Lucidberry and Medusa Korner of the Democratic Alliance, believed the threat was a fake by Justice Department and declared they would hold a "people's election".[20] This was held but few voted, as the day of the vote was "Chaos Day": when the Chaos Virus infection reached its peak. Due to the death of 350 million people, the city never got round to swearing in a new mayor.

In 2135, dozens of candidates tried to become the new mayor, with several resorting to criminal methods; Medusa Korner, reduced to a severed head by Chaos Day, was arrested for trying to buy a black market body. The resulting violence left Denny Oneman as Mayor of Mega-City One by one vote (for himself), simply because he was the only person left in the area.[21] A year later, Mega-City Confidential was criticising him for being a non-entity who did nothing and exposed his affairs on live TV. [22]

UK political references[edit]

"Father Earth" (progs 122-25) ran two months after the 1979 general election, and could have been intended to run concurrently. Grubb's was Myra Schryll of the Con-Cit Party,[23] a parody of Margaret Thatcher of the Conservative Party (Schryll being a pun on "shrill"). "Portrait of a Politician" had a fattie party called the Lib-Lab-Flab Party running, a pun on 1977's Lib–Lab pact.

Tony Blore in "Day of Chaos" is an obvious reference to Tony Blair, while the Illiberal Progressive/Liberal Conservative marriage refers to the then-recent Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition agreement.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2000 AD prog 750
  2. ^ Dan Dare Annual 1979
  3. ^ 2000 AD prog 122: Grubb is said to have been mayor for eight years by 2101.
  4. ^ 2000 AD #4
  5. ^ 2000 AD progs 275-276
  6. ^ "Portrait of a Politician" Part 3, 2000 AD prog 368
  7. ^ "Portrait of a Politician" Parts 2 and 3, 2000 AD progs 367 to 368
  8. ^ 2000 AD prog 1743: "Day of Chaos: Nadia" part one
  9. ^ 2000 AD prog 957
  10. ^ Holocaust 12: Storm Warning in Megazine 3.29-3.33
  11. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 no. 40
  12. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine no. 263
  13. ^ 2000 AD progs 1674-1686
  14. ^ 2000 AD prog 1687
  15. ^ 2000 AD prog 1744
  16. ^ 2000 AD prog 1744
  17. ^ 2000 AD prog 1758
  18. ^ 2000 AD prog 1765
  19. ^ 2000 AD prog 1766
  20. ^ 2000 AD prog 1773
  21. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine no. 333
  22. ^ Prog 1875
  23. ^ 2000 AD prog 122