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Judge Carolyn Bachmann was the main villain in the 2012 stories "The Cold Deck" and "Trifecta".

Al Ewing told SFX "Originally, Bachmann was just someone for Dredd to bounce off, so the second half of that story could take place in real time, a month after the first half. And then it turned out that she was very popular, so I felt that I needed to finish her story quickly, so she wasn’t just another Dredd villain simmering in the background for years and years, which was why I pushed for her to be the Big Bad of ‘Trifecta’. It was literally me saying, ‘I have a villain going spare, can we use her?’"[1]

Fictional character biography[]

Bachmann first appeared in "Family Man" in Judge Dredd Megazine #313 (2011), but in 2000 AD #1809 she was retroactively stated to have been in charge of Black Ops Division for many years before and deliberately kept out of sight. It was later revealed that she had been appointed by Chief Judge McGruder in 2114 and had been involved in protecting the city during the various disasters since then.[2] When Hershey came to power, Bachmann was waiting and began to make herself indispensable.[3]

Her Black Ops agents were secretly programmed by her to revere Mega-City One as a holy "God City," and called Bachmann "Your Holiness."[4] Chief Judge Hershey described Bachmann as "vicious, underhanded – power-mad, even," but careful to cover up any trace of illegal action.[3] Unknown to Hershey, since 2128 Bachmann had been using her black budget to develop an alliance with the firm Overdrive Incorporated, who began building a secret "Luna-2" megacity on the moon.[3]

When Dredd first met Bachmann in Megazine #313, she claimed to just be administration staff (it later turned out she really did deal with office supplies as a hobby), but he was aware she was really Black Ops. He suspected her of orchestrating a series of murders, including of a judge and mutant deputies, in Township Three in the Cursed Earth. Bachmann as good as admitted that she had done this, and arranged for a less mutant-friendly judge to take command of the township. She threatened Dredd and advised him to leave the matter alone.

In 2134, following the citywide devastation of "Day of Chaos" (2011–12), Chief Judge Hershey announced that Bachmann would be joining the Council of Five as the head of a new Undercover Operations Division, which would also include the Special Judicial Squad (internal affairs). Dredd was outraged, saying it was like putting "a cockroach in charge of the exterminators", but he had no proof that she was corrupt.[5] SJS chief Judge Buell, who now reported to her, worried that she might become chief judge in a few years and that she was preparing to reorganise Undercover to grab power.[6] Neither Buell nor Dredd, however, were aware that Hershey had put Bachmann on the Council in order to force her into a public position, where she could not hide. For her part, Hershey was not aware that Bachmann was spying on her, and any other opponent, with a secret psi-judge.

Bachmann was the antagonist of Trifecta (2012). Soon after her promotion, she brainwashed Wally Squad chief Judge Folger into downloading a file with the identities of every undercover Judge and Mega-City spy, arranging for it to be passed onto the corrupt Overdrive Inc. (Folger was accidentally killed in the attempt.) Buell discovered Folger's body and that the file had gone missing, but was unaware of what the file contained or that Bachmann was involved. Afraid she would use that as an excuse for a "reorganisation", Buell asked Dredd to find the file so they would not have to inform Bachmann, just as she had expected. The file was sent to Overdrive Inc., while Bachmann ordered Black Ops to kill every name on the list so she could "restock" the Squad with her own men.[7] Meanwhile, she was brainwashing large numbers of rich citizens with the "Church of Simpology" organisation, both creating a secondary army and indoctrinating the owner of a company that made sleep machines: this would allow her to brainwash judges as well. Her end goal was to seize power, bring Luna-2 down from the moon, and create a theocratic regime where the people would ascend to "heaven" (Luna-2) and any troublesome elements would be condemned to "hell" (Mega-City One). As far as she was concerned, the Justice Department model no longer worked.[4]

However Bachmann was not aware that the list had been swapped for another list by an agent working for Judge Smiley, her predecessor as head of Black Ops, who was investigating her and Overdrive Inc.. Smiley had secretly recruited Judge Dredd and other judges in order to expose and destroy her. When she realised that her plan had been discovered, she tried to gain power by overt force, ordering her men to kill everyone in the Grand Hall of Justice and attempting to take the chief judge as a hostage. However her men were defeated by Dredd, Hershey, Jack Point, "Dirty" Frank and Galen DeMarco. Bachmann was able to physically overpower her opponents and was about to kill Dredd when Smiley himself appeared and killed her.[2]


Judge Bachmann appeared in the following stories:

  • Judge Dredd: "Family Man" (story by Al Ewing, art by Leigh Gallagher and Chris Blythe, in Judge Dredd Megazine #312–313, 2011)
  • Judge Dredd: "Bullet to King Four" (story by Al Ewing, art by Henry Flint and Chris Blythe, in 2000 AD #1803, 2012)
  • Judge Dredd: "The Cold Deck" (story by Al Ewing, art by Henry Flint and Chris Blythe, in 2000 AD #1806–1811, 2012)
  • Judge Dredd: "Trifecta" (story by Al Ewing, Simon Spurrier and Rob Williams, art by Henry Flint, in 2000 AD #1812, 2012)

The stories "The Cold Deck" and "Trifecta" were part of a crossover with the following series (although Bachmann herself did not appear in them):

  • The Simping Detective: "Jokers to the Right" (story by Simon Spurrier, art by Simon Coleby, in 2000 AD #1804–1811)
  • Low Life: "Saudade" (story by Rob Williams, art by D'Israeli, in 2000 AD #1805–1811)


  1. SFX: Judge Dredd Writer Al Ewing on 2000AD’s Surprising Crossover
  2. 2.0 2.1 2000 AD #1812
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 2000 AD #1809
  4. 4.0 4.1 2000 AD #1811
  5. 2000 AD #1803
  6. 2000 AD #1806
  7. 2000 AD #1804-9

Judge Dredd
Main Characters Judge Dredd - Judge Hershey - Judge Anderson - Judge Beeny - Judge Buell - Galen DeMarco - Dirty Frank - Judge Edgar - Chief Judge Fargo - Judge Francisco - Judge Giant - Judge Goodman - Judge Griffin - Judge Guthrie - Judge Janus - Judge Karyn - Judge McGruder - Judge Niles - Judge Rico - Judge Shenker - Judge Silver - Judge Solomon - Judge Volt - Detective-Judge Armitage - Inspector Shimura - Devlin Waugh - Johnny Woo - Judge Larter - Judge Jack - Judge Agee - Judge Bennett - Judge Castillo - Judge Dekker - Judge Goon - Deputy Cheif Judge Herriman - Judge Kruger - Judge Munn - Judge Perrier - Judge Prager - Judge Minty - Detective-Judge Steel - Detective Judge Trant - Judge Kazan - Chief Judge Ohno - Judge-Inspector Akio Anaba - Judge Marshall Lawson
Recurring Villains Angel Gang - Mean Machine Angel - Elmer Angel - Junior Angel - Link Angel - Judge Bachmann - Oola Blint - President Booth - Judge Cal - Dark Judges - Rico Dredd - Armon Gill - Judge Grice - Morton Judd - Kleggs - Judge Kraken - Mechanismo - Stan Lee - Marty Zpok - PJ Maybe - Nero Narcos - Orlock - Shojun the Warlord - Judge Sinfield - Call-Me-Kenneth - Mr. Moonie - Murd the Oppresor - Owen Krysler - Don Uggie Apelino - Captain Skank - Father Earth - Kazan - Bulgarin - General Blood'n'Guts - Satanus - Satan - Fink Angel - Ratty - Rhode Island Red - Phobia - Nausia - America Jara - Cesare - Judge Mortis - Judge Fear - Judge Death - Judge Fire - Manners - Ramses - Trapper Hag - Sabbat - Wu Yang - Yin Mie - Randolph Whitely - Judge Choke - Judge Sleep - Judge Sludge - Judge Burroghs - Judge Fistula - Judge Skinner - Judge Stigmata - The Seven Samurai - Rex Peters - Slocum - Kenny Who? - Nosferatu - Grampus - Heavy Metal Kid - Ratty - Elvis - The Warlords - DeGaulle - The Joker - The Scarecrow - The Riddler - Arnold Wesker - Lobo - Judge Kurten - Pink Eyes - Aimee Nixon - Mr. Bones - Effil Drago San - Bella Bagley - Dune Sharks - Xenomorphs - Ueno Hama - Raptaurs - The Explosive Man - Judge Sherman - Ankhhor - President Clinton Box - Pamelina Oswin
Other Characters Chopper - Vienna Dredd - Fergee - Yassa Povey - Jacob Sardini - Walter the Wobot - Henry Ford - Spikes Harvey Rotten - Tweak - Tony Tubbs - Otto Sump - Mrs. Gunderson - Sensitive Klegg - Jack Point - Maria - Benneet Beeny - Grunwalder - Old Joe Blind - Max Normal - Toots Milloy - Mr. Harke - Mr. Burr - Jim Grubb - Dave the Orangutan - Nimrod - The Creep - Johnny Alpha - Wulf Sternhammer - The Fargo Clan - Randy Fargo - Jubal Fargo - Hocus Ritter - Batman - Harry Henson
Storylines America - The Apocalypse War - Block Mania - City of the Damned - The Cursed Earth - Day of Chaos - Democracy - The Doomsday Scenario - The Hunting Party - The Judge Child - Judgement Day - Mechanismo - Mutants - Necropolis - Origins - Oz - The Pit - The Robot Wars - Tour of Duty Trifecta - Wilderlands
Crossovers Judge Dredd vs. Aliens - Judgement on Gotham - Predator vs. Judge Dredd - Mars Attacks Judge Dredd