Behind the Scenes
Joseph Dredd has a long history with Dredd, which he has occasionally taken liberties with to get his way. Hershey would call him out over his in front of the Council in 2134.
Hershey's hair is always styled in the same shape as a Judge helmet.
Hershey was at first a 'green', open-minded Judge, capable of jokes and an easy friendship with Judge Lopez; his death and the anticlimactic Judge Child mission caused her to snap at Dredd. She was also ambitious and, in her youth, liberal by Judge standards. Years in the Chief Judge's seat hardened her attitudes and made her more willing to use amoral methods.
Shortly after her graduation from the Academy of Law in 2102 at age eighteen, Judge Hershey was the surprise choice to join the crew of the spaceship Justice 1 for the dangerous deep-space mission to retrieve Owen Krysler from the Angel Gang. Working closely with Judge Dredd every step of the way, she came through the mission with great credit and was highly commended in his personal log. She was also left drained and depressed by the loss of her comrade Lopez.
Hershey returned to the streets of Mega-City One a tougher and infinitely more experienced judge, but she was ill-prepared for the attack of Fink Angel some months later, when he came seeking revenge on the Judges responsible for the deaths of his family. He stunned her, took her hostage underground, and planned to bury her alive before Dredd rescued her.
The young judge barely escaped, but she had already developed a knack for survival – a knack which proved useful during the Apocalypse War, when Hershey was called upon again by Judge Dredd to join his "Apocalypse Squad" for a daring commando raid which ended the war by wiping out East Meg One.
When Chief Judge McGruder resigned her position in 2108, Hershey became the youngest ever member of the Council of Five. After Necropolis and the return of McGruder, the Council was left dissolved but Hershey had a taste of greater power when, during Judgement Day, McGruder made her acting-Chief Judge in her absence. Hershey led the combined forces of Justice Department and Citi-Def in battle against the zombie hordes.
(Around this time (1992) Hershey starred in her own spin-off series, written by Robbie Morrison, Paul Neal and Igor Goldkind, and illustrated by varying artists including Kevin Cullen, Xuasus, Marc Wigmore and Siku.)
When the Special Judicial Squad took liberties during McGruder's deterioration, Hershey would find herself crossing their path. In 2114, she uncovered an unauthorised deathsquad that was killing 'problem' citizens and was almost killed in the attempt, before the SJS quietly removed one of their own. In 2115 she was almost killed ahain as the SJS 'didn't hear' an order to stand down and she retaliated by forcing 150 SJS Judges to take the Long Walk - an act she admitted had to be less severe than she'd have liked to have done. She was loathed by the division for this.
In late 2116 Hershey was part of a Senior Judge conspiracy to either push the increasingly erratic McGruder out of power or convince her to reform the Council of Five as a counterweight. The Chief Judge refused to reform the Council as she knew it would remove her from office. McGruder (rightly) suspected Hershey had designs on her job - and, to Hershey's mortification, called her out over this. (And when Judges had attempted to kill her earlier in the year, McGruder's first suspect had been Hershey.)McGruder's judgement had definitely become questionable but she insisted on remaining the only voice at the top of the Justice Department until one of the "Mechanismo" robot judges she was so enthusiastic about tried to kill her. Realising her error at last, McGruder wasted no time in tendering her resignation and she entrusted Judge Hershey – along with SJS Chief Niles and Psi Division Chief Shenker – with the job of running the Justice Department until a new Chief Judge could be elected.
Hershey, Shenker, and Niles soon got on each other's nerves and when she went as a delegate to InterDep, she asked Dredd to watch Niles in case he attempted a coup. Niles, for his part, had instructed the SJS with her that any 'unforeseen' accident would be welcome.
Of the triumverate, Hershey was the only one who actually put their name forward for the Chief Judge post, expressing her desire for more open government. Her liberal views did not go down well with her colleagues, however, and she received only 13 votes in the ballot among Senior Judges, while the new chief judge, Hadrian Volt, won with 208. Volt would make Hershey part of his Council and she was one of the strongest backers for his reforms in 2117. She would work with Niles for many years, the two becoming politically close allies.
The following year she became acting Chief Judge following the suicide of Volt at the end of the Second Robot War. Her first acts were to fake a heroic death for Volt and to make it clear she wouldn't allow Jura Edgar to remain in power at the Public Surveillance Unit. She was subsequently elected Chief in her own right, trouncing the only other candidate, Judge Loblaw. Her first act was to have Edgar arrested. When Hershey became Chief Judge in 2122, she immediately had Edgar arrested and investigated by the SJS for her use of the Cal Files. While Edgar briskly and brusquely discredited what had initially seemed to be overwhelming evidence, reducing the prosecution case to nothing more than empty innuendo, Hershey still made sure to dismiss her and reduce her rank. Flush with success at cleaning up PSU, Hershey found herself approached by the even more corrupt Judge Bachmann of the Black Ops Division and manipulated into becoming reliant on her. Hershey would grow suspicious of Bachmann but unable to pin anything on her.
At over nine years, Hershey had the longest reign (2122–2131) of any chief judge since Clarence Goodman, and the longest since the comic strip began in 1977. She brought about several liberal reforms, and kept Dredd close as she still valued his advice and experience. (He would use these ties to his advantage on many occasions) Her reign covered numerous crisis, including the Helter Skelter, the Xenomorphs in 2125, and the Total War bombings in 2126.
Over time, Hershey's idealism dropped away: the necessary politics of being Chief Judge required many compromises and cautious handling. While having a (relatively) moderate domestic policy in line with Volt, she made extensive use of black operations and an aggressive foreign policy. In 2128 she used a covert assassin to make neighbouring Neocuba's leader think East-Meg Two was trying to assassinate him, thus destroying the alliance between the two states and ensuring that Neocuba became more loyal to Mega-City One; the same assassin was also used to hack into Brit-Cit's computer systems for the purposes of espionage. In the same year, she oversaw the conquest of Ciudad Barranquilla under the guise of humanitarian intervention. Despite Dredd's misgivings over these acts, he has described her as "the best chief judge we've ever had."
In 2130 she repealed the anti-mutant laws after Dredd threatened to resign, making her unpopular with the public and many Judges. In the following year Martin Sinfield began a campaign to have her voted out of office and replaced with a hardline candidate who would reinstate segregation. Dan Francisco won the election by a landslide, and appointed Hershey to a position on another planet.
Hershey returned to Mega-City One two years later and returned to street duty in Sector 95. She helped Dredd deal with a widespread terrorist massacre, and – as she was slightly rusty – she was wounded in the process.
After the brutal Chaos Day in 2134, Francisco resigned and appointed Hershey to replace him and form an interim government. Hershey admitted she would rather not be there but could not refuse due to devastation and loss of life: she also wondered if the Judges deserved another chance after this great a failure. (She planned to remove Buell, one of her long-time allies, from the Council for his own failings in the crisis)
By the end of the year, Hershey had worked out a major reorganisation of Justice Department, merging multiple divisions into a larger Street Division and a new Undercover Operations Division. When Dredd protested at the appointment of Black Operations head Bachmann to the new Undercover Division, Hershey finally snapped at him for his repeated attempts during her time to strongarm her into doing what he wanted: "If you want to be Chief Judge, the chair is yours... But if you don't want the responsibility – if you don't even want the burdens of Council membership – if you'd rather just barge into my office at regular intervals to blackmail me with a badge you'll never hand in, over issues whose complexity you refuse to engage with – then the door is that way."
What she didn't tell him was that she'd appointed Bachmann to a public position to force her into the light, where she could not hide her corruption. Bachmann, tricked into an early move by Dredd and Judge Smiley, attempted a coup against the city - in which Hershey took up arms to kill Black Ops assassins - and defeated, but Hershey was left bitter that Dredd hadn't trusted her.
Hershey's second reign as Chief Judge has been primarily focused on keeping Mega-City One together. Emergency laws have seen everyone above the age of 12 subject to work gangs, military force used to subjugate pro-equality rebels in the colonies, and the deportation of all Sov-descended cities to Sovsec in Mega-City Two's ruins. She has refused to take revenge attacks against the Sov Block for Chaos. The attempted Council reorganisation appears to have stalled, though she promoted Judge Maitland to Head of Accounts and keeps her as a close ally. Her relationship with Dredd had soured since 2134 but she is strongly aware of his symbolic value: SJS Judge Gerhart remarked she'll "go to the grave with him", even if Dredd was no longer mentally fit for the job.
In the face of growing resource and Judge shortages, Hershey - believing Dredd killed at the time - agreed to a proposal by Texan Chief Judge Oswin to receive aid in exchange for greater integration. Over the days that followed, Oswin went from putting pressure on Hershey to it being clear that, with so many Texas City Judges on the streets, Mega-City One was facing a soft coup. The Chief Judge was placed under house arrest by Oswin. A living Dredd took Oswin down and Hershey took advantage of this to have a Psi-Judge agent Lewis put in place as the new Texan Chief Judge, giving her quiet control of it in the end.
In 2140, suspecting Hershey was allowing Judge Smiley's murders and corruption, Dredd told her "I no longer recognise your authority" in the middle of the Grand Hall. Hershey was left visually shaken. (Already, she'd been disquieted to find a facial hair and compared herself to McGruder, the previous female Chief Judge that Dredd had questioned)
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