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Eustace Fargo was the "Father of Justice", the famed founder of the Judge system and the first Chief Judge of the United States of America.


Foundation of Justice Department[]

Eustace Fargo and his twin brother Ephram Fargo were born on 9th January, 1999. The dates on Fargo's tomb read 2001–2051. The reason for the false birth date was lost in time, though Judge Dredd speculated: "It's the date he always used. Maybe he wanted to be thought a child of the 21st century."[1] He had a sister, Arden.[2]

Graduating from Harvard with a degree in Law, he went into politics and by 2027 he had been appointed Government Special Prosecutor for Street Crime by President Thomas Gurney, tasked with combating the rising gang violence in the vast urban sprawl joining Washington to New York (which would eventually become Mega-City One). After armed gangs stormed the White House and were able to avoid jail sentences by intimidating juries, Fargo outlined a New Deal to scrap the principle of due process and create a combined police and judicial force who could fairly dispense instant justice – the Judges. Congress refused to approve it but in the next election, the anti-Judge congressmen were swept away and Gurney returned to power.

When the Judges were first deployed in April 2031, they acted mainly as an upgraded police force but soon rivalled Congress in power. Fargo would also go on to see the foundation of the Iso-Block system.[3] When talking to the earliest Judges in the 2030s, he told them they were there to "[free] the people from the Gordian knot of ineptitude, bureacracy, and corruption", targeting not just red tape but corporate bribery & police quotas that targeted minorities.[4]

Fargo would wage political warfare in the shadows, using his old college friend Marisa Pelligrino as one of his agents.[5]

He established the early Psi Division in the 2040s as a top-secret organisation, so it could be hushed up if it failed.[6]

Faked death[]

In March 2051 Fargo – despite having established a rule of celibacy for the judges – had a moment of weakness and was caught having sex with a government colleague. While the incident was hushed up and Deputy Chief Judges Solomon and Goodman were both willing to ignore it, Fargo was left feeling guilty over his failure to live up to his own standards. He resigned his position and attempted suicide, though the wound only left him comatose. To cover this up and to use his martyrdom as a symbol, Solomon made up a cover story about Fargo being killed in a drive-by shooting.

It was not expected that he would recover but he did, though this was also covered up, and he was placed in suspended animation.[7] His DNA was used for Judge Morton Judd's early cloning program, so Justice Department could create a whole new breed of Judge.


When President Robert L. Booth initiated the Atomic Wars in June 2070, the Judges were forced to take on the job of governing the Mega-Cities of The Former United States of America. Fargo was revived and made relatively stable, meeting his two clones Rico Dredd and Joseph Dredd and being called in to help guide the Justice Department. Under his guidance, the Judges assumed command of the United States using the Declaration of Independence as a legal precedent. Booth learned Fargo was alive and, thinking he could use this fact to discredit the Judges, tried to capture him and reveal his existence but failed due to the actions of Joe and Rico Dredd.

Until 2071, Fargo served secretly as an advisor to the chief judge, with most people believing he had died in 2051. In his last year of life he began to deteriorate mentally, and lost faith in his Judge System. He became increasingly despondent as a result, disliking the fact that the Judges had turned America into a dictatorship.[8]

Early into the Judge's reign in Mega-City One, Morton Judd proposed genetically engineering the citizens of Mega-City One to be more controllable. Fargo believed the Judges were meant to serve the citizens rather than control them and vetoed the plan. After attempting to assassinate Fargo, Judd fled the city with a batch of stolen genetic material, including Fargo's body. Goodman had this covered up, pretending Fargo's body was in the Hall of Heroes and he'd never been revived. Fargo's body was lost in the Cursed Earth.[9]

(Arden Polters nee Fargo would go on to die in the Apocalypse War, though Judge Cal and later Edgar would find footage of her meeting her brother - mistakenly believing this was proof Fargo had an unjudicial relationship with her and Dredd & Rico were sons rather than clones.)[10]

Legacy in the Cursed Earth[]

Fargo's hometown renamed itself Fargoville and spent its time in the Cursed Earth descending into an authoritarian hellhole that treated the man as a religious figure and built a museum around him. They erased Ephram Fargo from their historical records, and other facts as well. Most of the men there had a first name of Eustace or variations in other languages, while most women were named after Eustace's girlfriends from his youth.

Ephram's family would form their own Cursed Earth community led by Randy Fargo - all mutants. Dredd would be surprised to find out about these relatives, which changes his stance on allowing mutants into Mega-City One.

Fargo's lost stasis pod became an object of worship for a mutant tribe.


In 2129 the New Mutant Army, led by Booth, contacted the Justice Department, demanding cash in return for Fargo's body. Judge Dredd retrieved Fargo, who was revived, but the long period of being frozen had damaged his body and he soon died. His last words were to Dredd, telling him the Judges' rule was wrong and that he had to reverse it.

Afterwards, Dredd and Chief Judge Barbara Hershey would both admit Fargo's last words hadn't been complimentary, but Hershey told Dredd that Fargo was so old and infirm, "did he even know or truly understand what he was saying?"[11] Shortly before Chaos Day, Dredd had been able to dismiss Fargo's words, believing he can't possibly have meant a restoration of democracy.


Although most judge cadets at the Academy of Law are recruited from the citizens at a young age, the Justice Department also runs a cloning program, in which the DNA of Mega-City One's most successful judges is used to create new cadets. Clones created from the same DNA as Fargo and Dredd include:

Rico Dredd fathered a daughter, Vienna Dredd, who genetically speaking could be Fargo's daughter.


  • Comic scholar Kelly Kanayama noted that the documentary about Fargo watched in Origins appears to be deliberately leaving things out, to tell a narrative about 'what we know' - his American football background to show he was a "cool jock" - and using authoritarian language about the situation. [12] Dredd himself notes it's leaving things out he's aware of.
  • Fargo is deliberately left out of The Judges, remaining a shadowy figure.

See Also[]



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 - 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- 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
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
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
  1. Origins
  2. The Cal Files
  3. Origins
  4. The Judges: The Avalanche
  5. The Judges novellas
  6. The Judges: Psyche
  7. Origins
  8. Origins
  9. Origins, following on from Oz
  10. The Cal Files
  11. Mutants in Mega-City One
  12. "The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast Lockdown Tapes – Ian Edginton & D’Israeli // Judge Dredd: Origins deep-dive"