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Judge Kraken is a fictional character in the Judge Dredd comic strip featured in the long-running British comic 2000 AD. Although he only appeared in a few episodes, he was nonetheless a very important character in Tale of the Dead Man, in which he was given almost equal billing with Dredd, and in the epic story Necropolis, in which he actually replaced Dredd as the lead character in the first half of the story. Kraken first appeared by name in 2000 AD #583 (July 16, 1988).


Kraken was cloned from the DNA of Eustace T. Fargo, and was therefore effectively Judge Dredd's twin brother (since Dredd was also cloned from the same source). However he was actually many years younger than Dredd.[1]

Kraken was originally not a judge but one of the Judda, a rogue army of clones created by the renegade Judge Morton Judd from the DNA of Mega-City One's greatest judges, and hidden in a secret base within Ayers Rock. In 2110 Judd sent his army into the Grand Hall of Justice, using teleporters in a surprise attack in an attempt to take control of the city and install himself as chief judge.[2] After Dredd foiled the attack (killing Judd and most of the Judda), Kraken was taken prisoner. When the other prisoners were either executed or committed suicide, he alone was spared.[3]

Kraken underwent a lengthy process of deprogramming in order to overcome his loyalty to the Judda. He was then trained to become a judge. Chief Judge Silver secretly intended that Kraken would eventually replace Dredd, who had been showing increasing signs of disillusionment with the Justice Department.[4]

Matters finally came to a head in the events recounted in the story Tale of the Dead Man, when Dredd was assigned to supervise Kraken (now a rookie judge) to assess his suitability for graduation to full street judge. Kraken performed impeccably, his skills and judgement outshining even those of his assessor. However Dredd noticed him making a comment arrogantly saying he (Dredd) was an old man that needed to get out of his way, and therefore failed Kraken despite admitting it was more feeling than fact.[5] Consequently Kraken's original death sentence for his role in the Judda incursion was reimposed.[6]

Immediately following Kraken's assessment, Dredd announced his resignation from the Justice Department following doubts about the Judge system, and took 'the long walk' into the Cursed Earth desert outside the city.[7] However, Silver secretly ordered that Kraken receive one final test. He went to the Resyke facility without complaint, even injecting the lethal dose himself, without attempting to rebel or escape. For this, Silver spared him from execution and, overruling Dredd's decision, appointed him a full Judge.[8] He also covered up Dredd's disappearance from the city by ordering Kraken to assume Dredd's identity.[9]

Shortly afterwards Kraken was visited by the evil Sisters of Death who, by manipulating his doubts and confusion, were able to control his mind. They used him to trap Psi Judge Kit Agee, whose body they used as a psychic dimension bridge between Mega-City One and Deadworld. This enabled them to rescue the Dark Judges from their captivity in dimensional limbo. The Dark Judges immediately set about creating "Necropolis", a city under their complete control. The Dark Judges set about systematically exterminating the entire population. Within a few months 60 million people were slaughtered.[10]

Dredd, with assistance from Judge Anderson, former chief judge McGruder and a handful of cadet judges, was eventually able to defeat the Dark Judges by killing Agee and severing the Sisters' link to Earth. Kraken, who by then had been enslaved and had himself become a Dark Judge, was freed at their defeat. While Dredd did not attach any blame to Kraken (and even told Kraken it could have been him in the younger man's place) Dredd could not allow him to live and killed him by a single bullet from a Lawgiver.[11] Dredd stated that he believed Kraken did not want to live after what he had done and Kraken offered no resistance when faced with his demise, even thanking Dredd.

See also[]


  • "Oz" (written by John Wagner and Alan Grant (various artists), in 2000 AD #545-570, 1988)
    • Introduces the Judda. Relevant episodes illustrated by Brendan McCarthy. Kraken did not personally appear in this story
  • "Bloodline" (written by John Wagner, with art by Will Simpson, in 2000 AD #583-584, 1988)
    • Introduces Kraken
  • "The Shooting Match" (written by John Wagner, with art by John Higgins, in 2000 AD #650, 1989)
  • "Tale of the Dead Man" (written by John Wagner, with art by Will Simpson, in 2000 AD #662-668, 1990. Prologue in #661)
    • Kraken's assessment
  • "By Lethal Injection" (written by John Wagner, with art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #669-670, 1990)
  • "Rights of Succession" (written by John Wagner, with art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #671, 1990)
  • "Dear Annie" (written by John Wagner, with art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #672-673, 1990)
    • Kraken did not personally appear in this story, which sets the scene for "Necropolis"
  • "Necropolis" (written by John Wagner, with art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #674-699, 1990)
  • "Return of the King" (written by Garth Ennis, with art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #733-735, 1991)
    • Cameo appearance by Kraken in a flashback in second episode


  1. 2000 AD prog 584
  2. Progs 562-563
  3. Prog 584
  4. Prog 584
  5. Progs 662-668
  6. Prog 669
  7. Prog 668
  8. Prog 670
  9. Progs 670-671
  10. Progs 674-699
  11. Prog 698

External links[]

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