Did you know Judge Dredd was a clone?

01 April 2023
Cloning in the world of Mega-City One is a common practice, with clones being created for various purposes such as manual labor, organ donation, and even entertainment. The prevalence of clones in the society raises questions about individuality and what it means to be human. The clones in the series are often treated as second-class citizens, which mirrors the societal discrimination faced by marginalized groups in the real world.

One of the most prominent examples of the use of clones in the series is the creation of the Judges themselves. The Judges are an elite law enforcement force that has replaced the traditional police force in Mega-City One. They are created through a process of genetic engineering and conditioning, which makes them physically and mentally superior to normal humans. However, this process also strips them of their individuality and emotions, making them more machine-like than human.

In "The Return of Rico" storyline, which was published in 2000 AD Prog 30-35 in 1977, it is revealed that Judge Dredd is a clone of Chief Judge Fargo, the founder of the Judges. Fargo was an important figure in the establishment of the law enforcement system in Mega-City One and was a mentor to Dredd during his training. The revelation that Dredd is a clone of Fargo was a major plot twist in the comics and added complexity to Dredd's character and relationships.

judge dredd

The use of clones in the creation of the Judges raises ethical questions about the nature of justice and the role of technology in law enforcement. While the Judges are effective in maintaining order in Mega-City One, their lack of empathy and individuality also makes them prone to abuses of power. This theme is explored throughout the series, as Judge Dredd and his colleagues are often forced to confront the consequences of their actions as Judges.

The relationship between Judge Dredd and his cloned brother Rico also highlights the complexities of cloning in the series. While Dredd and Rico share the same genetic material, their upbringing and life experiences have made them vastly different individuals. Rico resents Dredd for being the favored clone, which leads him to turn to a life of crime. This dynamic between the two characters raises questions about the impact of nurture versus nature on individual identity.

In conclusion, the use of clones in the Judge Dredd series serves as a commentary on the nature of humanity and the role of technology in our lives. The prevalence of clones in the society raises important ethical questions about individuality and the right to life. The creation of the Judges through genetic engineering and conditioning highlights the dangers of relying too heavily on technology in law enforcement. The relationship between Judge Dredd and his cloned brother Rico further explores the complexities of cloning and individual identity.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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