Karyn Megazine

Psi-Judge Karyn was one of Psi-Division's top talents until her possession in 2127.


She first ran into Dredd during the initial Raptaur attack, when she found Dredd severely wounded (and he ordered her to focus on the job instead of helping him). Her psychic powers were used to help track the creature.[1] She next worked with him in 2115 in a battle at Lazarus in the Cursed Earth, holding off the armies of the psychic Soon.[2]

In 2116, she was responsible for saving Chief Judge McGruder from the sentient "Skinner" virus[3] and led a team of Exorcist Judges into the Undercity after a mob of vampires. In the latter case she found herself manipulated by the vampire's leader, former Psi-Judge Novell: by acting as the underdog, Novell tricked her into thinking the vampires needed her to persuade Dredd to let them go while they'd already evacuated long before. Dredd told her she'd "fouled up... but not completely. Just don't start making a habit of it."[4]

A few years later, she was nearly killed by an African demon called the Tikoloshe; Dredd went to Simba City and worked with Judge Shaka and Devlin Waugh to save her.

Karyn Fire and Ice

She had a run of operations with Dredd in the 2120s, including a mission to stop an East-European vampiric entity (termed virkolak), known as the Shadow King, who had been killing Sov asylum-seekers.[5] In 2126, Karyn deliberately attached herself to a covert team infiltrating Sov gulags; she openly expressed a desire to replace Cassandra Anderson as the department legend and admitted this was her motive for going.[6]

The two of them went on a diplomatic mission to the Boranos system in 2126, with the intention of extraditing Efil Dragon San. Lady Shamthri, Prime Select of the peace-keeping Boranos Accord, captured Karyn in a plot to blame it on her political enemies; Karyn instead helped Dredd arrest Shamthri and Drago San both.[7]

Her career met an ignoble end in 2127. When she and Dredd led a rescue mission into the Undercity, they discovered the Shadow King had escaped there and spent the last four years building up an army of vampiric Troggies. After the creature possessed Dredd, she tried to emulate Anderson again by drawing its spirit into her mind to be imprisoned - the attempt went wrong and she was completely possessed. She is currently locked in a Psi-Division cell, and it is considered unlikely her mind can ever be retrieved.[8]


John Freeman wrote most of her solo stories and in 2014 said his last few "are pretty dire, to be frank"; the first Karyn solo strip hadn't been written for Adrian Salmon (there'd been an artist swap) but the second was written "knowing his strengths".[9]

Replacement for AndersonEdit

Along with Judy Janus, she was an attempted replacement for Anderson (who had left Justice Department in 1993[10]) in the strip. When Anderson returned in 1995, Karyn disappeared from the strip except for the story "Judge Dredd: Fetish" in 1997 which had been long delayed. John Smith has stated this was originally written as Anderson but "in the end I wasn’t allowed to use her because she was off in outer space so we just substituted Karyn instead"[11] (the strip had been long delayed and came out when the character had returned). He said in the same interview that he felt it lacked the same emotional weight with Karyn in danger.

The character returned in 2001-5 as Gordon Rennie's Psi-Judge of choice. He introduced the metafictional angle that Karyn wants to become the new replacement for Anderson - and what finally dooms her is trying to copy Anderson.

In Dave Stone's audio dramas, Karyn ends up as a substitute for Janus as well!


  1. Megazine 1.14 and 1.15
  2. Cursed Earth Asylum by David Bishop
  3. "Karyn: Skinner" in Judge Dredd Megazine #2.56-2.61, 1994)
  4. "Concrete Sky" Parts 5 and 6, Megazine 2.71-2
  5. "Asylum", Megazine 4.05
  6. Judge Dredd: "Gulag" (by Gordon Rennie and Charlie Adlard, in 2000 AD #1382-1386, 2004)
  7. War Planet audio drama
  8. "Descent" Part 5, prof 1436
  9. Down the Tubes: “Cabal” finally returns to Judge Dredd Megazine… sort of!
  10. Anderson left in "Childhood's End", Judge Dredd Megazine 2.34
  11. Class of '79: John Smith interview (Wayback Machine)

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