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Thomas Silver

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Silver

Chief Judge Thomas Silver served as Chief Judge of Mega-City One from 2108 to 2112. He is infamously remembered for helping cause Necropolis.

HistoryEdit

He began his career as a Street Judge, serving during the Atomic Wars and the Second American Civil War. To his later shame, in the early 2070s he was one of the many judges who agreed with Morton Judd's ideas of genetically altering the citizens to be more docile.[1]

In 2096 he was wounded in action and compelled to retire from active service. He became principal lecturer in Applied Violence at the Academy of Law, teaching the next generation of Mega-City judges.[2]

Judge Tutor Silver

In 2108 Chief Judge McGruder resigned and left the city on the Long Walk. One of her final acts as Chief Judge was to appoint Silver to the Council of Five. The Council unanimously chose Silver for the highest office.[2] His first act was to inform the citizens that he would rule "with a rod of iron", sparking a (quickly crushed) riot.[3]

Silver quickly proved to be the most right-wing, hardline chief judge the city had ever seen. In 2111, when the corrupt "STAR Judges" military platoon committed an act of deliberate genocide against the Quayaan species, Silver had the team killed for their crimes and then hushed it up, deciding to exploit the situation: the team were 'martyrs', the Quayaan killed in a legitimate act of war, and the planet was rightful spoils of war. (Beforehand, Silver had been attempting a peace deal with the planet.)[4]

You write the laws

In 2109 he ordered a crack-down on the Democracy movement, putting Judge Dredd in personal charge of a secret campaign to smear the protest groups' leaders and to sabotage their efforts at peaceful demonstration. Undercover Judges placed among the protesters turned a peaceful protest march into a violent riot, giving Dredd the excuse he needed to attack the march with riot squads and make mass arrests. Silver used the ensuing massacre as an example of the dangers of democracy and the need for the iron rule of the Judges. Armed with this excuse to tighten control, he took every opportunity to do so.[5]

Dredd's own responsibility for the deaths at the march, and the clandestine—indeed corrupt—way in which the law had been enforced fed his doubts about the integrity of the system to which he had belonged since birth. When in 2112 a young boy was brutally murdered by a man who had been brain-damaged by a judge during the Democratic March, Dredd's reservations came to a head and he tendered his resignation and took the Long Walk himself.[6] Silver reacted by ordering a news blackout on Dredd's resignation, and covered it up by going so far as to replace Dredd with an imposter, Judge Kraken, a rehabilitated Judda clone from the same DNA as Dredd.[7] Silver believed that Dredd had become such an important figure of law-enforcement in the public mind that his departure could not be allowed. Kraken, the lone surviving Judda, was groomed as a potential replacement for several years and ordered in 2114 to step in as 'Dredd'. By taking this extreme course Silver overruled Dredd's own judgement on Kraken, as Dredd had assessed Kraken and determined that he was unfit to be a judge.

Silver what have I unleashed

Silver's judgement proved to be fatal, as only weeks later Kraken's loyalty was turned against the city, precipitating a catastrophe which resulted in the whole city falling under enemy occupation with the loss of 60 million lives. Silver despaired recovering the situation and fled the command centre in Mega-City One's darkest hour of need. He attempted to commit suicide but botched the job, and was captured alive. He was murdered by Judge Death and then reanimated as a zombie, but with all his mental faculties intact so that he could be tormented endlessly while his city was systematically extinguished of all life.[8]

Zombie Silver

So ended Silver's life, but not his undeath. When Dredd returned to rescue his city, Silver again fled and hid, fearing that in his undead state he would be summarily destroyed by the survivors of the disaster. Only when several months had passed did he dare to return to the city. On arriving once more in his Grand Hall of Justice in 2113, he discovered that in his absence his predecessor, McGruder, had reclaimed her office. He challenged her right to be chief judge, pointing out that she had resigned as chief judge whereas he had not. McGruder retorted that Silver was medically dead. However since McGruder had dissolved the Council of Five there was no recognised authority with the power to decide the issue. The constitutional crisis was finally resolved when both litigants agreed to abide by Judge Dredd's verdict. Dredd actually ruled in Silver's favour, but then convicted him of gross dereliction of duty for deserting his command in time of war. Dredd executed Silver and McGruder became chief judge by default. Silver's incinerated remains were unceremoniously swept away by a cleaner, a truly ignoble end for a head of state.[9]

Silver's ghost, as yet unidentified, haunts the Grand Hall of Justice.[10]

NotesEdit

While the strip never explicitly said so, as a tutor he would have been:

a) A tutor for Judge Giant Sr and Judge Dekker.

b) Part of the Academy's resistance to the insane Chief Judge Cal

c) In action when the Academy was attacked during the Apocalypse War.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 2000 AD # 560: "Oz Part 15"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2000 AD #457
  3. "Silver Iron's Rule", Daily Star 15th March 1986
  4. "Maelstrom", Megazine 2.73-2.80
  5. 2000 AD #531-533
  6. 2000 AD #661 and 668
  7. 2000 AD #668-671
  8. 2000 AD #700-701
  9. 2000 AD #733-735
  10. 2000 AD #735

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