Judge Griffin

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Judge Griffin
File:Judge Griffin.jpg
Chief Judge Griffin (drawn by Brian Bolland).
Publication information
PublisherRebellion Developments
First appearance2000 AD prog 27 (1977)
Created byJohn Wagner and Ian Gibson

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Chief Judge Jürgen Griffin[1] is a fictional character in the Judge Dredd comic strip in 2000 AD. In the 1995 Judge Dredd film, he was played by Jürgen Prochnow.

In the comic, Griffin was chief judge of Mega-City One between 2101 and 2104 (1979 to 1982). He was not named until his third appearance (prior to becoming chief judge).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Judge Griffin
Chief Judge of Mega-City One
In office
DeputyJudge Pepper[2]
Preceded byJudge Cal
Succeeded byJudge McGruder

Before becoming chief judge, Griffin was principal of the Academy of Law,[3] and personally trained whole generations of the city's judges, including Judge Dredd, Judge Cal, and the first Judge Giant. During a fight to the death between Dredd and a crooked Judge Gibson, Griffin had every cadet brought in to watch as "it will be a valuable lesson".[4]

When the insane tyrant Chief Judge Cal usurped control of the city, Griffin gathered his Academy staff and several other Judges, including Giant, together to form a rebel organisation. The wounded Judge Dredd was taken to one of their safehouses and Griffin called for him to be their leader.[5] The two of them fought side by side during the guerilla conflict and were among the few rebel Judges that survived to the end. Following Cal's death, Dredd was the unanimous choice of the judges for the office of chief judge, but Dredd declined and nominated his old mentor Griffin instead.[6]

Griffin maintained a great respect for Dredd; when the other members of the Council of Five questioned Dredd's actions after the Judge Child quest, it was Griffin who staunchly defended Dredd and his judgement, reminding the others of Dredd's actions during the reign of Judge Cal. Griffin vetoed an inquiry into Dredd and the possibility of another quest to find the Judge Child.[7]

Griffin was leader of his city during its peak, and proved to be a capable ruler. However his term of office proved to be a short one. Early in the Apocalypse War of 2104 he was captured by the enemy and brainwashed, to be used as a puppet quisling leader for propaganda purposes, to encourage the surrender of the war-weary population. Since a rescue operation would have been impossible, Dredd found it necessary to assassinate him instead. Griffin actually managed to fight back through the brainwashing to confess his guilt live on air just before this event.[8]

He was succeeded by Judge McGruder, who was the sole member of the ruling Council of Five to survive the war.[9]

Judge Dredd movie[edit]

File:Prochnow Griffin.JPG
Judge Griffin in Judge Dredd portrayed by Jürgen Prochnow.

A different version of Judge Griffin appeared in the 1995 Judge Dredd film, played by Jürgen Prochnow. He serves on the Council of Five and openly expresses his views that Mega-City One needs a tougher criminal code and to expand executions to include lesser crimes. When Judge Dredd is put on trial for murder and seemingly incontrovertible evidence is introduced, Chief Justice Fargo asks to halt the proceedings so that he can confer with Griffin. Fargo is deeply upset that Dredd may be guilty of murder and may have the same homicidal tendencies as Rico, both of whom were products of a top secret cloning program (the "Janus Project") that the Council of Five initiated over forty years ago, which may now come to light. Griffin suggests that if Fargo takes the Long Walk out to the Cursed Earth he can get Dredd's sentence commuted from death to life imprisonment, and this will prevent the truth from coming out. Fargo does so, and Griffin becomes chief justice, and it soon becomes clear that Griffin plotted the removal of Dredd and Fargo, to become chief justice and to push through his new, stricter laws, and restart the cloning program on a larger scale. Unfortunately he had arranged for Rico to escape from jail to help in these schemes, and Rico kills Griffin in an attempt to seize power for himself.

This version of Griffin effectively fills the role of Judge Cal in the comic. Three decades after the death of the character in the ongoing storyline, Jürgen Prochnow's portrayal of the character inspired a given name for the comic character[1].


Griffin appeared in the following stories (all written by John Wagner except where otherwise indicated):

  • "The Academy of Law," art on relevant episode (first) by Ian Gibson, in 2000 AD #27–28 (1977)
  • "Mutie the Pig," art on relevant episode (second) by Ian Gibson, in 2000 AD #34–35 (1977)
  • "The Day the Law Died," art by Mike McMahon, Brett Ewins, Brian Bolland, and Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #89–108 (1978–79)
  • "Punks Rule," art by Brian Bolland, in 2000 AD #110 (1979)
  • "The Exo-Men," art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #111–112 (1979)
  • "A Tale From Walter's Scrapbook 2," art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #121 (1979)
  • "Father Earth," art on relevant episode (first) by Brian Bolland, in 2000 AD #122–125 (1979)
  • "Sob Story," art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #131–132 (1979)
  • "The Great Plasteen Disaster," art by John Cooper, in 2000 AD #139 (1979). Note: Griffin was depicted in this story as having two eyes (inconsistently with his appearance in other stories, in which he wears an eye-patch).
  • "The Black Plague," art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #140–143 (1979)
  • "Uncle Ump's Umpty Candy," art by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #145 (1979)
  • "New Year is Cancelled," art by Brendan McCarthy, in 2000 AD #146 (1980)
  • "Judge Minty," art by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #147 (1980)
  • "Alien Seeds," art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #148 (1980)
  • "The Judge Child," art on relevant episode (first) by Brian Bolland, in 2000 AD #156–181 (1980)
  • "Block War," co-written with Alan Grant, art by Brian Bolland, in 2000 AD #182 (1980)
  • "Compulsory Purchase!" art by Mike McMahon, in Judge Dredd Annual 1981 (1980)
  • "Pirates of the Black Atlantic," co-written with Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #197–200 (1981)
  • "Any Confessions?" co-written with Alan Grant, art by Ian Gibson, in 2000 AD #201 (1981)
  • "The Alien Way," co-written with Alan Grant, art by Ian Gibson, in 2000 AD #204 (1981)
  • "Unamerican Graffiti," co-written with Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #206–207 (1981)
  • "Block Mania," co-written with Alan Grant, art by Mike McMahon, Ron Smith, Steve Dillon, and Brian Bolland, in 2000 AD #236–244 (1981)
  • "A Christmas Story," co-written with Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in the Daily Star newspaper, 24 December 1981
  • "Target Chief Judge," co-written with Alan Grant, art by Ron Smith, in the Daily Star 2 January 1982
  • "The Apocalypse War," co-written with Alan Grant, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #245–267 and 269–270 (1982)
  • "Trifecta," written by Al Ewing, Simon Spurrier and Rob Williams, art by Carl Critchlow, in 2000 AD #1812 (2012). Note: character only appeared in a flashback.


  • The A-Z of Judge Dredd: The Complete Encyclopedia from Aaron Aardvark to Zachary Zziiz (by Mike Butcher, St. Martin's Press, March 1995, ISBN 0-312-13733-8 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.)
  1. 1.0 1.1 Covers Uncovered
  2. 2000 AD #108
  3. 2000 AD #27
  4. 2000 AD #35
  5. 2000 AD #91
  6. 2000 AD #108
  7. 2000 AD #182
  8. 2000 AD #261
  9. 2000 AD #270

External links[edit]

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