Chief Judge Goodman (drawn by Brian Bolland)
|Publisher||IPC Magazines Ltd; later Rebellion Developments|
|First appearance||2000 AD #2 (1977)|
|Created by||Pat Mills, Kelvin Gosnell, Peter Harris, John Wagner (writers) and Mike McMahon (artist)|
|Full name||Clarence Goodman|
Chief Judge Clarence Goodman is a fictional character in the Judge Dredd stories published in the British comic 2000 AD. He appeared in the first episode of Judge Dredd in March 1977 (although he was not named until issue 86), and was the first regularly recurring supporting character.
|Deputy Chief Judge of Mega-City One|
|Chief judge||Judge Solomon|
|Preceded by||Deputy Chief Judge of the United States (himself)|
|Chief Judge of Mega-City One|
2057–2100 or 2101
|Preceded by||Judge Solomon|
|Succeeded by||Judge Cal|
Goodman was joint deputy chief judge at the end of Chief Judge Fargo's term in office, and later continued as deputy under Chief Judge Solomon after Fargo resigned. When Fargo botched a suicide attempt, Goodman helped Solomon to fake Fargo's death. In 2057 Goodman became Chief Judge of Mega-City One and immediately created the Council of Five to assist him and began to arm up the Judges to the extent that they could challenge the military. He attempted to convince President Robert L. Booth not to initiate a world war, but to no avail, and after the Atomic Wars in 2070 he deposed Booth and became head of state, establishing the Justice Department as a stable new government.1
Goodman was well liked by his people. There were three major crises during Goodman's time in power. The first of these was the outbreak of civil war between Mega-City One and Texas City, when Texas declared full independence.2 With the Cursed Earth a near impenetrable barrier between the cities, Goodman eventually conceded that the civil war was futile and - in a move not entirely popular with all of his colleagues - he recognised Texas City's independence. (These events apparently took place between 2083 and 2086, and were mentioned on the cover of an issue of 2000 AD and adopted in a Judge Dredd novel and the role-playing game. However they may have been retconned by the story "Origins" which implied that the cities may have become independent by mutual consent following the Atomic Wars.)
The second crisis occurred at the start of 2099 when Goodman was possessed by a malevolent psychic mutant known as the Monkey, who forced him to lead the city into anarchy before Dredd killed it. Before he was saved, some corrupt judges were convincing Deputy Chief Judge Cal to stage a coup.3
The third crisis came when the robots of Mega-City One rebelled against their masters and the Robot War claimed millions of lives. The Chief Judge had previously clashed with Judge Dredd on the issue of banning highly intelligent robots and when he refused to do this Dredd actually resigned. The advent of the robots' rebellion saw Goodman change his mind extremely fast and Judge Dredd took up his badge once more to put down the revolt.4 The Chief Judge knew just how much the city owed Dredd and how much it depended on him, so when he was forced to convict Judge Dredd of murder after he was framed by Cal, Goodman found it very hard to come to terms with his decision. Even after Judge Dredd had demonstrated his innocence, the Chief Judge was a broken man and Cal was free to plot his demise.5
His reign finally came to an end when he was murdered on the orders of his own deputy in 2100 or 2101.6 Cal succeeded him.
There used to be some controversy among fans as to whether Goodman succeeded Chief Judge Fargo directly, or whether Judge Solomon served in between. This was eventually settled by the story "Origins" in 2006. However, his stated term of office contradicts two earlier mentions:
- In Oz (progs 545–570), when Judge Silver remembers the coup by Morton Judd in 2070, Fargo is explicitly called the chief judge. Origins retconned this, having Fargo as an advisor to Chief Judge Goodman.
- Blood Cadets (progs 1186–88) had a corrupt Judge Rico Dredd owning a luxury apartment in the 2080s, and Dredd said such things ceased "under Goodman." Origins stated that Goodman was already chief judge well before then.
All three stories were written by John Wagner.
- "Judge Whitey," written by Peter Harris, Pat Mills and Kelvin Gosnell, art by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #2 (1977)
- "Robot Wars," written by John Wagner, art on relevant episodes by Ron Turner and Ian Gibson, in 2000 AD #10–17 (1977)
- "The Comic Pusher," written by John Wagner, art by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #20 (1977)
- "The Solar Sniper," written by John Wagner, art by Ron Turner, in 2000 AD #21 (1977)
- "Dream Palace," written by John Wagner, art by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #26 (1977)
- "The Academy of Law," written by John Wagner, art on relevant episode (second) by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #27–28 (1977)
- "The Return of Rico," written by Pat Mills, art by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #30 (1977)
- "Mutie the Pig," written by John Wagner, art on relevant episode (first) by Mike McMahon, in '2000 AD #34–35 (1977)
- "The Judges' Graveyard," writer unknown, art by Kevin O'Neill, in 2000 AD Summer Special (1977)
- "Videophones," written by Malcolm Shaw, art by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD Annual 1978 (1977)
- "Firebug," written by John Wagner, art by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #60 (1978)
- "Ryan's Revenge," writer unknown, art by Kevin O'Neill, in Dan Dare Annual 1979 (1978). Note: first full colour Judge Dredd story.
- "Crime and Punishment," written by John Wagner, art by Brian Bolland, in 2000 AD #86 (1978)
- "Outlaw," written by John Wagner, art by Brian Bolland and Dave Gibbons, in 2000 AD #87 (1978)
- "Bring Me the Head of Judge Dredd!" written by John Wagner, art by Brendan McCarthy, in 2000 AD #88 (1978)
- "The Day the Law Died!" written by John Wagner, art on relevant episode (first) by Mike McMahon, in 2000 AD #89–108 (1978–79)
- "Raider," written by Garth Ennis, art by John Burns, in 2000 AD #1810–1814 (1992). Note: character appeared only in flashback.
- "Monkey On My Back," written by Garth Ennis, art by John Higgins, in Judge Dredd Megazine #204–206 (2003). Note: story set in the year 2099 (before Goodman's death).
- "Origins," written by John Wagner, art by Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #1505–1517, #2007 (New Year special issue), #1518–1519 and #1529–1535 (2006–07). Note: character appeared only in flashbacks.
Another version of Goodman appeared in the short lived Judge Dredd series published by DC Comics from 1994 to 1995. In this version Fargo survived as chief judge until 2099, when Goodman succeeded him. This version of Goodman was portrayed as much younger than the 2000 AD character was in 2099.
Goodman also appears in IDW Publishing's Judge Dredd: Year One series, which started in 2013.
- 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)