MINISTRY OF FEAR

Membership: Inspector, Minister Synn, Overseer

Base of Operations: Mega-City One, 2045 AD

First Appearance: Judge Dredd #4 (November, 1994)

History:  (Judge Dredd #10 (fb), 4, 5) -Judge Fargo, deeming the justice system antiquated, took on the identity of the Overseer and formed the Ministry of Fear to usher in a new era of law, formed from judge cadets from his Institute for Ethical Violence. He intended to destroy the Legislative and Executive branches, making his judiciary the only branch of government. When Judge Fargo disbanded the street judges the Ministry took to the streets, systematically destroying the Halls of Justice of Mega-City, and killing a number of police officers. Minister Synn was informed that there was a holdup at the midtown hall, where Judge Dredd, the only judge allowed to keep operating in Mega-City, was holding down the fort. The Overseer wanted Dredd taken alive, and Synn told his men to keep to their time table. Dredd came up with a plan, dressing all the officers present as judges, but telling them they in no way had earned the honor. They attacked the Ministry en masse, and the Ministry refused to use lethal force because they weren't sure which judge was Dredd, giving them a disadvantage. The Ministry fled, but Dredd subdued on of the members, who shot himself in the head rather than answer any questions about the Ministry. The Overseer called a meeting at the Statue of Liberty, where his Ministry chanted his teachings that fear and intimidation were the true path to law and order. The Overseer said they were going en masse to Washington, DC to kill President Frankowski.

(Judge Dredd #8, 9) - The Ministry assembled its forces and rode to Washington, stopping first at the Capitol and massacring all of Congress. Judge Dredd, over Judge Fargo's orders to stay in Mega-City One, flew to Washington to save the President, who initially thought Fargo ahd sent Dredd to execute him. Dredd said he was following the Judiciary Responsibilities Act, which made the President's safety in a state of emergency a judge's number one priority. They fled to the Lincoln Memorial, with Minister Synn and underlings reluctant to shoot for fear of hitting Dredd. After cornering Dredd they overwhelmed him, beating him into submission, and aimed their weapons at the President. Frankowski recently acquired a psi-ballistic vaporizer from visiting aliens, and used it to incinerate members of the Ministry. Minister Synn had him in his sights, but Dredd jumped in front of the bullet, taking it in the arm. Synn realized he'd failed the Overseer by injuring Dredd and committed suicide, shooting himself in the head. Dredd and the President's public popularity soared after Mega-City saw their heroics, with fans calling for Dredd to replace VP Robert Booth. Fargo had promised Booth he'd be President if he played along with the Ministry, and was sorely disappointed that the President lived, although Fargo warned him not to show his true feelings. Dredd returned to the hall of justice, where Lewis told him Fargo had lost it after he left against orders, demoting her and the other cadets back to basic training as punishment. Dredd said he was following the law, and after saying a quick goodbye pondered that there was something wrong with Fargo, who'd just started training a new group of judges. Fargo recruited the members of the Alpha-Omega Fraternity, which he founded, to serve as new loyal judges in the aftermath of the Ministry's end.

Comments: Created by Andy Helfer & Michael Avon Oeming.

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