Judge Francisco was orginally a street Judge in Mega-City One, and the star of a Justice Department-endorsed 24 hour reality TV show, The Streets of Dan Francisco, which provided the Judges with a considerable amount of good P.R. He was an experienced Judge who nevertheless found himself pressured by the requirements of the show into taking action that he felt would play well with the audience rather than necessarily being the most effective course of action for the situation.
Generally well-meaning, Francisco was both well-liked by the citizens and regarded as a good Judge by Judge Dredd (who nonetheless deplored his allowing himself to be manipulated by his producers). In 2131, following a campaign orchestrated by Judge Sinfield and his associates Judges Cardew and Millan, Francisco was elected Chief Judge, replacing Chief Judge Barbara Hershey. Francisco appointed a new Council of Five, including Sinfield (his deputy), Cardew and Millan, with Sinfield replacing him as Acting Chief Judge while he recovered from injuries sustained in a mutant attack during his election campaign. It later transpired that this attack had been set up by Sinfield (without Francisco's knowledge) as a way of influencing the vote.
Francisco, acting on advice from his council, set up mutant townships in the Cursed Earth and sent the city's mutants out to live in them as a solution to the city's "mutant problem." Despite this morally dubious action, when he realised that the townships were basically just shanty towns, he authorised extra expenditure on them despite Sinfield's objections. Aware that Sinfield and the others had engineered his election because they believed they could manipulate him, Francisco nevertheless retained them on the Council as he believed they genuinely had the interests of the city at heart.
However when, some months later, his body began to reject the artificial lungs he had been given after his initial injury, Sinfield took advantage of his weakened state and dosed him with SLD 88, a drug that made him highly suggestible. He then convinced him to stand down and appoint Sinfield Chief Judge. Judge Dredd was suspicious of this development, but Sinfield's actions were eventually exposed by Mayor Byron Ambrose (in reality the serial killer PJ Maybe) and Sinfield was deposed and arrested. Francisco was restored to office and appointed Dredd to the Council of Five. Justice Department wanted to cover up the Sinfield scandal, but Francisco refused to allow this, insisting on transparency. He went on to implement a programme of cost-cutting measures in the city, under the blanket of "The Big Community".
Francisco's time in office came to a tragic end when the Chaos Virus, orchestrated by Sov-Block agents, struck the city. Francisco resisted a proposal by Judge Vass to execute victims of the plague in fake medical transports and dump their bodies in mass burial pits in the Cursed Earth, but the Sov agents leaked the proposal to the press and spun it as something that was already happening, causing an uprising. Francisco tried to pacify the citizens using his previous good reputation but his credibility had been destroyed and he was eventually forced to adopt severe measures to control the plague, ordering the execution of any who were infected just as Vass had wanted.
By the time the plague was contained, 350 million people were dead, out of an initial population of 400 million. In 2134 AD a devastated Francisco resigned in shame at having presided over the worst disaster in the history of the city, appointing Judge Hershey as his successor. He returned to being an ordinary street Judge without a television show. When last seen, Francisco was still feeling guilty for what he did and failed to do during Chaos Day, but had also found fulfilment in getting back to basics by patrolling the streets and upholding the law.
Powers and abilities
AbilitiesFinding and arresting perps; engaging with the public; being likeable.
Strength levelPeak human male.
Poor judge of character; too optimistic for his own good.
EquipmentAccessory pouch containing three heatseeker shells; helmet containing internal visor display (including infra-red) and respirator; uniform made from plasti-steel reinforced material.
Lawgiver handgun which can fire six types of shell: heatseeker, rubber ricochet, incendiary, armour-piercing, high explosive and standard execution. Also daystick and bootknife.
At one point Francisco had his own series, The Streets of Dan Francisco, in the Judge Dredd Megazine. This series was clearly named in tribute to classic 1970s cop show The Streets of San Francisco, though Dan looked nothing like Karl Malden.
- Appearances of Chief Judge Dan Francisco
- Character Gallery: Chief Judge Dan Francisco
- Images that feature Chief Judge Dan Francisco
- Fan-Art Gallery: Chief Judge Dan Francisco
- Chief Judge Dan Francisco quotations
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