Real name
Hilda Margaret McGruder
Current alias
Judge McGruder
Base of operations

Unusual features
Bionic hand; beard
Marital status
Chief Judge; former head of Special Judicial Squad
Academy of Law
Place of birth
Place of death
First appearance

2000 AD prog 182
2000 AD prog 1009


Judge McGruder is a supporting character from the 2000 AD strip Judge Dredd. She was the head of the Special Judicial Squad, which was set up to investigate corruption in Mega-City One's Justice Department. When Dredd was taken prisoner during The Apocalypse War and Chief Judge Griffin had died, McGruder led the battle against the Sov-Block invaders. After the war ended in 2104 AD she was declared Chief Judge by default since she was the only member of the city's ruling Council of Five still alive.

After four years in office, McGruder resigned and took the Long Walk into the Cursed Earth, considering herself unfit for office after she failed to prevent a massacre. She returned several years later to help save the city from the Dark Judges during the Necropolis incident. Her years in the Cursed Earth had taken a toll on her — she had apparently developed Multiple Personality Disorder and had definitely grown a beard. McGruder was nevertheless re-elected Chief Judge for a second term in 2113 AD in the absence of any other suitable candidate (despite an attempt by the undead Chief Judge Silver to usurp her position). She went on to provide valuable global leadership during the worldwide zombie epidemic that came to be known as Judgement Day.

Sadly, McGruder's mental health continued to deteriorate, to the point where she endangered the city with the Mechanismo Project, creating robot Judges which proved unstable and dangerous. (To be fair, Tek-Division really dropped the ball on that one, and deserve at least some of the blame. There are thousands of robots in Mega-City One with complex personalities, so why is it so hard to create robot Judges?). Finally stepping down again in 2116 AD after one of her own robot Judges tried to kill her on the planet Hestia and she realised she was unfit to continue, McGruder went off to write her memoirs.

Some years later, Judge Dredd learned that McGruder, now suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was about to face compulsory euthanasia. Unwilling to see her die in such an ignoble manner, he kidnapped her and took her back to the Cursed Earth in order to allow her to end her life honourably fighting for justice. McGruder was fatally wounded in a shoot-out with a band of cannibals and died in Dredd's arms. The facts surrounding her death were suppressed.

Powers and abilities


Leadership skills; survival skills.

Strength level

Elderly human female who gets regular exercise.


Mental health issues.



Bionic hand; earrings with little skulls on; earrings bearing the logo of the Justice Department; ring with a skull on; accessory pouch containing three heatseeker shells; helmet containing internal visor display (including infra-red) and respirator; uniform made from plasti-steel reinforced material.


Lawmaster bike.


Lawgiver handgun which can fire six types of shell: heatseeker, rubber ricochet, incendiary, armour-piercing, high explosive and standard execution. Also daystick and bootknife.


McGruder's first names are those of former Prime Minister Margaret Hilda Thatcher, who was in office when she was created.


  • As McGruder's mental health worsened she started referring to herself in the first person plural. This idiosyncrasy was probably meant to remind readers of Margaret Thatcher's famously odd announcement, "We have become a grandmother."
  • A street in Mega-City One and an orbital weapons platform are named after McGruder.
  • The K-3000 Superheavy Class Tac-wagon is also known as 'the McGruder', because "it doesn't take any crap from anyone that gets in its way."
  • There is a large picture of McGruder on the wall of the office of the head of the SJS.


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