PJ Maybe is a character from the Judge Dredd strip in 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine. He was born in 2097 and spent the first years of his life in Karen Berger block. A relative of the wealthy Yess family, whose company Emphatically Yess made trousers for Justice Department, Philip Janet (his parents had wanted a girl) was a child prodigy who deliberately hid his genius-level intelligence so he wouldn't be noticed. Having consciously decided to become a serial killer, he committed his first murders at the age of 12, murdering a couple chosen at random from the block directory (Frank and Roda Swindley) to see what it was like.
PJ then systematically murdered members of the Yess family in order to place his father in control of the company. Judge Dredd eventually worked out what was going on and arrested him, but PJ was placed in a secure hospital as he was too young to be tried. He escaped during the city-wide chaos of the Necropolis disaster, by pretending that he had an invisible buzzsaw, and met the Sisters of Death on his way home. One of them patted him on the head and told him that he was a "goooood boyyyy!"
PJ reached his house just in time to witness his parents' suicide but fortune smiled on him in the form of family friend Mrs Urchison, who took him in. Repaying her kindness by killing both her and her son Junior, PJ then used a face change machine to alter his features in order to impersonate Junior. He went on to kill Mr Urchison, a man named Willy Wonker (so he could take over his billion-cred confectionery company), a couple of his employees and a girlfriend who laughed at his zit. PJ was once again apprehended by Dredd — on his eighteenth birthday, which meant that Dredd was finally able to punch him — and imprisoned in Iso Block 666. He had killed 21 people.
Escaping again after seven years, PJ returned to his murderous ways, eventually fleeing the city and stealing the identity of Pedro Julio Montez, faking his own death by having his heart surgically removed and replaced by an artificial one. PJ's own heart was given to Judge Dredd as proof of his death, and placed on display in Justice Department's Black Museum.
Despite amassing a large fortune in Ciudad Barranquilla, Maybe could not resist returning to Mega-City One for a business trip. After another murder spree in which he killed several childhood acquaintances to whom he had taken a dislike when he was six, Judge Dredd became aware of Maybe's survival and new identity. Maybe escaped capture by murdering the philanthropist Dr Byron Ambrose, who he arranged to have die in a fire after first switching Ambrose's heart for an artificial one. Swapping his DNA records with Ambrose's, he successfully had Ambrose's body identified as his, while he adopted Ambrose's identity.
In 2129, Maybe (as Ambrose) was elected Mayor of Mega-City One (a position previously held by Mayor Jim Grubb and Dave the Orangutan, amongst others) after killing the previous incumbent and framing his opponent for the murder (and several others). Though he continued to kill for fun, 'Byron Ambrose' oddly enough proved to be a very effective Mayor, and even gained the grudging approval of Judge Dredd. He was popular with the citizens thanks to crowd-pleasing initiatives like social welfare programmes and telling Weather Control to let it snow briefly at Christmas. Maybe was assisted in his mayoral duties by the sex robot Inga, the only person in the city who knew his true identity, and whom he called "love of my life."
Placed under pressure to raise more revenue for the city by the corrupt Chief Judge Sinfield, Maybe attempted to kill him, first with Harrisburg fungus and then with methicillin-resistant pustulating radpox. However, when a pair of mutants enraged at Sinfield's anti-mutant legislation also tried to assassinate the Chief Judge, Maybe was angered, and anger made him careless. He ordered Inga to murder Sinfield while pretending to be Judge Hershey, but instead Inga herself was fatally shot. Maybe was heartbroken and his cover was blown after Inga was traced back to him.
In 2132 AD Maybe was arrested by Dredd, but nonetheless passed on his suspicions that Sinfield was corrupt and was a key player in getting him removed from office and reinstating Chief Judge Dan Francisco. Maybe himself was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment without parole because of his service to the city. The vote was 4-2 in favour of commuting his sentence, with Dredd being one of those who voted to have him executed. He waited until Maybe was in the execution chamber before breaking the news to him, leaving the mass murderer ecstatic with relief that he wasn't going to die.
Byron Ambrose was declared to have perished of natural causes, much to the sorrow of the citizens, who were not informed that their beloved Mayor was, in fact, a psychopathic criminal responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Justice Department altered the corpse of a friendless vagrant to make it look like Maybe/Ambrose, and had it lie in state for a day before being recycled.
PJ Maybe later escaped from custody again, with the help of some powerful friends he had made while he was Pedro Julio Montez, and got his appearance altered at a face change clinic. He liked the owner of the clinic so much that he didn't even kill him, instead leaving a note on the face change machine reading, "ANTON — CONSIDDER YOURSELF LUCKY. P.J. MAYBE." Maybe married an elderly and incredibly gullible billionaire he had met at the clinic, Allegra Strepsil, while assuring her that he was in fact an undercover Judge. The Judges came close to catching him when he murdered his successor as head of the Illiberal Party, Tony Blore... but not close enough. (And Tony Blore was an oleaginous crowd-pleasing lachrymose creep anyway.)
Allegra and her toy-boy, now masquerading as beach attendant Roberto Smith, survived Chaos Day and its aftermath (thanks to living in a secure mansion which 'Roberto' and his faithful robo-butler Monty had surrounded with booby-traps). 'Roberto' managed to outwit the incorporeal essences of Judge Fire, Judge Fear and Judge Mortis, trapping them in one of his wine bottles.
PJ Maybe possessing three of the Dark Judges was a fantastic set-up with a disappointing pay-off, possibly because staging Necropolis Mark II when Chaos Day was still fairly recent would have been over the top, or possibly because PJ Maybe wouldn't have been be nearly so interesting if he had had access to such awesome power. (He was most entertaining when living off his wits.) Judge Death (possessing a human form) came to the Strepsil mansion, killed Allegra, released his brothers and took them to terrorise a space liner. The man the world knew as Roberto Smith was left unharmed by the undead fiend, perhaps owing to the patronage of the Sisters of Death.
In 2138 AD, Judge Dredd nearly died in the Cursed Earth. Once he had, against all the odds, recovered, he was left with a renewed determination to capture Maybe, who had evaded justice for far too long. By then Maybe was masquerading as a woman with the help of face putty and make-up, because he had used face-change machines so often that they no longer worked on him. Angered by Dredd's public appeal for information regarding his whereabouts, Maybe retaliated by trying to kidnap Dredd's niece, Vienna (after first kidnapping Mrs. Gunderson as a distraction). This turned out to be a fatal error. Maybe had underestimated Dredd, who had had an undercover Judge pose as Vienna. The Judge wounded Maybe before escaping, and Maybe — dressed as an old woman — was soon hunted down by Dredd. In desperation, Maybe threatened to kill both himself and Dredd with a grenade he had been carrying in his handbag. Dredd calmly pushed him out of a half-completed zoom tube and shot him as he fell. The grenade exploded, blowing Maybe to smithereens. His final metamorphosis was from a human to a small heap of fleshy scraps.
In total, PJ Maybe murdered over 20,000 people, thanks to an incident in which he killed one of his targets by setting fire to Pavarotti block.
Powers and abilities
AbilitiesGenius-level intellect; expert serial killer; excellent mimic; highly accomplished businessman and political leader.
Strength levelAverage human male.
Had dyslexia; couldn't go for long without killing people, especially if they annoyed him.
EquipmentVarious robots, including Inga, Chico, Ricardo and Monty.
TransportationHoverlimo; Montez Grande hotel bus; Brooglehoffer 4-18 (car); hovership; Strato-Benz Hovermaster.
In PJ's hands, anything could be a weapon. He liked to improvise.
PJ Maybe was loosely (very loosely) based on author Sue Townsend's self-deluding teenage diarist Adrian Mole.
Given that PJ Maybe spent his final weeks dressing as a woman, it is entirely possible that the last surviving descendent of Mega-City One's most famous trouser-making family died while wearing a skirt.
- Appearances of PJ Maybe
- Character Gallery: PJ Maybe
- Images that feature PJ Maybe
- Fan-Art Gallery: PJ Maybe
- PJ Maybe quotations
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