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Real name
Judge Rico
Justice Department
Chief Judge Fargo (clone father); Joseph Dredd (clone brother); Vienna Dredd (daughter); Judge Rico (clone brother)
Base of operations
Mega-City One

Unusual features
Rico's mouth and nose were surgically sealed; he spoke through an artificial voice box in his throat.
Academy of Law
Place of birth
First appearance

2000 AD prog 30
2000 AD prog 30


Rico is a character from the 2000 AD strip Judge Dredd. 'Born' from a tube full of bubbling liquid in 2066, with a physical and mental age of five years, Rico was the big brother of Judge Joe Dredd (older than him by twelve minutes), and like Joe was a clone of Chief Judge Fargo created by Morton Judd. The twins were initially the closest of friends, but Joe claimed that his brother's personality changed for the worse after he received a head injury while training in the Cursed Earth. Nevertheless, Rico actually achieved higher grades than Joe when they graduated from the Academy of Law in 2079, and was awarded the Eagle of Honour.

Within a year of graduation, Rico had become disillusioned with the justice system and entered an illicit relationship with a citizen (something totally forbidden) who subsequently had a daughter, Vienna, by him. (NB: Accounts of Vienna's conception vary. One story has it that she was conceived when Rico had sex in his prison cell with a journalist, Fabienne Brown, who visited him on Titan.) He also began accepting bribes and demanding protection money, and eventually murdered a citizen.

Joe Dredd arrested his brother for murder and corruption, personally painting out his name from the honour roll for the class of '79 in the Academy of Law, and Rico was sentenced to twenty years on the Judges' penal colony on Titan. As part of his sentence, he was surgically altered to be able to work in a vacuum, and his nose and mouth permanently sealed up, leaving him speaking through an artificial voice box and taking nourishment intravenously. These modifications were apparently not reversible.

Twenty years later, Rico returned to Mega-City One to get revenge on his brother, challenging him to a gunfight, but twenty years of being accustomed to the weaker gravity on Titan had slowed his reflexes down and Joe Dredd shot him dead.

Powers and abilities

Strength level

Human male weakened by lower gravity of Titan.





Though Rico first appeared in 2000 AD prog 30 in 1977, the story was retold in 1995 (progs 950 to 952) to tie in with Rico's appearance in the Judge Dredd movie (in which he was played by Armand Assante). The retelling fleshed out the dialogue to focus on Rico's contempt for the 'unjust' laws of Mega-City One, and Dredd's inner hurt at what he had done to his brother. However, this caused a minor continuity error: Dredd mentioned thinking about Rico during the Cursed Earth saga, but that did not take place until progs 61-85, after Rico returned and was killed in prog 30.


In a parallel universe, Rico Dredd "out-drew his hated brother, and keeps him frozen in the vaults, and wakes him up one day each year — and takes another pound of flesh." This parallel version of Rico visited Mega-City One via dimension warp (in the Garth Ennis story 'Helter Skelter'). Dredd threw his badge so hard at him that it became wedged in his head. The alt-Rico died when it was removed.


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