Writer: John Wagner, Artist: Colin MacNeil, Letters: Annie Parkhouse
America Jara was born to two poor Puerto Rican immigrants who lived in Fred Nietzsche block. She grew up as a close friend of Bennett Beeny. Like all children of Mega-City One they were taught to fear the Judges. When they were in their late teens Ami started to do street work for the Democrats, while Bennett started singing comedy songs.
After the graduation bop Bennett’s mom died of Terminal Boredom and he left Fred Nietzsche block, Meanwhile Ami went to university. During the Apocalypse War Bennett was living in Mega-City Two, once it was safe he traveled back to Meg One but couldn’t find Ami. He started to sell his songs and ended up becoming rich off of advertisement jingles.
One night he went out looking for prostitutes. The first woman he approached turned out to be America. She tried to get him to leave quickly but three other men showed up with guns and they shot and killed two oncoming Judges. They left a note on the Judges that read Total War and as they left one of the men shot Bennett in the throat.
Bennett was taken to a hospital and stabilised when Judge Dredd came to interview him. After threats of a spell in the ISO cubes Bennett told Dredd of the attack but left out all mention of America. Bennett was given a synthetic voice box and returned to his estate. Some time later Ami turned up at Bennett’s house to thank him for not telling the Judges about her, they spent the night talking and then slept together.
The next morning Ami asked Bennett to give Total War a hundred thousand credits in untraceable transfer notes. Bennett asked her if her being there was just because of Total War and she told him why she joined.
Back when America was in University her and her boyfreind, Dood, were participating in a democratic march. Sixteen million people were going to march on the Hall of Justice. The Judges had planted agitators who turned to protest violent. The Judges the swept down to arrest the protesters. Dood was killed and Ami was sent to rehabilitation, there the Judges decided to abort Ami and Dood’s unborn child. Ami was then placed in a Psycho Cube, after she was finally released she joined Total War. Learning this Bennett agrees to help her.
When he goes to give her the credits he is able to get her to divulge the plan. Total War plans to blow up the Statue of Liberty. Bennett tells the Judges this and in return Dredd informs him that America will be safe. When the Total War members get to the statue they shot down by Judges who are waiting for them. Ami climbs the steps to the statue and is shot in the head.
America survives the shot but is brain dead, Bennett gets her placed under his control and after three months decides to have his brain transplanted into her body to keep her memory alive. After gaining control of his new body he returns to his career of singing but no longer sings his old funny numbers. he now only sings songs of sadness.
America II: Fading of the Light
Writer: John Wagner, Art: Colin MacNeil, Colour: Alan Cradock, Letters: Annie Parkhouse
A year after America Jara died she gave birth to a girl, Bennett had her body artificially inseminated with his frozen sperm just before he had his brain transplanted in her body. He named the child America Beeny after her mother. Five years later Bennett’s body is starting to degrade and he is dieing.
One day a music critic called Victor Portnoy arrives at Bennett’s house and tells him that he is going to win an Arnie award for a song he wrote, at the event Bennett will be the catalyst for an assassination.
The Judge’s routine surveillance of the Beeny household alerts Dredd that Portnoy has visited. Dredd has a Judge put on surveillance of Bennett while he is hospital for treatment of spasms he has. One night Bennett gets up and walks out of the hospital and is attacked and raped by a gang. The Judge on surveillance stands by and waits before he breaks them up, for this he is suspended and charged with criminal neglect of duty.
Soon after a hairdresser droid comes to Bennett and gives him a broach of the Statue of Liberty’s torch, which had been demolished by the Judges by this point. The broach will explode when he goes to make his acceptance speech. Dredd makes a house call and tells Bennett that he is mixing with the wrong people, meaning Portnoy, and it would be good if he stopped.
Bennett and his daughter mark the anniversary of America’s passing by visiting the remains of the Statue of Liberty and when he returns he tries to write a goodbye letter to her. The morning of the Arnies Portnoy visits Bennett and tells him if he tries to back the remnants of Total War will kill America Beeny.
At the Arnies The Judges are on standby, Portnoy leaves as Bennett starts to walk to the stage. Dredd grabs Portnoy and reveals that Bennett told them of the plan, he gets America’s position just as Total War agents reveal themselves and start shooting. Judges swarm in and gun down the Total War members but it is too late to stop a bloodbath.
America is reunited with her father and he hugs her goodbye one last time before he goes to the hospital to be euthanized. America is enrolled in the Academy of Justice because Bennett believed that if she lived outside of the Judges Total War would use her. He believed that if America was part of the Judges she would work to change the Judges from the inside.
Writer: John Wagner, Artist: Colin MacNeil, Colours: Chris Blythe, Letters: Annie Parkhouse