The character Judge Dredd was created in 1977 by writer John Wagner, along with artist Carlos Ezquerra, working with editor Pat Mills. The over-the-top character first appeared in the second issue of “2000 A.D.,” a British science-fiction anthology comic.
Pocket Books has been rereleasing the “Judge Dredd” stories in order in the “Judge Dredd Complete Case Files.” Five volumes have been released so far. In a hyper-violent East Coast of the future, Judge Dredd patrols Mega-City One as one of the elite cadre of judges who serve as judge, jury and sometime executioner for the city. The city is surrounded radioactive wastelands and is filled with criminals and mutants.
“Dredd, whose face is always obscured by his helmet in the comic, is played by Karl Urban in the new film “Dredd 3D,” opening this weekend in theaters.
Dredd returns to American comics in a new “Judge Dredd” series from IDW Publshing this November.
“Judge Dredd turns 35 this year, and it's great to help him celebrate his birthday like this,” said Chris Ryall, IDW's chief creative officer/editor in chief, in a news release. “It was great to meet up with the 2000 AD team at the recent London Super Con and cement the partnership on this one. My interest in Judge Dredd far predates my tenure at IDW, so it's a real drokkin' pleasure for us to now be the first American publisher in 18 years to create new tales of Dredd.”
Dredd's stories continue in the United Kingdom in “2000 AD” and “Judge Dredd Megazine.” The IDW stories will be written by Duane Swierczynski with art by Nelson Daniel.
“What's more,” Ryall said, “while Nelson will be running point on the main story's art and colors, we'll also be doing backup stories in each issue that are tied to the ongoing storyline and that will be illustrated by some big-name talents as well. Folks like Paul Gulacy, Jim Starlin, and many others. Add to that covers by people like Ashley Wood, Carlos Ezquerra, Zach Howard, Whilce Portacio, and so many others, and there will be lots of exciting new artistic interpretations of Dredd to come.”
IDW Publishing also plans to offer new editions of classic Judge Dredd material. “Judge Dredd: The Complete Brian Bolland” will reprint the artists' work in a black-and-white edition similar to how the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Ultimate Collections from IDW presented the original stories of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in an oversize hardcover.
Following that, IDW plans to reprint the best Dredd stories in color as monthly comics.
Charlie Kirchoff will color Bolland's Judge Dredd material for the monthly comics. The ongoing 32-page comic series feature new color versions of artwork by Ezquerra and other artists.
“I first experienced Judge Dredd in the form of the Eagle Comics reprints from the early '80s, so it'll be fun to pay that forward and let a new generation of readers also experience that material in monthly color comics, albeit with the benefit of 21st century coloring and printing techniques,” Ryall said in a news release.