IDW Publishing looks back to the first days of Judgment with Judge Dredd Year One

Judge Dredd Year one cover Issue 1

A new Year One comic book series hits newsstands today.  IDW Publishing, who now holds the comic book license to the Judge Dredd franchise once held by DC Comics and originally published in the UK in 1977, begins anew with Judge Dredd’s earliest days in Issue #1 of Judge Dredd Year One, released today and previewed here at below.

It’s the year 2080 and twenty-three juveniles “juves” begin exhibiting strange “psi-powers” or psychic abilities.  First a teenage boy becomes angry and is able to levitate.  A baby begins controlling toys and making them float in mid-air.  A street thug spirits a man off the roof of a building.  And on the “Larry Hagman Freeway” (in Dallas, Texas, I presume) Judge Dredd first appears in hot pursuit.  And another child emerges with strange powers of telekinesis.

Dredd ends up in the Psi Division building and we learn that his world–as a Mega-City One Judge–is a world like that of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report.  It’s a world of pre-crime, where citizens can be convicted of crimes they are going to commit in the future.

Judge Dredd Issue 2 Year One cover

In the first issue of Judge Dredd Year One, Dredd takes a backseat to the action and the case as it develops, presumably later to be judged.  Similar to the movie portrayals of Judge Dredd, he’s his typical reserved and stilted self here as realized by writer Matt Smith and artist Simon Coleby.  And, the parts of his face we get to see behind his helmet, look a lot like Sylvester Stallone’s Judge, as opposed to Karl Urban’s Judge.  And in at least one scene the uniform appears modeled from Stallone’s movie version.

Smith has written Judge before and seems to have his voice right.  Smith penned a digital prose novella about Judge Dredd late last year titled Judge Dredd Year One: City FathersThat work is not the same story as this new comic book mini-series.

Click below for a high-quality preview of Judge Dredd Year One, courtesy of IDW Publishing, available at comic books stores today:

Judge Dredd Year One 7-Page Preview

Fans of either Judge Dredd movie or the 2000 AD Judge Dredd classic graphic novels may want to check out this new comic book version.

C.J. Bunce

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