It's Mega-City Year One As IDW And 2000 AD Announce 'Judge Dredd: Year One: The Long, Hard Road' For March

In a world seized by crime, a fresh-faced rookie sets out to clean up the streets. When he's inevitably strung up by roving gangs of telepathic teens, it's up to young Judge Joseph Dredd to step up. 2000 AD editor Matt Smith is writing "Judge Dredd: Year One: The Long, Hard Road" for IDW this March, accompanied by interior artist Simon Coleby and cover artist Greg Staples.

The story will bring Dredd face-to-face with a mental menace in his first team-up with the Psi-Division. Minds are certain to be blown.

Check out a variant cover and the official release after the jump.

One would be hard pressed to call the young Dredd “fresh-faced” or “eager,” but there is certainly a learning curve to policing Mega-City One’s vast and vicious criminal element. This thrilling period of Dredd’s career was previously explored by Smith in Judge Dredd: Year One – City Fathers, the hit e-novella published by 2000 AD earlier this year, but was immediately recognized as an avenue perfectly suited for a different story told through a comic-book miniseries.

“Dredd's a notoriously difficult character to get the voice right—and it becomes even more of a challenge when you're writing him as an eighteen year old, fresh out of the Academy,” said Matt Smith. “But it's been great fun charting his early cases, feeding into the stories the elements that will go on to make him Mega-City's most feared lawman. And it's terrific to have Simon Coleby on board, a superb artist and well experienced in portraying the madness of the future metropolis.”

In “The Long, Hard Road,” Smith and Coleby tell a tale where “all the young juves, carry the news,” only in this case, that news is that juves across sector start manifesting psychic abilities. Dredd must team up for the first time with Psi-Division to combat the spreading chaos. But just what is causing the psi-outbreaks as it crosses the dimensions—and what does it have in store for Mega-City One?

By taking to the comics page and telling a new tale from Dredd’s early years on the force, IDW and 2000 AD are thrilled to be bringing fans a Dredd story the likes of which they’ve never seen; not to mention a rare look at the kind of harrowing futuristic criminal saga that built Dredd’s signature grimace. Like the old saying goes, “You can’t strike fear into the deranged heart of a criminal underbelly without breaking a few legs.”

“Matt Smith has been doing a masterful job of steering Judge Dredd’s exploits for years, and his e-novella showed he was equally adept at serving as chronicler as well as editor,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief. “And the story Matt’s telling in this miniseries is a very different tale of Dredd’s first year than his prose story, but both combine to add relevant details and backstory to the character of Judge Dredd.”

In addition to the stellar team of Mega City One veterans on the book, dedicated Dredd fans will also find variant covers by Cerebus mastermind Dave Sim and Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra in the offing! Fans are urged to appear at their nearest comic shop for judgment, lest they face eternity in the iso-cubes!

JUDGE DREDD: YEAR ONE #1 (FC, 32 pages, $3.99). In stores 3/27/13

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