'Essential Judge Dredd' Graphic Novel Line to Launch This Fall

Judge Dredd- America - Publicity - H 2020
John Higgins/Rebellion Publishing
The new line launches with 'America,' a story originally published in 1990.

Continuing a concerted push into the U.S. market that includes the April launch of a monthly Best of 2000 AD anthology, Rebellion Publishing has announced a new line of graphic novel collections aimed at offering newcomers an introduction to 2000 AD’s most iconic character: Judge Dredd.

The Essential Judge Dredd line launches this fall with the release of Essential Judge Dredd: America, a collection of stories written by series co-creator John Wagner, with art by Colin MacNeil. Additional material by Alan Grant, John Higgins, Garth Ennis, John M. Burns and Jeff Anderson will be included as “contemporarily thematic stories,” according to the publisher.

America, originally published in 1990, tells the story of comedian Bennett Beeny and America Jara, his childhood love who grows up to become a democratic activist, and later terrorist, in the fascistic police state setting of Mega-City One. Wagner, who created Dredd with Carlos Ezquerra in 1977, has called the storyline his favorite for the character, and it’s widely considered to be one of the most poignant in the strip’s long history.

“Not only is America one of the most amazing Judge Dredd stories ever told, this incredibly prescient look at the demands society must make for democracy and what a state will do to protect itself couldn’t be more contemporary," Rebellion Publishing head Ben Smith said Thursday in a statement. "This is not only the ideal first story for any reader new to Dredd, it’s something everyone should read in this year of all years. Make sure you read it before you vote, citizens!”

Essential Judge Dredd: America is set to be released in September. The second volume in the series, Essential Judge Dredd: Origins, will follow in November.