Judge Dredd: Year One #1 Review

Art by Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra.

“The Long Hard Road, Part One: All the Young Juves, Carry the Good News,” published by IDW.
Written by Matt Smith. Drawn by Simon Coleby. Colored by Leonard O’Grady.

JUDGE_DREDD_YEARONE_01_CovA-staples-browneJudge Dredd: Year One! WOOT! It’s finally here! My excitement for this project knows no bounds. I was introduced to Judge Dredd as he was already a Judge with experience. Needless to say, I was excited when I found out they were giving him the Year One treatment. Seeing as how it took so long for this idea to come about, I don’t think it could’ve been done at a better time.

With the recent wave of successful make-overs for all things comics, in the way of origins, it was a blessing to see that IDW was going the same route with a character that had NEVER been given the treatment. Onto the review!

The debut issue deals mostly with Dredd’s first Psi-related case and how he adapts to crimes being committed that the Academy hadn’t shown him how to. In Dredd’s mind, the law is black and white. You are either breaking it, or you’re not.

I must say, my excitement for this issue was met with a wall of uncertainty. It seemed that the Dredd being introduced was already a Judge with experience, again. Not to say it wasn’t a good story. I have rarely found a Dredd story that I haven’t liked. This was no exception. I found myself, by the end of the issue, actually understanding why they used this specific case for their Year One story.

Being thrust into a case where he couldn’t find that absolute line of “guilty” and “not guilty” is a great way to show a younger Dredd. He’s not as confident as he is in the “here” and “now” and he is fairly fresh out of the Academy.

Seeing as how this is the “greenest” I have ever seen Dredd, I have to say, I loved this issue. It was, in my opinion, the best young Dredd story we will ever get. And, because of my new understanding and complete read of the issue, my love for all things Dredd walked out unscathed by the somewhat misleading title.

I would love to see more of this younger version of Dredd. I can’t wait to see the writer dive into the mind of a young Judge that is uncertain when it comes to his verdict on the Psi’s and the Psi-Division as well.

MORE Dredd in 2000 AD Prog 1824 review!

Preview Judge Dredd: Year One #1

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4 thoughts on “Judge Dredd: Year One #1 Review”

  1. I’m sure this will be cool, I’m very much looking forward to reading the story, but it’s a slight pity John Wagner – the creator and best writer of Judge Dredd – wasn’t commissioned to write this story. I don’t know if he was approached by IDW? It’s possible he didn’t want to explore Dredd’s early years as he prefers to keep Judge Dredd’s world moving forward.

  2. Wagner’s story in the new issue of the Megazine is called Tough Love. It’s his first Judge Dredd story since last year’s epic Day of Chaos.

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