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Judge Dredd: Year One Interview with Writer Matt Smith!

Monday, Apr 8th, 2013

Here at the IDW web desk, we got access to not just a copy of Judge Dredd: Year One, but also the writer, Matt Smith! What suprises does one of Judge Dredd's earliest cases have in store for the fans?  What kind of shenanigans are the criminals in Mega-City One up to? How will this adventure help shape Dredd into the iconic Judge we all know and love? We had a chance to ask Matt Smith our questions, and here's what he had to say:

Judge Dredd is an iconic character with decades of history; in Judge Dredd: Year One he's a rookie with very little experience. What sort of lessons is Judge Dredd going to learn this early in his career, and how will his experiences mold him into the version of the character readers are most familiar with?

Dredd's not that hugely different as a rookie as he is with years of experience behind him. He's still a hard-ass enforcer of the law, unbending in his punishment of criminals. I've tried in this story to take Dredd out of his comfort zone, to show him that there's more to the world than what he's been taught in the Academy. Dredd, at this age, sees everything in black and white, while he's about to find out that his tutors haven't prepared him for everything the city can throw at him; Dredd's going to have to learn to be a bit more open-minded.

 In what ways can this be considered an origin story? Will any classic characters be making appearances? What can we expect from their interactions with a somewhat unexperienced Judge Dredd?
It's not an origin story - if you want the origins of Dredd and the Justice Department, read Judge Dredd: Origins by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, available now as trade collection! - but a chapter in Dredd's formative years. This is just one of the many cases that will make him Mega-City's greatest lawman. The only other established character that will make an appearance is Chief Judge Goodman. Oh, and a very brief cameo from a young Cadet Rico.

Dredd is generally written as being extremely respected and feared; in this story will he start out with that reputation, or will he have to earn it?
Dredd's an unknown quantity to most other Judges - Goodman is aware of his lineage (Dredd's a clone of Eustace Fargo, the 'Father of Justice', for those that don't know), but others no doubt see him as a humourless, self-righteous young Judge, with perhaps a tendency to be quick on the trigger.

How far back into Dredd's history will the Judge Dredd: Year One take us? Is the story connected to Judge Dredd's early life and origins, or is it more of a stand-alone tale?
Aside from a very brief flashback to the Atomic War of 2070, the story is set in 2080, Dredd's first year as full-eagle Judge (having graduated in 2079), so he's about eighteen here.

You've previously written a Dredd Year One novella; is their any correlation between your two stories? If there is a continuity, which story would be taking place first?
There's no correlation between the stories; both are individual cases that Dredd investigated in his first year. The e-novella Judge Dredd Year One:City Fathers (available on Amazon for just $3!) is more of a street-level investigation, whereas 'The Long Hard Road' centres on Dredd's first involvement with Psi-Division, and a threat that could envelop the whole city.

 

 

Thanks Matt! Be sure to grab your copy of Judge Dredd: Year One when it hits the shelves and digital bookstores on... and definitely do yourselves a favor check out www.2000ADonline.com for more on the world of Dredd, and as always, keep your browsers locked to www.idwpublishing.com for all the news, interviews, and sneak peaks for all of your favorite comic books!

Tags judge dredd, matt smith