Judge Dredd Reading Order: Where to Start With Dredd Comics?

I never really understood the Judge Dredd phenomena until I finally sat down to watch 2012’s Dredd

Suddenly the merciless protector of Mega City law began to make sense and I desperately wanted to explore John Wagner, Alan Grant, and a boatload of other talented creator’s work on Dredd for 2000 AD comics since 1977.

Below is the most direct path I’ve found for collecting and reading Judge Dredd comics. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about the creation of Dredd, as well co-creator John Wagner, I highly recommend the podcast 2000 AD Thrillcast, which has an epic 3 part interview with Wagner in a pub.

Judge Dredd Case Files 5

The Judge Dredd Comic Book Reading Order

2000 AD comics intimidate the heck out of me, what with their original publication outside the states and generally confusing and lengthy timelines. Fortunately, Judge Dredd is quite neatly collected by 2000 AD, and once you get started, the esteemed science fiction house of Dredd is actually quite manageable.

If you’re totally new to Dredd comics, the general consensus among fans is you will be well suited to start with Case Files 5. This includes approximately one year of serialized Dredd stories from the early 80’s, including the essential “Apocalypse War.” While starting 5 volumes in may seem intimidating, the books do a fair amount of recapping and expository panels, meaning you’ll be able to catch up relatively easily, and of course go back to the beginning if you love what you see.

Judge Dredd: Origins

Note that you have a couple of options reading Judge Dredd: Origins. While Origins explains how we get the dystopian America of Dredd’s comic book universe, it wasn’t actually published until 2006, nearly 30 years after Dredd’s creation in 2000 AD.

So, if you want to start with a modern account of the Dredd origin from co-creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, this is a great starting place.

If you really want to start from day one, though, and go back to the late 70’s into the early 80’s, you’ll want to begin with the Case Files collections below!

Judge Dredd: Case Files 01

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 2-60 and Judge Dredd Annual 1981, and Walter the Wobot strips from 2000 AD Prog 50-58

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 2

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 61-70, 73-76, 79-108 and 110-115

You can also find the colored, collected Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth Uncensored, which will overlap with Case Files 2 but offers some extra “banned” material.

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 3

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 116-154

Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files 4

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 156-207

Judge Dredd in the Apocalypse War

Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files 5

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 208-267, 269-270 — You can also find the “Apocalypse War” story arc collected here reprinted with all-new colors by Charlie Kirchoff in Judge Dredd Classics Volume 1: Apocalypse War

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 6

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 271-321

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 7

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 322-350, 353-375

Judge Anderson: The Psi Files Volume 01

Collects: 2000 AD Annual 1984 and 2000 AD Progs 416-427, 468-478, 520-531, 607-609, 612-622, 635-647, 657-659, 669-670, 712-717 and 758-763, plusJudge Corey from 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1989

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 8

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 376-423

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 9

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 424-473

Judge Dredd Comic Books Say Gaze Into the Fist of Dredd

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 10

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 474-522

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 11

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 523-570

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 12

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 571-618

Note that with volume 12 of the Dredd case files, the comics move into full color.

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 13

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 619-661

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 14

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 662-699

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 15

Collects: 2000 AD Prog 700-735 and Judge Dredd Megazine #1.01-1.10

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 16

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 736-775 and Judge Dredd Megazine #1.11-1.20

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 17

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 776-803 and Judge Dredd Megazine #2.01-2.11

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 18

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 804-829 and Judge Dredd Megazine #2.12-2.26

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 19

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 830-855 and Judge Dredd Megazine #2.27-2.43

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 20

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 856-887 and Judge Dredd Megazine #2.44-2.56

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 21

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 888-915 and Judge Dredd Megazine #2.57-2.68

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 22

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 916-939 and Judge Dredd Megazine #2.69-2.80

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 23

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 940-959 and Judge Dredd Megazine #2.81-2.83 and 3.01-3.07

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 24

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 959-983 and Judge Dredd Megazine #3.04-3.16

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 25

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 984-1028 and Judge Dredd Megazine #3.16-3.18

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 26

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 1029-1052 and Judge Dredd Megazine #3.19, 3.22 and 3.26-3.33

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 27

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 1053-1083, and from Judge Dredd Megazine #3.34-3.38

Judge Dredd in America

Essential Judge Dredd Graphic Novels

Judge Dredd: America

Judge Dredd: Dark Justice

Predator Versus Judge Dredd Versus Aliens

The Batman/Judge Dredd Collection

Dredd: Urban Warfare

Judge Dredd in Day of Chaos

Judge Dredd Day of Chaos Reading Order

“Day of Chaos” is one of the most frequently recommended recent story arcs from 2000 AD’s Dredd comics, with John Wagner somehow escalating the perpetually apocalyptic stakes with modern sensibilities.

Reading the event outside of the individual issues can be particularly confusing, so I’ve ordered the collected editions below as follows.

Judge Dredd Tour of Duty: Mega City Justice

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 1649-1667, 1674-1693 and Prog 2010

Judge Dredd Day of Chaos: Fourth Faction

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 1700-1704, 1740-1751 and 1753-1758, and from Judge Dredd Megazine #307, 308 and 310

Judge Dredd Day of Chaos: Endgame

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 1759-1789

Judge Dredd Day of Chaos: Fallout

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 1792-1796, 1798-1799, 1801-1802, 1816, 1819-1822, 1824-1825, 1830-1841 and 1845-1849, and from Judge Dredd Megazine #332 and 336

Judge Dredd: Trifecta

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 1803 and 1806-1812

Judge Dredd: Titan

Dredd in space! After “Day of Chaos.”

Collects: 2000 AD Progs 1862-1869, 1873, 1924-1928, 1940-1947 and 1961

Judge Dredd: Dead Zone

Collects: Judge Dredd Megazine #350-355 and from 2000 AD Progs 1929-1933

Judge Dredd: Every Empire Falls

Judge Dredd: The Cape and Cowl Crimes

IDW Publishing Judge Dredd

IDW Judge Dredd Comics Reading Order

Dredd gets an American relaunch with  IDW, de-aging the enforcer and refreshing a good deal of 2000 AD continuity for a fresh start.

Judge Dredd: Year One

Judge Dredd Volume 1

Judge Dredd: Anderson, Psi-Division

Judge Dredd Volume 2

Judge Dredd Volume 3

Judge Dredd Volume 4

Judge Dredd Volume 5

Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two

Judge Dredd Volume 6

Judge Dredd Volume 7

The first 7 volumes of the core IDW Dredd comic will take you through Judge Dredd #1 to #30.

5 Replies to “Judge Dredd Reading Order: Where to Start With Dredd Comics?”

  1. I always thought the Dredd character was the least interesting part of 2000AD and even the Dredd Megazine. What makes the comic so apprealing is that it doesn’t focus specifically on Dredd as a superhero, but rather paints a imersive and incredibly detailed picture of a cyberpunk future with a myriad of living characters from all parts of society. From cops to robbers, the elite rich to beggars on the street, everyone has a story to tell. And I think my favorite story is the gangster tale of Al’s Baby.

  2. My favorite Judge Dredd era would have to be the one which started with The Judge Child Saga, because that was when Alan Grant became John Wagner’s full-time Dredd co-writer, the partnership lasting something like seven years, until, as Grant tells it, they were at each other’s throats over whether or not Chopper would die at the end of the Oz story-arc. By the end of that kerfluffle, they’d seen the writing on the wall (no pun intended), and split up.

    And, FTR, my favorite of all the artists during Dredd’s 80s prime was Ron Smith. He wasn’t precise and clean like Bolland, but his pictures were prettier than Ezquerra’s or McMahon’s. I consider Smith’s style to be the most well-balanced between draftsmanship & dynamics.

  3. For me, Judge Dredd is the main man and always will be.
    I only started buying 2000AD again about a year ago after a break of many years and it’s great to see that the Dreddverse is still such an integral part of the Galaxy’s Greatest after forty years.
    The collected stories in graphic novel form are a nice way to catch up on all the stuff I’d missed.

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