As someone who only got really into Judge Dredd relatively recently, I get asked pretty often about good places to start. For more recent stuff, it's not hard to figure out a good place, and if nothing else, the folks at 2000 AD are pretty good at providing jumping-on points for new readers. When it comes to finding those classic Dredd stories, though, the ones that sometimes played out over the course of years and explored not just Dredd but the strange world in which he lives, that can be a little more difficult.

But that's about to change. Next week marks the release of John Wagner and Colin MacNeil's Judge Dredd: America, in paperback for the first time on the west-side of the Atlantic --- and when even the publisher is declaring it to be "the best Judge Dredd story ever," that's probably something to take note of.

They're not exaggerating, either. America was one of the first stories that I tracked down when I started getting into Dredd, and I'm honestly amazed that it's not talked about more. It's one of the stories that deals with Dredd's bizarre, sci-fi world in a way that's frighteningly realistic --- from page one, it takes the idea of Dredd as a fascist and puts it right at the forefront, delving into what that means, and whether the society that exists in Mega-City One is actually worth defending and saving. It's a story about democracy and hope and how those things can be crushed, and it has ramifications that are still being played out the pages of 2000 AD today.

In short, it's a good one, and if you want to read some of the best that Dredd has to offer (and you don't want to go all the way back to the Apocalypse War for it), then it's going to be worth picking up. Here's a preview:











Judge Dredd: America will be out in North American comic book stores on August 12.