(CBR) Saturday afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego, IDW Publishing and "2000 AD" publisher Rebellion came together to hold a joint panel celebrating all things Judge Dredd.
The panel, moderated by Judge Dredd historian Douglas Wolk, consisted of Ulises Farinas ( "Judge Dredd: City of Courts" artist), Duane Swierczynski (IDW's "Judge Dredd" writer), Henry Flint ( "2000 AD's" "Judge Dredd" artist), John Higgins ("Judge Dredd" & "Before Watchmen" artist), Chris Ryall (Editor-in-Chief of IDW Publishing), Ben Smith (publishing manager for Rebellion), Michael Molcher (PR coordinator for Rebellion) and Keith Richardson (graphic novels editor for Rebellion).
Chris Ryall started the panel saying that "2000 AD" should have won the Eisner Award for best anthology the previous night, the award instead going to "Dark Horse Presents." "'2000 AD' has been such a great anthology for so long that their recognition is far overdue," Ryall said. "One of these days!"
Wolk then took charge of the panel to walk the crowd through current and upcoming projects.
Swierczynski revealed his upcoming "Into the Cursed Earth" story beginning in IDW's "Judge Dredd" #9 will heavily feature the new mutant character Dannn [sic], who uses his three eyes to see three potential futures: bad, worse and bizarre. "He's Dredd's unlikely partner in his upcoming adventures."
Dredd will also visit a twisted amusement park in the storyline, which is Swierczynski's homage to noir crime writer Daniel Woodrow. "It's my tribute to him. It's backwoods noir stuff," Swierczynski said. "There is one thing sequence which poor Nelson [Daniel] had to draw which I'm pretty sure any search he did online for research got him on the NSA watchlist."
A cover image was shown with Swierczynski's version of classic UK Judge Dredd villains the Angel Gang, including leader Mean Machine.
Another upcoming IDW Judge Dredd project is "Mars Attacks Judge Dredd," by "2000 AD" Dredd writer Al Ewing and "Hitman" artist John McCrea. "Greg Staples did this image for [a variant cover of] 'Mars Attacks Judge Dredd' and everybody was like, 'Oh my god, that is so good. We should do this as a series,'" Ryall explained. "So we are doing this as a series. We listen to our fans."
Ryall then announced the panel's moderator, Douglas Wolk, as the writer of upcoming mini-series, "Judge Dredd: City of Courts," with Ulises Farinas on pencils. "Mega-City Two being what happens when the very large traffic snarl of Los Angeles metastasizes to take over the entire state of California and is all that is left of the US West Coast," Wolk said. "It's going to be amazing!"
Other "2000 AD" projects at IDW include a deluxe hardcover edition of Cam Kennedy's "Judge Dredd" work and a reprint series of Dan Abnett's sci-fi hitman adventure series "Sinister Dexter." Rebellion PR coordinator Michael Molcher described the series as "'Pulp Fiction' in the future. An Irishman with a red nose and a guy with a TV screen in his eye."
Ryall then made the biggest announcement of the panel: IDW will publish an ongoing series based on "2000 AD" title "Rogue Trooper" sometime next year. Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons created "Rogue Trooper" back in 1981. It follows the adventures of a blue-skinned genetically modified soldier whose entire platoon is slaughtered on the war-torn planet NuEarth, forcing him to become an army of one.
In addition to the new series, Ryall said IDW plans to bring out the original "Rogue Trooper" stories from "2000 AD" in recolored collections.
Rebellion graphics novel editor Keith Richardson then pointed out that "Rogue Trooper" predates "Watchmen," also by Dave Gibbons, and asked "Watchmen" cover artist John Higgins, "Did Dave run out of character designs when he came up with Dr. Manhattan? Cause he looks very much like Rogue!"
The panel then switched gears to the "2000 AD" portion of the afternoon. Publishing manager Ben Smith and Molcher went over some of the comics coming to "2000 AD," including "Slaine: Book of Scars: Sky Chariots" by Pat Mills and Mick McMahon, "Brass Sun: The Diamond Age" by Ian Edginton and I.N.J. Culbard, "Damnation Station II" by Al Ewing and Mark Harrison, "Flesh: Badlanders" by Pat Mills and James McKay, and "Strontium Dog: Dogs of War" by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra.