As of 27th February, 2124, Joe Dredd no longer resides in Rowdy Yates conapts. His clone-brother, the recently graduated Judge Rico Dredd, now lives in his old apartment.
The change was made in the story Leaving Rowdy, published in 2000 AD's silver anniversary issue. This extended episode featured Dredd Snr. in a contemplative mood, emptying out the personal belongings from his "gloomy little cave" while reminiscing over the previous 25 punishing years on the streets. His few keepsakes include the first bullet removed from his chest, and the badge of Judge Lopez, whose death Dredd felt personally responsible for.
The episode is littered with flashbacks and links to moments in Dredd history, giving a wry and often bitter look at the life of a senior Judge. As well as memories of Lopez and the first Rico’s death, Dredd’s mind is cast back to the many Judges he’s seen die in the line of duty. Giant, Morphy, McGruder … These recollections give an insight into the utter loneliness of his existence, and the way his unwavering reliance on the Law serves to dehumanise him.
Fittingly written and illustrated by the original Dredd creative team of John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, Leaving Rowdy fits into the on-going series of suggestions Wagner continues to deftly weave into the Dredd canon resulting from the seemingly linked plot points of Old Stony Face’s ever-increasing age and “baby Dredd” – Judge Rico.