Anthrax will celebrate their 40th anniversary with the April release of a comic book based on 1987's Among the Living.

Each song became the subject of its own story. Drummer Charlie Benante and guitarist Scott Ian worked on “I Am the Law,” which features the iconic 2000AD future-cop character Judge Dredd. The title, to be published by Z2 Comics, also includes contributions from Rob Zombie, Corey Taylor and others, along with big-name graphic novel artists.

“The one thing that always was in my mind is that I don’t want to just put our name on it. I want to contribute,” Benante told Rolling Stone. “So, Scott is writing ‘I Am the Law,’ and I did [a] cover based on that story, which I was so happy to do. It really pushed me, because now I have to keep up with these other artists in this book, which was an exciting challenge.”

Benante said they agreed to Z2’s suggestion to explore Among the Living because Anthrax “wouldn’t be doing this all these years later if it wasn’t for that album. It happens to work well thematically, too. It’s ripe with stories! This record has truly stood the test of time, and that’s why we’re doing our first comic book based on this record. The imagery of the songs really lends to the visual storytelling of comics.”

He also thinks the album's driving concept is still valid now. “The whole idea behind the cover of Among the Living is that there can good or evil hiding anywhere in the world,” Benante said. “It could be hidden in a crowd where, just like on the record cover, it is just staring back at you. That concept rings true to this day, in a time where we’re still dealing with monsters. I’m hoping that this country we live in has effectively killed that monster, but it looks like its seeds have been sown elsewhere.

"Back to the album: It’s one of the records that I look back on and have great memories of it," Benante added, "and as I said, I believe it is quite possibly the one we owe our career to.”

Ian noted that each of the comic-book writers would be “telling stories about what these songs mean to them — what the songs inspired them to write. It wasn’t hard to figure out that this is what the book would be when you have the talent we have involved. They don’t need any direction from us, nor do I want to give any. I want to see where they take it.”

Among the Living will be available in multiple editions, all of which are available for pre-order now.

See Anthrax Among the Top 50 Heavy Metal Albums

More From Classic Rock Q107