The Book: Psi-Division’s toughest judge, Cassandra Anderson, returns to the streets of Mega-City One, having awoken from the coma she fell into following her exposure to the Half-Live virus.
But there is no respite for the veteran Psi Judge. City-wide disasters face her at every turn, including everything from a hideous new disease manufactured by the Sisters of Death and block-sized city-stomping robots!
The ongoing adventures of Judge Anderson are chronicled by 2000AD legend Alan Grant (Judge Dredd, Monster) and features dazzling artwork from Dave Taylor (Batman), Boo Cook (A.B.C. Warriors) and Arthur Ranson (Buttonman).
The Review: Judge Cassandra Anderson is one of the few characters in the Judge Dredd universe to have been awarded her own series and as such we are now up to Volume 5 of the Psi Files. Cassandra first appearance in the Dredd universe was helping to battle the Dark Judges back in issue 150 in 1980, portrayed as a sassy psychic Debbie Harry-styled Judge with idiosyncrasies that were overlooked as Psi-Division were known to have unique abilities that helped to uphold the Law. But the stories in this volume are 25 years and then some on from that effervescent introduction and we now have a world weary Judge who has seen billions die and is no longer sure of what she stands for, let alone sure of being able to handle losing the few people that she has allowed herself to care for. It is quite apt that the first story of this volume deals with the hand maidens of the Dark Judges, Phobia and Nausea.
This volume is a collection of stories that were published in the Megazine between 2005 and 2012 and also features two bonus stories from 2000AD. The stories are not lightweight and deal with issues such as self-doubt, coming to terms with our own mortality and the changing perception of our identity.
However, the stories are not unremittingly gloomy, as there are deft touches of humour to be found throughout such as the Robot Doctor catching a virulent disease in Lucid.
We are also teated to a self aware AI that has decided to cooperate with the Judges in return for being allowed to continue to exist within his quantum awareness – and if you look at the top left panel of this extract, you will see a lovely homage to the Cursed Earth and The Day The Law Died from Boo Cook. I am not telling you how many times I read this before I spotted them!
Overall, this is a rock solid book that is a credit to anyone’s collection and expands on the canon that is the Judge Dredd universe. If you have to choose between the Dredd and Anderson volumes in this month’s releases, then I would buy the Anderson volume as it is the more thought provoking of the two.
• Judge Anderson Psi Files Volume 5 was released on 11th August 2016 and is available in print from book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond (Order code JUN161715).