Friday, March 24, 2023

Since I seem to spread my purchases around, I'm not sure where I got an almost-complete run of this series; but I wonder if it was the same store I found the first issue! From 1989, Psi-Judge Anderson #1, reprinting 1985's 2000 AD #416-421, "Four Dark Judges" Written by Alan Grant and "T.B. Grover" (John Wagner), art by Brett Ewins.
The fan-favorite psychic Judge is haunted by visions of Judge Death, until she finally takes a "dimension-jump" to his dead world to confirm he was gone. Nope! The spirits of the Dark Judges--Death, Fear, Fire, and Mortis--overpower Anderson's mind and force her to resurrect them in new bodies, then kill her and return to Mega-City One to pass sentence on those worst of lawbreakers, the living. Anderson managed to play possum and survive, but is kicking herself for a serious lapse in judgement: while she's not about to let the Dark Judges run wild, she also figures this will be her last hurrah, as she will doubtless be sent to the Judges' penal colony on Titan for her screwup.
Flippant and somewhat insubordinate for a Judge, Anderson is both a beloved character, but also one that sometimes has to be accounted for or sidelined to keep the plot going: I just re-read the Necropolis serial recently, and she's injured and comatose for a large chunk of that one. Still, events in Judge Dredd are roughly real time; so Anderson felt she was getting long in the tooth for a Judge, and Psi's couldn't take the same treatments other Judges could use to stay active. Also, most of her solo appearances were written by Alan Grant, and after his demise I'm not sure she's received as much page time. I did just get some more recent Dredd recently; I'll keep an eye out for her.


Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

I'm guessing due to her powers, she had to be benched or else the situation/problem would've gotten resolved a lot faster?
Despite knowing dick all about her from the comics, I have to say I felt the recent Judge Dredd movie portrayed her very well all things considered. Damn shame we're not likely get a sequel from that era anytime soon.

H said...

I disagree about the movie but that's a discussion for a whole other time. If you're interested in that, they did a few comics stories with that version that were collected a few years back. It's called Dredd/Anderson: The Deep End.

For such a progressive comic, 2000 AD did pull the coma card on Anderson quite a bit. Then again, she ended her first story that way too (she was originally written as a one-time character, but was too good to not use) so maybe it's meant as a recurring theme. They do occasionally deal with her aging, but it's a controversial topic among the fandom- very few artists draw her as her proper age, but the stories that do usually aren't as popular. No one wants to see her slow down though, and almost every artist draws her differently anyway so it's hard to tell how she would age.

Even before Alan Grant's death, they'd slowly been bringing in new writers for Anderson so she still gets a fair amount of play today. She appears in most of the specials they put out. Maura McHugh's got the best grip on the character if you're looking for recent Anderson stories.

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

I'll take a brief overview of why you didn't think so. What about the movie overall? Did you like it, not like it?

H said...

The brief answer is that the movie's decent, but I don't feel like it's a Judge Dredd movie. It's more like a modern day movie with a Dredd veneer. Olivia Thirlby was fine, but she wasn't Anderson. For all the problems with the Stallone movie, it at least felt like it was set in that world.

googum said...

Rrg, I can see your point, H: production-wise, Stallone's Judge Dredd looks great. It's so awful I black out how bad it is every couple of years and try watching it again...whereas, the Urban Dredd is admittedly the Raid with the serial numbers filed off it, but is a million times more watchable than its predecessor.

In the comics, though, Anderson pretty obviously wasn't trained or mentored by Dredd (he would've ground the humor out of her!) and we don't see her as a scared rookie. She's more of a force there; which narratively probably wouldn't have worked for a movie, unless you want to make it all-Anderson.

H said...

They actually did do a few 'Anderson as a scared rookie' stories around the time of the Urban movie. I mean the main continuity Anderson, not the Urban movie version- the stories I mentioned up top came out a few years later. They collected those stories as well but I think that one's out of print. You could probably go to 2000 AD's online shop and get the digital version if you wanted, though. It's called Cadet Anderson: Teenage Kyx.