The untold story behind
Mega-City One's most famous telepath and Judge Dredd partner, Judge
Anderson, in her first year on the job!
Mega-City One, 2100.
Cassandra Anderson is destined to become Psi-Division’s most famous
Judge, foiling supernatural threats and policing Mega-City One’s hearts
and souls. For now, she’s fresh out of Academy and Psi-Div themselves
are still finding their feet.
Heartbreaker: After a string
of apparently random, deadly assaults by customers at a dating agency,
Anderson is convinced a telepathic killer is to blame. Putting her
career on the line, the newly-trained Psi-Judge goes undercover to bring
the romance-hating murderer to justice, with the big Valentine’s Day
parade coming up.
The Abyss: Sent to interrogate Moriah
Blake, leader of the notorious terror group ‘Bedlam,’ Anderson gets just
one snippet of information – Bedlam’s planning on detonating a huge
bomb – before Blake’s followers take over the Block. It’s a race against
time, and Anderson’s on her own amongst the inmates.
A Dream of the Nevertime: Anderson
– a rookie no more, with a year on the streets under her belt –
contracts what appears to be a deadly psychic virus, and must explore
the weirdest reaches of the Cursed Earth in search of a cure. She must
face mutants, mystics and all the strangeness the land can throw at her
as she wrestles weird forces.
I thoroughly enjoyed the couple of early Dredd books that have appeared over the last few years (see here & here) and so when I noticed this one I couldn't resist and jumped right in.
Leaving aside the very inaccurate cover art that has left Anderson's uniform bereft of shoulder eagle and chain this is a fairly accurate rendition of the Anderson that we all fell for in The Dark Judges storyline. She's irreverent and fearless but here is wracked with doubts over the judge system and beset by worries that she's not up to the job. It's not something I really buy into. the years at the academy would have weeded that out of her but it does add a dimension to her interior monologue that Dredd obviously lacks.
The 3 and a smidge stories collected here are solid action pieces with the psi judge taking down various rogue psychics, mutants and terrorists across Mega City One and the Cursed Earth. Worley has a fairly solid hand on the craziness of Dredd universe but has kept a fairly tight rein so the Valentine Parade feels suitable OTT rather than just silly and Marion the cow-bot is a sympathetic character behind the John Wayne-isms.
As I said I found the soul searching to be a little forced and given too central a place in the stories but other than that this proved to be another successful and very readable collection of stories allowing us a glimpse at the unreported years of some of 2000ADs finest.
Buy it here - Judge Anderson: Year One