In Review: Judge Dredd: Anderson, Psi-Division #4

Psi-Division wants you to read this adventure. If not, you'll do five in confinement, scum!

The covers: Three different covers for you to take to your iso-cube. The Regular cover is by Matt Haley. It’s a good peek into what readers can expect from this story: Anderson bound to a chair while some perp threatens her. The chair and setting are primitive compared to what actually occurs in the story, but this gets the point across. Good highlighting on her face and uniform. The Subscription cover by Mimi Yoon made me think of one of the girls from Bananarama being imprisoned. This is a very 1980’s looking image with her hair and make up, and though this is not how I’m used to seeing Anderson, this is the cover I bought. Cool Psi halo coming off of her. The RI cover is by Agnes Garbowska with a Li’l Judge Anderson tooling down the street on her Big Wheel Lawmaster. I’m not normally a fan of the Scottie Young inspired “Li’l” variant covers, but this one works for me because of the Big Wheel and the bright coloring. Plus, check out the photo of Judge Death in the street! Overall grades: Regular B, Subscription A+, and RI A

The story: The concluding chapter of “The King of Six Sectors” by Matt Smith ends inside and outside the title character. Anderson has been captured and tied to a chair by Ashberry, who tells her he is a monster and then rips her into his mind so she can witness his origin from human to mental monstrosity. She tries to resist but she can’t–he’s too strong. This origin takes five pages and is informative and interesting, but the one location he takes her to on Page 8 gives an excellent twist to a character and creates some long term internal conflict for this person. I was pleased to see Judge Omar wasn’t going to take Anderson’s absence lightly and he swings his judges into action when she’s brought to his attention. For anyone that’s been following this series, Anderson’s solution to her situation won’t be a surprise, but it’s still impressive. I was so happy to see that Smith has the action on Page 19 occur, because that is justice in Mega City One. The final two panels of this issue have me hoping to see this residue last a long time. Overall grade: A

The art: Handling linework and colors is Carl Critchlow. The first page is a slow close-up of Anderson’s eye. There is some hyper-realistic work in the final two panels with the eyelashes and their shadows and incredible blue work in the eye. Wow! Page 2 has some slick coloring on the floor, great use of shadow and reflection. The origin that begins on Page 3 has terrific art and, again, sensational coloring. The design of the character introduced on Page 5 is sensational, with the eyes being immediate sources of focus. The dominating image on 6 is expected, but still startling. Beginning on Page 10 three panel side stories occur and they are absolutely spooky with color creating a sound when none is given. I know this is sounding repetitive, but look at the floor in the bottom panel–just great! That’s the perfect adjective for Critchlow’s work–great. Overall grade: A

The letters: The talented Shawn Lee provides dialogue, mind dialogue (You’ll understand when you read it), the time, a scream, a name, and the closing word. I really wanted some sounds, such as on 17, but what Lee is allowed to do is good. Overall grade: A

The final line: Psi-Division wants you to read this adventure. If not, you’ll do five in confinement, scum! Good story and art show justice Mega City style. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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