Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Judge Anderson: PSI Files Volume 4 (2014)

Author: Alan Grant  |  Illustrators: Steve Sampson / Arthur Ranson  |  Page Count: 304

'Resyk was way past its limit – an’ the corpses just kept pilin' up.'

Anything goes (usually illegally) in Mega-City One, but esoteric concerns have always been better suited to Anderson's corner than that of the typical street judges. There's a lot of that kind of thing in Vol 4 and she's at the centre of it.

The first part finishes Steve Sampson's excellent run on art duties. He returns the reins to series regular Arthur Ranson for a multi-part epic that manages to be set present day (for the Meg) and simultaneously be tied into an event that happened prior Necropolis. It could've been a mess but it isn't, it works and it references a lot of history while doing so. It's also bloody and gruesome in places.

Being a senior PSI means Anderson's often relied upon to make the big decisions, but for her sometimes the personal ones are the biggest of all and there's nothing more personal than the world that's formed when you retreat into the confines of your own mind. With imagination having no boundaries, the vastness can be terrifying; more so when your deadliest enemy has also spent some time there.

If she's to be saved then the decision-making will need to fall to someone else, followed by consequences carefully weighed and action taken. It's fortunate she has a good working relationship with the current Chief Judge.

Something that not unique to 2000 AD and the Megazine, but certainly isn't commonplace in comics, is the acknowledgement that characters get older. They have a finite period of usefulness. For Judges that means it's only a matter of time before they’re either dead or forced to take the Long Walk into the Cursed Earth. Anderson isn't at that stage yet, but it's on the horizon.

As usual there are brief 'bonus stories' at the back of the book taken from various 2000 AD / Dredd specials, collectively featuring scripts by Mark Millar and Tony Luke with illustrations by Dermot Power and Russell Fox.

4 fields of death out of 5

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