Review: Judge Dredd: Anderson Psi Division #1 (IDW Publishing)

Judge Anderson Psi DivisionIDW Publishing’s latest offering from Mega City One is a new on-going series for a 2000AD fan favourite in Judge Dredd, Anderson PSI Division #1 which, like Judge Dredd: Year One, follows Anderson’s early days of law enforcement. However, do the creative team do her character justice? Or is it just a crock of stomm?

Judge Anderson Psi DivisionPublisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Matt Smith
Artist: Carl Critchlow
Price: £1.49 from Comixology

If you’ve never read a Judge Anderson comic in your life, don’t panic! 2000 AD stalwart Matt Smith’s writing will bring you up to speed with her character in one issue of Anderson Psi Division #1; especially the fact that she just can’t leave well enough alone when it comes to her pre-cog flashes.

The issue begins proper with Anderson having a pre-cog dream which involves possible trouble at the Megapolitan Museum of Modern History. After phoning it in to Control, Anderson decides to investigate anyway even though she’s supposed to be recharging her batteries.

The artwork throughout is a sophisticated blend of shadows and colours that breathes new life into a post-apocalyptic world. From the early morning sunrise over Judge Omar’s office, to the swamps of the gator-infested Alabama Morass, each environment is given its own personality and what is great is the lack of superfluous details that might bog down a reader trying to take in everything at once. Everything has been drawn in for a reason, even if that reason isn’t immediately obvious. This comic deserves a second or even third read-through for the artwork alone.

Smith has managed to write women as people rather than trying to make them sound like women. Other comics could learn from this. However, there is a lack of British humour which is on offer in 2000AD ant this sometimes makes it feel as if the comic is only concerned about serious up-holding of the Law. However, don’t let that put you off. The story is being played out over 4 parts, so there’s plenty of time for Smith to get into his element, to bring to bear a story that covers more than just creep-busting and that will give a deeper insight into just how Anderson uses her PSI ability to tackle crime.

All in all, Anderson PSI Division #1 is a great read if you’ve never read anything remotely connected to the 2000AD universe. Should you read Anderson PSI Division? Yes, you should. Should you take it with a pinch of salt? Yes. But please do yourself a favour and read it all the same. This creative team are set up to go from strength to strength as they get to grips with Anderson’s character and the nature of the PSI-Division itself.

pd_review4“Anderson PSI Division #1 is a beautiful mix of creep-stomping and investigating a deeper threat that deserves your attention. Although sometimes the writing is a little lacking, the artwork is a smorgasbord for the eyes that will keep you coming back again and again.”