Judge Anderson: The Psi Files Volume 3 (2013)

“You’re willing to kill Grud knows how many of our own children to get at people you don’t even know are our enemies?”

The latest volume of collected Judge Anderson stories from 2000AD, Judge Dredd Megazine and various annuals and specials was written in the main by Alan Grant – two illustrated prose stories are provided by Peter Milligan and Andy Lanning/Dan Abnett. The majority of the art in this volume was by Steve Sampson with another longer story being illustrated by Arthur Ranson and the single issue stories being illustrated by a variety of artists including the great Ian Gibson.

The book contains 4 longish stories, a couple of shorter stories and 7 single issue stories.

Something Wicked carries on from the end of volume 2 and sees Anderson on probation with Judge Dredd after going AWOL. A series of crimes where the perps were possessed, leads Dredd and Anderson to suspect the charismatic leader of a cult who is about to leave Earth with his followers to set up a new life on another planet.

Satan, illustrated by Arthur Ranson, sees the arrival of an omnipotent being to Mega-City One. It believes itself to the Devil incarnate and seeks the destruction of Mega-City One.

Wonderwall is an Alice in Wonderland inspired story that sees Anderson probing the defensive constructs of a young girl’s mind as she tries to understand why she is catatonic and who caused her condition.

Crusade carries on the theme of the life of children within Mega-City society and, in a tale reminiscent of the Pied Piper, Anderson and the senior judges must formulate a plan to save the city’s children when they follow a series of angelic child prophets on the promise of a new life.

Grant again uses Anderson to explore the more social side of Mega- City One. The main stories deal with the lot of children in the sprawling urban decay – abandoned without any parental control to run wild and their eventual slide into crime and abuse. While I love Judge Dredd, it is the more human side of the city revealed by Anderson and her outlook that really appeals to me and this collection is a good example of that. Although the stories carry on from what has gone on before and there are some fleeting references to past events, I think an interested reader could pick this volume up and give the world of Judge Anderson a go without too much of a problem.