Published on September 10th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Anderson: PSI Division #2 – Comic Review
“I’m glad to be back in the Big Meg. This kind of jungle I can cope with.”
After resolving the cliff hanger from last month’s issue, the two Judges, Anderson and Degroot, decide to combine their special powers to create an out of body experience which gives the story some natural pace.
The resolution of the cliff hanger was a little bit of a cop out, it reminded me of the speech by Annie Wilkes in the movie version of Misery, but it helped move the story on so it can be over looked. And once the ‘spirit’ versions of the Judges get to their destination everything that came before is pretty much forgotten any way. The desolation of the village and the massacre of the people are illustrated to pitch perfect effect: it’s disturbing and shocking. As Anderson finds and talks to the only survivor the real horror of the incident is played out in full and is in stark contrast to the, now in retrospect ,silly swamp fight from the start of the issue.
After learning about the massacre and the fact that a few villagers were taken alive, Anderson returns to Mega City One to follow up her only lead, the name Ashberry. This leads her at first to Judge Dredd himself and an old case of his and then on to Zoller at the heart of the underworld. What does she learn? That’s she’s chasing a ghost story told by criminals to scare other criminals.
After the initial daftness, that was fun in its own way, the story takes a nasty, serious turn and this is handled very well by the writer, Matt Smith. He knows when to remove the gags and turn on the revulsion factor. But at the same time he captures the grim humour of the Judge’s and his interpretation of Dredd is spot on.
The art work is just as focused with most of the panels designed with a very clear focal point. The use of very minimal backgrounds helps to centralise a character or piece of action. The colour work in this issue is impressive and it stands out thanks to the quick shift in narrative from the natural greens of the swamp to the violent reds of Mega City One.
This is a solid story that appears to be setting up something revealing for the finale (Dredd makes a reference to something that is more than mere chit chat). It has a lot more substance than the recent enjoyable Rogue Trooper story (released in collected form this week) and is built around a mystery that crawls under your skin and refuses to leave. I’m just hoping that Degroot makes a reappearance as the dialogue between her and Anderson was brilliantly entertaining.
Title: Anderson: PSI Division
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Matt Smith
Artist: Carl Critchlow