Judge Anderson
Arthur Ranson.jpeg
Judge Anderson in "The Jesus Syndrome" (art by Arthur Ranson)
Publication information
PublisherIPC Media/Rebellion Developments
First appearance2000 AD #150 (February 1980)
Created byJohn Wagner
Brian Bolland
In-story information
Full nameCassandra Anderson

Judge Cassandra Anderson is a fictional law enforcer and psychic appearing in the British science fiction comics 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine. Created by writer John Wagner and artist Brian Bolland, Anderson made her debut as a supporting character in the Judge Dredd story "Judge Death" (2000 AD #150, February 1980). The character's popularity with readers led to her starring in her own series, Anderson: Psi-Division, which (since 1988) has been written almost exclusively by Alan Grant, often working with artist Arthur Ranson until 2005; Boo Cook drew a majority of the stories until 2012, since which a number of different artists have worked on the strip. In 2012, the character appeared in the film Dredd, played by Olivia Thirlby.

Publication history

John Wagner created both Judge Death and Judge Anderson for the Judge Dredd story "Judge Death,"[1] the latter helping introduce the Psi-Judges, which were seen as a natural progression.[2] A popular misconception is that artist Brian Bolland based the character on Debbie Harry, due to the mistaken belief that he had recently drawn the singer into an advertisement for the Forbidden Planet 2 store in London.[original research?] 2000 AD's former editor Kelvin Gosnell has recounted that the comic's assistant editor Deirdre Vine at the time was the inspiration for the character, having been surreptitiously photographed across the office and the snap then given to Bolland who was told to, "Make Anderson look like that."[3][4]

Short afterwards, Alan Grant began to co-write Judge Dredd with Wagner. When Anderson got her own series, Wagner and Grant also co-authored those stories. This collaboration lasted until 1988, when their differences of opinion about how to develop Dredd's character came to a head while planning the last episode of the Judge Dredd story "Oz." After that, Grant wrote Anderson's stories on his own, while Wagner wrote Dredd's.[5]

Grant later said: "A lot of Anderson counts among what I think of as my best work. The fact that I've had one of the best storytellers in the business, Arthur Ranson, along for most of the ride makes it even more memorable for me."[5]

Fictional character biography

Like the mythical Cassandra (the sister of Paris of Troy), Judge Anderson (b. 2080[6]) has psychic powers, chiefly telepathy and precognition. These abilities made her a member of Mega-City One's 'Psi Division' of Judges.

The character debuts during the first attack by Judge Death of the Dark Judges (a group of nihilistic undead Judges).[7] During this encounter, Anderson is possessed by Judge Death but then thwarts him by entombing herself in Boing®, a tough but porous material.[7] This lasts until the Dark Judges free her to release Judge Death, whereafter Anderson returns to active duty. She is instrumental in stopping this first attack by the Dark Judges, as well as several others. Due to being possessed and manipulated by them, Anderson develops a personal hatred of the Dark Judges.

Anderson is prominent in her Division and gains Dredd's respect.[8] Unlike Dredd, she is a critic of the weaknesses in the judicial system of Mega-City One, has a sense of humour, forms personal friendships with fellow Judges, and permits herself doubt and remorse. However she is still capable and willing like any Judge of using extreme or lethal force against anyone, men, women or children when necessary. Because her determination is similar to Dredd's, the two of them co-operate effectively on several missions.

In the story "Engram",[9] Anderson regains memories of an abusive father and is shocked to learn that her Division was responsible for blocking them from her mind in the first place. This, together with the events of "Leviathan's Farewell" (concerning the suicide of her friend Judge Corey), "Shamballa", "The Jesus Syndrome" and "Childhood's End", prompts Anderson to resign from the judicial system.[10] After several adventures in outer space, she returns to Mega-City One. Dredd and Anderson are both considered veterans and regarded with awe by less experienced judges.

Later, after a deadly run-in with Judge Death, Anderson falls into a coma[11] and is infected with the psychic Half-Life virus. A team of Psi-Judges succeeded in rescuing Anderson, but the Half-Life passes to Judge Gistane, who is then tortured by the mad Judge Fauster. When Half-Life is unleashed on the city, causing a wave of mass murder, Anderson stops it.[12] Since she awoke from her coma, Anderson is now 60 (as of 2018). Being a Psi prevents her from using drugs and treatments Street Judges use to stay active despite aging. Because of this, Anderson expects to age beyond usefulness.

Alternative comic versions

Bibliography

The following stories feature Judge Anderson and were printed in 2000 AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine.

Anderson as the main character

Anderson as a supporting character

Collected editions

The Judge Anderson, Anderson: Psi Division and Anderson: Psi stories (and also Judge Corey) are being collected in order of their original publication in a series of trade paperbacks:

The Judge Dredd stories are being collected, in order, in the series Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files.

The Judge Death story "My Name Is Death" was reprinted in a graphic novel of the same title by Rebellion in 2005, ISBN 1-904265-73-1.

The Cadet Anderson stories were reprinted in volume 88 of Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection in May 2018 (a total of seven volumes of that collection collect Anderson stories).

In other media

Novels

Mitchel Scanlon has written three Judge Anderson novels that have been published by Black Flame:

Anderson also appears as a supporting character in Judge Dredd novels:

Alec Worley has written three novellas published by Abaddon Books, featuring Anderson in her rookie year as a Judge, collected in the omnibus edition Judge Anderson: Year One, ISBN 978-1781085554 (June 2017):

Three more novellas by different authors were published separately, and later published together in the omnibus Judge Anderson: Year Two in 2019:

Radio

Film

Olivia Thirlby portrays Anderson in the 2012 film Dredd, as a Cadet Judge assigned to Dredd for her final assessment. She has attempted to take the Judge aptitude test since she was nine, but her latest attempt to become a Judge saw her fail to pass by 3%, although her powers are such a significant potential asset that the board feels that it is worth testing her in the field to be evaluated directly.

Computer game

Anderson appeared as a playable character in the Dredd Vs Death videogame in 2003.

Awards

See also

Notes

  1. ^ 2000 AD progs 149-151
  2. ^ Bishop 2007, page 70
  3. ^ Down the Tubes, June 2019
  4. ^ 2000 AD Thrill-Cast interview with Kelvin Gosnell, March 2018
  5. ^ a b Alan Grant interview (page 6), 12 January 2005 at 2000 AD Review (archived at web.archive). Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  6. ^ 2000 AD Annual 1984 p. 14
  7. ^ a b 2000 AD #151
  8. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 3 #7
  9. ^ 2000 AD #712-717 and 758-763
  10. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine vol. 2 #34
  11. ^ 2000 AD #1294
  12. ^ Judge Dredd Megazine #214-236
  13. ^ Judge Dredd: Legends of the Law 2000 AD profile

References