Review: Anderson PSI Division #2

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Anderson PSI Division 2

Matt Smith – Writer

Carl Critchlow – Art

Shawn Lee – Letters

Editor – Denton J Tipton

Variant Covers by Matt Healy, Mimi Yoon and Chris Weston

Publisher – IDW

The King of Six Sectors sees IDW’s Judge Dredd line continue where last issue left off with Anderson in big trouble down in the bayou in part two of this four issue tale.

Still in the company of Texas Ranger DeGroot they must put their unique skill sets to use in order to parlay with the very Morass itself in pursuit of the murderous perpetrators of the Megapolitan Museum heist.  With the aid of a mutant with highly powerful and unusual powers the crew made off not with the priceless artifacts on display but solely with a mysterious map.  A map of the infamous Cursed Earth, drawn up in the very aftermath of the great Atomic War that forged Dredd and Anderson’s world.  Escaping the confines of Mega City One the criminals head for the Alabama Morass.  Are they hiding?  Or are they in pursuit of their end goal?

Issue two of Anderson PSI Division gives Cass an excellent opportunity to flex her psionic muscles in order to track down a new lead and writer Matt Smith (Judge Dredd: Year One) plays with the possibilities this offers to great effect.  Getting into the very mind of the swamp itself in order to uncover the only set of eyes that can shed any light on the situation.

Carl Critchlow’s art continues to pop here in the steamy confines of post war Alabama and he makes terrific use of colour in order to give us solid ground on which to stand whilst the unnatural psychic dance plays out through the issue.  However, as Anderson and DeGroot must project their psyche’s outside of the confines of their bodies (and thus uniforms) I did wonder if perhaps the character design would have been quite the same had DeGroot been a man…  It’s this playing with Anderson’s image that can turn off readers if overdone and the impact she has as a complex and deep character can easily become lost in a mire of sex-kitten, damsel in distress, blonde sex-bomb nonsense but to his credit Critchlow walks this line deftly and the book remains visually interesting without becoming exploitative.  A success all the more important in the light of the recent Milo Manara SpiderWoman cover controversy which rightly sees the way women are portrayed in comics back on the top of the agenda once more.

By the end of the issue we find Anderson back on the mean streets of the Mega City and are treated to a slightly odd cameo from MC1’s premier law enforcement officer with Joe seeming to be pondering the opening of our tale back in issue one for as yet unclear reasons.  I’m sure in Smith’s capable hands all will become clear in due course and as we close out the second quarter of the journey I’m certainly hungry for more.

Check out our preview here.

Issue two hits the shelves on September 10th from IDW.