Judge Dredd Mega Collection #08

Psi-Judge Anderson: The Possessed

Collects Psi-Judge Anderson stories from 200AD progs 468-478, 520-531, 607-609 and 612-622.

Better reviewed story by story, I think!

THE POSSESSED: entertaining but predictable. I think we all knew what the child’s fate was going to be pretty early on. It was interesting seeing the other dimension. It’s all become a bit weird – having now seen the dimension of the Dark Judges, and Dredd having visited the DC Universe, and now another weird magickal Hell dimension, the logic of Mega-City One makes a lot less sense. Why are they not, I dunno, exploiting resources of other dimensions to improve things? Why drop nukes on other Mega-Cities when you could, I dunno, just have a whole dimension for your own people? That said, it was all a good introduction to Psi-Division.

HOUR OF THE WOLF: really good. It was jarring as I was clearly supposed to know who Orlok was as I read it, and instead had to Google it, because the collection has not yet shown his prior appearances. I still liked the idea of a Sov psi-spy wreaking havoc and targeting Anderson, though!

CONTACT and BEYOND THE VOID: I like the idea – a monk spends hundreds of years trying to reach nirvana, only to encounter Judge Death – but Judge Death has become a bit of a joke at this stage, all the more evident by the fact that would could have been an epic battle between Anderson and Death on the astral plane became a 25-page story in which the real conflict lasted only a couple of pages. It’s almost like “Oh, Death again? Sigh. Can’t a greenie handle it?”

HELIOS: pretty good! It actually felt like Anderson was a cop enforcing the law. It was really odd to see that she and Corey are like relatively normal people, when all Judges up to this point were shown to basically be meat machines. I don’t know how to take it, especially as while Anderson at one moment seems very human, she still brutally enforces the totalitarian laws. Awkward juxtaposition. Meant to make her a nice counterpoint to Dredd, I think, but instead makes her seem even more sociopathic.

All in all, pretty good, except for down-playing Judge Death so much.

Blocked: Jimmy Carl Black

As I’ve been reading Judge Dredd, I have been paying attention to the names of the blocks, which are frequently (always?) named after figures from popular culture. I’ve seen the Johnny Vegas block, the Sandy Toksvig block – both of which I recognise – but some other which are less recognisable for me.

I often Google them and get a slight chuckle.

I think I should start sharing my findings, because I can’t be the only one who doesn’t know who some of these people are.

In Part 4 of Helios, one of the Judges mentions the Jimmy Carl Black block.

Jimmy Carl Black was a drummer and vocalist for the band The Mothers of Invention, which I only know of via ads in comic books from the 1960s and 1970s. Weirdly, when Googling him and them, I saw that their discography was all from the 1960s and every early 1970s, except for one release in 1993. That sounded neat, but on further investigation it turns out it was recorded in 1968 and just released 25 years later.

Helios was published in 2000AD Progs 614-622 in 1989. I guess Jimmy Carl Black was still pretty well-known then?

Acta est fabula

I’ve recently started re-reading Asterix from the beginning. It’s been a very long time since I last read them – more than twenty years!

One thing I have found very odd is that when I was a kid, I didn’t seem to have any trouble understanding the puns or language references in the text, but now I have no idea! I even had to google acta est fabula…

I feel there’s content in there somewhere.