Women of Awesomeness: Psi-Judge Anderson

AndersonI look back on my childhood in wonderment. I wonder that my parents let me do and read some of the things they did. My folks rarely held anything back from me, reading wise. I began reading “Heavy Metal” when I was 10, for example. My folks drew that line at anything that the comic book store kept in the back room. If it was out front it was pretty much fair game. It was an owner of a comic book store in AZ who introduced me to 2000 ADs “Judge Dredd.” I was all of 12. My folks were a little concerned at the level of violence in the series (and let’s face it… it is ultra-violent) but as my Dad read along with me we all realized the stories were all rather steeped in heavy duty moralistic metaphor. . . kind of like Aesop’s Fables on acid, speed and steroids all at once.

So I read and I read. The one day the comic embarked on a new story line. It was all about Judge Death and the Dark Judges. When Mega-City One first faced an attack by Judge Death a new Judge entered the scene, and she had a big part in stopping the attack. Her name, Psi-Judge Cassandra Anderson. Psi-Judge Anderson was a member of the Psi Division, in which all the Judges had some kind of psychic ability. Anderson’s abilities included danger sense, near-future sense, and telepathy. Unlike that other Cassandra, Andersons visions were generally heeded. She could use her telepathy to read minds as well as mount the occasional psychic attack.

Throughout the Dark Judges Saga Psi-Judge Anderson remained an important part. At first she and Judge Dredd didn’t quite get along. Their attitudes were rather different from each others, but over time they grew to become colleagues. Eventually Anderson became someone who could actually call Dredd a friend, of sorts. (In as much as Dredd every really has “friends.”) Anderson and Judge Death tangled quite a bit. She could get into his mind, and do battle with him on that field. The two became bitter enemies.

cassandra-andersonIn the end, Psi-Judge Anderson realized they couldn’t kill Death. So she made a sacrifice. She pulled Judge Death into her own psyche and held him there. She knew she couldn’t hold him forever so she had Dredd encase her in ‘Boing.’ (Think of it like Lucite, except she can breathe and stuff.) Once encased she put herself into a deep trance. The Judges erected a monument around  Anderson with a plaque saying “The Supreme Sacrifice.”

One thing that really sets Psi-Judge Anderson apart from Judge Dredd is her criticism over perceived weaknesses in the judicial system. She, however, is considered too valuable to be held accountable for it. Anderson has a sense of humor and is a personable Judge with many friendships within the Judges corps. At times she feels doubt in herself and has shown remorse for her actions as a Judge, unlike Dredd who pretty much quashes all such things into non-existence. If Psi-Judge Anderson were to have an alignment levied on her it’d be Lawful Good (as compared to Dredd who I view as Lawful Neutral.) Like Dredd, Anderson views her role as a Judge seriously, and her determination and resolve when on a mission is laudable. When Anderson and Dredd team up it’s usually a very bad time to be a bad guy.

andersonThe Psi Division had suppressed some of Anderson’s childhood memories of trauma and abuse. They had determined that Anderson would be a more effective Psi-Judge if she remained unaware of her past. In the end she unearthed those memories and it led to her resigning from the Judges corps. She travelled through space, but eventually returned to Mega-City One and the Judges. Anderson continued to be a force to be reckoned with, and came up against many more big bads with Dredd, including another encounter with Judge Death. (At one point she even has her own series “Anderson: Psi-Division.”)

Like Judge Dredd, Psi-Judge Anderson is considered a veteran and is held in awe by the younger Judges. Because of her Psi abilities Anderson is unable to take the drugs or undergo the treatments that the Street Judges (like Dredd) use to slow their aging and keep them active. Eventually she will have to retire, again, because she will be unable to fulfill the duties as a Judge. At which point maybe she’ll become one of the instructors. One thing is for sure, once a Judge, you’re always a Judge… and Mega-City One is no place to retire.

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