The brutal adventures of Judge Dredd from the cult movie
of 2012 continued in a successful comics series scripted by
2000 AD alumni Arthur Wyatt, with art by Henry Flint, Paul Davidson and Ben Willsher. Eager to take a crack at writing Dredd’s psychic partner Judge Anderson (played by Olivia Thirlby in the movie), I pitched editor Matt Smith the idea of spinning off the movie-version of Anderson into her own series. I wanted to see how the character would fare on the streets now that she had earned her stripes as a Judge.
I’d previously adapted the comic-strip version of Anderson for a series of novellas, and my intention with the movie-version of the character was pretty much the same: to explore and build Anderson as a character, let her stand on her own rather than as a sidekick, and move her up from the ‘rookie’ status with which she is often associated.
I not only re-read the Arthur Wyatt comics, which captured the distinctively brutal tone of the movie, but I also read every interview with Olivia Thirlby that I could find, to get a better understanding of how she read the role. I also gathered interviews with writer Alex Garland, production designer Mark Digby and cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, who each described the rationale behind their lo-fi version of Mega-City One. In both cases, I wanted to properly identify that grungy tone which distinguishes the movie-Dredd from the wilder version that exists in the comic books.
My ultimate intention was to build a series around Cassandra Anderson herself, to have the adventures on which we focus dramatise her neuroses and flaws, her strengths and ambitions, rather than just throw a monster-of-the-week
The first arc of Anderson ran in the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine with brilliantly expressive art by Paul Davidson, suitably sweltering colours by Len O’Grady, and letters by
Ellie De Ville.
The series is currently due for collection in early 2017 as a U.S.-format one-shot, followed by a collection alongside Arthur Wyatt’s Dredd adventure Dust.
The Deep End
Two episodes, with art by Paul Davidson, colours by Len O'Grady and letters by Ellie De Ville, in Judge Dredd Megazine #377-8, Oct-Nov 2016.
While the ghettos of Mega-City One celebrate dia de muertos, Judge Anderson is called to investigate an apparent case of possession.
Ten-page one-shot, with art by Paul Davidson, colours by Len O'Grady and letters by Ellie De Ville, in Judge Dredd Megazine #379, December 2016.
It's Cassandra Anderson's end-of-year assessment, but does the Chief Judge still believe the young psychic has what it takes to enforce the law?
"A masterful writer... compelling, believable... excellent."