"Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by John Layman
Illustrated by Chris Mooneyham
Colored by Michael Ayiyeh
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 27th, 2016
Man, I love comic book crossovers. There have been quite a few of them recently and I hope the trend continues. This is an extra special version, as we're mixing not two, but three different franchises. Now, Aliens and Predator have been mixing it up for years. Throw Judge Dredd into the fray and you've got yourself a party. Dredd has previously encountered both of these creatures separately and Dark Horse published a gorgeous hardcover collecting both of those mini-series. This time, they're all in this together and it's set to be a bloodbath.
Set on the outskirts of Mega-City One, the book picks up with a lone Predator being hunted by what look like creations from Dr. Moreau. Dredd rolls into town looking for some fugitives. They end up running out towards the scientist responsible for these creations and you can kind of see where this is going. This is the precursor to the fight. We see each of them on their own before they start to come together.
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Of the three contestants, Dredd is the clear standout in this issue. That's saying something considering what he's up against. Writer John Layman quickly establishes this guy's astronomically high badass level. He busts his way into a saloon, ready to deliver justice and beat the snot out of anyone that stands in his way. Artist Chris Mooneyham perfectly captures the essence of the character. Dredd wears a permanent scowl on his face, like he's annoyed at what he has to do for his job. The thing is, he's so damn good at it. There's actually one panel where it almost looks like he's about to crack a smile. In reviewing it again, it's more of an ever so slight frown.
Mooneyham's style is perfect for this book, with tight pencils and loads of detail. He's no stranger to the Predator, having previously illustrated the Fire and Stone mini-series which began in 2014. He definitely knows how to handle that creature with an intensity that makes it clear this is a fierce hunter. This is particularly interesting because the one Predator we see in the opening pages is fleeing for its life while bleeding out.
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I didn't mention much about the Aliens just yet as their role in this issue is light. They're set to play a pretty major part that looks awesome, but as you know, it takes a little time for them to grow. How the xenomorphs are introduced is pretty great and ties in beautifully to the films.
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens is exactly what it sounds like and it's great. This opening issue is largely introduction, moving the players into place. You can see where they're heading and it's set to be a sci-fi battle royale. It's tough to predict who will come out on top considering the characters involved.