"Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics / IDW Publishing / 2000 AD
Written by John Layman
Illustrated by Chris Mooneyham
Colored by Michael Atiyeh
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 14th, 2017
Let's set the stage here for this epic showdown. The humongous Mega-City One is about to be invaded by the mad scientist Dr. Reinstöt and his army of genetically modified animal / human hybrids that have been spliced with xenomorph DNA. The only thing standing in his way from decimating the city is Judge Dredd, aided by the psychic Judge Anderson, and two Predators. One side is outgunned, but I'm not entirely sure which one.
The endgame for the aliens is always the same. It's just a matter of how they accomplish it. They want to breed and create more xenomorphs, so sooner or later our heroes will discover a room full of creepy eggs. Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens follows this formula to an extent. It also perfectly captures that feeling of isolation and hopelessness often found in Aliens movies, despite the fact that it's set in a sprawling metropolis. This is explained by how covertly Reinstöt enters the fray and how efficient his force is.
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You've seen xenomorphs in all shapes and sizes, but seeing them cross-bred with animals like elephants and warthogs takes it to a new level of terror. These are like demented versions of Rocksteady and Bebop from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You might think that an alien with a long elephant trunk might look silly, but you'd be wrong, especially since the trunk ends in jagged teeth. That's a nice touch from artist Chris Mooneyham in a comic that's filled with them.
These creatures are just appetizers for the main course: the queen. As with the regular aliens, you've seen queens before, but never like this. This would make any normal man quiver and run away, but unfortunately for the xenomorphs, Judge Dredd is no normal man. Mooneyham nails the signature Aliens shot of the monster opening is dripping jaws to reveal another mouth inside while so close to a woman's face. There's a unique spin on this one that ties in to Reinstöt and his gene-splicing that really sets this apart.
Michael Atiyeh's colors drive home the layer of filth that covers Mega-City One. It feels like it's perpetually night along these dark alleyways. Even if the sun does shine, it can't do anything to bring hope to this otherwise dreary city. This makes Dredd stand out even more, like he's this shining beacon of justice ready to lay the hammer down on anyone or anything that gets out of line.
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You have to admire Dredd's tenacity. He backs down for no one, regardless of what planet they came from. He's almost too powerful at times, like a version of Superman without all the Boy Scout tendencies. There are quite a few ballsy moves in this issue, as he stands toe-to-toe against xenomorph and Predator alike. Sometimes you have to wonder how he speaks if he's always gritting his teeth like that.
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens is an over-the-top, action-packed battle royale. It adds a new spin to the Aliens mythos, making them even scarier, which is something I didn't think was possible. The ending feels a little rushed, but it works with the overall story and ties up all of the loose ends. This is a must read for a fan of any of the three franchises involved.