Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens is an action packed brawl pitting Judge Dredd, Predators and Xenomorphs against each other. What it lacks in scale of fight it makes up for in lushly colored and sketched artwork making for a great read.
A Predator finds himself in hot water when he becomes hunted by genetic hybrids created by a mad doctor, Dr. Niels Reinstot, whose settled his base of operations in a swampy thicket of jungle called the Alabama Morass. Before being captured, the castaway Predator sends a distress beacon to his fellow Predators.
The doctor’s posse finds the castaway’s ship, and using the Alien trophy the Predator has on board, the doctor uses its DNA. That means he brings the despicable creatures back in more ways than one.
Meanwhile, Judge Dredd and his squad are in hot pursuit of cult leader, Archbishop Emoji (seriously? -ed), who’s escaped from outside Mega City One. They track him into the Alabama Morass where the judges are also captured by the doctor’s goons. While the doctor holds them captive, the castaway’s allies arrive. This all leads to a showdown between beasts, Predators, Aliens and judges.
The plot is super simple to follow. It’s the usual beat-em up.
What I would have liked to see was more Predator versus Dredd. He barely punches one and that’s all the fight we get. Should be called Predator and Judge Dredd versus Aliens.
The villains are not too bad either, but I wanted more from them. That’s especially true since they were designed so well. In that regard some fights are lackluster. It is entertaining nonetheless though, as the fight scenes are well-choreographed and the pacing is good.
Overall the characters are quite simple in makeup. Nothing too deep or overly complicated in terms of motivations. And most everyone follows set archetypes that really make for a no-brain read.
- Judge Dredd
A “hardass” as ever, Dredd is depicted as the strict disciplinarian he always has been. He dishes out both sentences and sentencing with his trusty Lawgiver. But he also shows his concern for his fellow judges, even if that concern is a little rough around the edges. That side of him was a nice touch to the story.
- Judge Anderson
Her PSI abilities help move the plot along. She ends up acting as a springboard for most events, creating some link between talk and action. She acts as Dredd’s conversation starter and is just about as badass. I appreciated how she added to the overall story even though she’s a sidekick.
The designs for the Predators are fantastic! Each one has its own unique flair that gives them a bit of personality and intrigue. As usual, they are enigmatic hunters looking for the best hunt until one of their own is under threat. Now the rescue team battles it out with the “enemy” leading to less hunts more fisticuffs!
The Aliens also get some flair, but I won’t say how so you can enjoy the craziness.
- Archbishop Emoji and Dr. Reinstot
Probably the most stereotypical of the bunch. Your standard anti-human robot villian and “next stage of evolution” doctor.
Chris Mooneyham is a beast! There are quite a lot of his detailed double page spreads with great lighting and hand-sketched pen-work. The volume is brimming with that classic brutish inked look that reminds me of the old Judge Dredd comics. Though it’s mixed in with some newer coloring techniques as well.
While the colors may be a bit washed out at times, most scenes are colored with consideration towards the mood. Each part of the story can be distinguished based on color alone almost all the time.
There are also some really amazing portrait works of the faces of Judge Dredd, a Predator and a Xenomorph. These adorn the cover and divide the sections of the volume up.
The volume of Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens is a juicy, easy read. I recommend it for anyone looking for an action-packed ride. Doubly so for those who are fans of the aforementioned “big three” and can appreciate little touches here and there.
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Splice and Dice
Release date: October 4th, 2017
Format: Graphic novel (collected edition)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics, IDW, 2000AD
Written by: John Layman
Illustrated by: Chris Mooneyham, Michael Atiyeh, Glenn Fabry (covers)