There comes a point when a title is all you need. It sells it all right there in a few words. Star Wars, sex, and Burger King’s new Mac n’ Cheetos for instance. I think Dark Horse Comics has one of those titles with this series, but is it good?
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Check out the full preview here, or if you want the official Dark Horse Comics synopsis, here it is:
The ultimate science-fiction crossover pits the legendary lawman Judge Dredd against the universe’s supreme hunters, the Predators, as they both try to survive an onslaught by the galaxy’s ultimate killing machines, the Aliens!
Why does this book matter?
Though not every Predator crossover is great some are downright iconic. Batman vs. Predator is one that comes to mind and there’s a chance this series will be just as good. Plus it all takes place in Judge Dredd’s turf which means there will be hell to pay.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
In a lot of ways this issue reminded me of the famous 80’s science fiction film Total Recall. There’s all sorts of beings trouncing around in this issue, from humanoid animals to robot overlords who shout ROFL and LOL. Plus it opens in the most unexpected ways with a Predator weak and running for its life. Right off the bat this issue shows us anything can happen just like in Total Recall, but also that any and every science fiction trope is on the table to use.
Probably the biggest surprise is learning who the actual bad guy is in this series and it’s not any of the characters in the title of the series. Avoiding spoilers here, but writer John Layman has created a villain which adds a new layer to the series so that fans of any of these three properties can root for their character since technically they’re all good guys. They’re surely going to attempt to kill each other, but dammit this might just turn into a crazy crossover team-up when all is said and done. Layman was also smart enough to set things a bit off the beaten path leveling the playing field and making this a fair fight.
Nice use of color!
Layman also sets things up nicely with a few choice moments hinting at what is to come as the series progresses. There’s plenty of bad guys, or good guys who will be collateral damage, for Predators and Aliens to destroy as the series goes on. Here’s to hoping all these bodies get proper gore reveals as the issues keep coming! Add this to the inventive bad guy and we’re most definitely getting some big surprises too.
Artist Chris Mooneyham draws a mean Dredd and Predator in this issue and uses a darker tone with heavier inks when needed. It gives the issue a grungy feel that suits the filthy law breakers Judge Dredd wants to end yesterday. Colors by Michael Ativeh are quite nice, from the perfect gold of the Judge’s shoulder pads to the spurting blood there’s a nice use throughout. I particularly like the sickly green he uses when it comes to the Predator.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Though there’s a promise of a fight right there in the title this issue is all set up. There’s some interesting things revealed, and one hell of a cliffhanger, but anyone expected the verses to kick into gear needs to wait at least until the next issue.
This might be my own fault, but the humanoid animal creatures are new to me and seem to get more attention than they should. I’m sure a lot of fans will be rattling their spears in hopes for more Alien, Predator and Judge Dredd goodness, but instead the early pages focus more on these creatures. Again, this is a setup issue after all, but you couldn’t have fit in a single fight between our trio in the first issue?!
I saw a girl use this on a date once.
Is It Good?
The pieces are in place and clues are dropped as to where this series is going and thankfully there are plenty of surprises in store for readers. That means it’s not all action and fighting, but a meaningful story is brewing where the three properties can truly shine.
Find this at comic shops on July 27th!