Predators, Judges and Aliens throwing down in Scotland. Need we say more?
Okay fine, is it good?
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
So what’s it about? The Dark Horse Summary reads:
Want to make apocalypse stew? Throw in four Judges, one insane genetic scientist, a smattering of emoji-based cultists, a dash of Predator, and a pinch of essence of xenomorph, mix, and retreat to the nearest bunker. In this issue, Dredd follows a criminal cult leader into the Alabama Morass. A crew of Predators arrives on Earth to rescue a kidnapped comrade. And they both unwittingly wander into the territory of a revenge-obsessed, gene-splicing scientist who’s just gotten his hands on a xenomorph skull—and the universe’s deadliest DNA!
Why does this book matter?
The first issue of Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens introduced each of the elements that make up the titular triptych of this series and a villain that’s separate from them all. Writer John Layman has infused the series with the right amount of humor and fun science fiction ideas, from a robot who speaks in emojis to a mad scientist with bug eyes.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Layman cleverly opens this issue with a prologue to shed a bit more light on the somewhat random villain of the last issue. It makes the character that much more interesting and also gives this series more reason to go on beyond a big fight. Of course, we’re all awaiting said big fight, but what is a vs. comic without a few surprises? Layman adds them here, via the character-focused prologue and setting things up nicely so that the only Judge who remains is Judge Dredd.
I hate when that happens.
While our heroes are otherwise subdued in this issue, it never feels boring or slow, which may be due to the prologue. The real reason though is because this issue is effective at being more of a horror comic. The mad scientist is working on creepy things (hint: Facehuggers are one of them), and you get a Reanimator vibe from it all. The tension is high as well due to the Predators lurking about.
The art by Chris Mooneyham goes a long way in making the creepy scientist lab unnerving with a darker tone and hollowness to the environment; the colors by Michael Atiyeh certainly lay down the sickly greens and blues which aid in this. When there’s gore it’s splatter-tastic and who doesn’t love a good, “Spablooie” sound effect? The monsters and Facehuggers are quite good too and there’s a good amount of detail here too making them all the more grotesque.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Once again, if you’re expecting the “vs.” part of the title to mean anything you’ve come to the wrong issue. Nobody is fighting just yet, but things are set up and we appear to be on the cusp of a full-on fight.
On the bright side, that’s some good dental work.
Is It Good?
There may not be any actual fighting just yet, but Dark Horse is putting out a good science fiction story regardless. This issue feels more like a horror tale and that’s not a bad thing!