How did we get so lucky, no longer do you need to dream about a crossover so fantastic and perfect, it’s here and boy is it a great start. We’ve seen Aliens vs Predator, we’ve seen Predator vs Judge Dredd, we’ve seen Judge Dredd vs Aliens, now is the time to see them all come together and fight it out. As this book has only been out for a week or two as of writing this, I’ll try to avoid major plot spoilers but realistically it’s pretty obvious what the plot of this is going to be about; everybody fighting.
We start of our story with a lone and injured Predator fleeing a group of genetically altered thugs looking to put him down. Within the first half of this issue we get a violent and dirty introduction to the Atomic Wasteland, the people who live in it, and our title characters. As this issue takes place outside of Mega-City One, the giant metropolis featured in both Judge Dredd movies, don’t expect for them to be charging up high rises or throwing gang leaders off those same high rises. You might be asking yourself, why the crossover? Well… why the hell not? All these characters work so well in Judge Dredd’s world, a dystopian ultra-violent wasteland that has abandoned the idea of law and order.
As I’m reading, I can hear the gravelly voice of Dredd in my head, his tough as nails demeanor perfectly captured on the page. Written by John Layman, who worked on one of my favourite crossover books Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness, we get a quick and violent setup for our title characters. Doc Reinstot, the genetically altered mad scientist responsible for capturing our lone Predator, is hatching his own plans which will bring all three of our heavy weights to the stage. This being the first issue, we don’t get too much in the way of action from the Predator or Aliens yet, but we do with Judge Dredd, and it is dreadfully fun.
The Art by Chris Mooneyham carves the Atomic Wasteland with amazingly gritty backdrops and splashes of futuristic flair. His burly characters give off an air of intimidation that fit perfectly into the harsh world around them. The coloring by Michael Atiyeh in this issue is exceptional as well, matching the ultra-violent scenes with brightly contrasted elements. Not many books these days use the lettering as well as this book does, but Michael Heisler gives the action in these books amazing detail and direction as well as providing for an amusing moment with Archbishop Emoji.
Overall this book is a great start that drives the plot forward, setting up the players and when the Aliens are involved, we all know the stakes. I’m excited where this crossover is going and what creative interactions we can see between Judge Dredd, the Aliens, and the Predators. If you like any of the three properties in this book, you’ll have a great time with the first issue even with it feeling like a short read.