After what seems like an eternity (well,a few months anyway), the three way match up finally reaches its’ conclusion. No one likes to be kept waiting do they? Whilst hardly sitting on the edge of his seat with anticipation, Luke reviews the whole series.
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens
by John Layman, Chris Mooneyham, Michael Atiyeh and Michael Heisler
Review By Luke Williams
I’ve been here before. I’ve already reviewed issue 1. I was quite nice about it really. There was some execrable dialogue, the art was quite nice and the representative’s from the aforementioned alien races were suitably violent. Everything was present and correct, lots of the “shing” of alien blades being drawn, “sssss” of murderous xenomorphs and, well, Judgey stuff. But essentially it wasn’t. Issues 2 & 3 followed fairly promptly, but issue 4 has been quite seriously late. Why? I have no idea. And I’m not that bothered really. I wasn’t nagging my local comic pusher (Simon from the Comix Shoppe in Swansea) for the final installment.
It sounds fabulous as a concept. JD has faced off against these races before, but separately in “Judge Dredd Vs. Aliens : Incubus” and “Judge Dredd Vs. Predator”, the former (and mighty) story is referenced in this strip. This might be confusing if you think that this is set in the IDW JD universe, or like me you shrug, and go “what evs” and move on.
Quick run down on the plot : a Predator has landed in the Alabama Morass, where the nefarious Dr. Reinstot conducts his human animal hybrid experiments. Predator and ship captured, Reinstot has more material to conduct his genetic experiments with, including Xenomorph
Meanwhile JD, Anderson and soon to be Xenomorphfodder judges pursue the murderous robot cult leader Archbishop Emoji into the Cursed Earth. Chased deep into the Alabama Morass, Emoji comes a cropper courtesy of Justice Department, but when just looking to finish him off JD, Anderson and co find themselves surrounded by the human/animal hybrids of Dr. Reinstot.
Captured, the judges are subjected to Dr. Reinstot’s experiments with hybrids, injecting them with the DNA from the Xenomorph remains found on the Predator ship
It’s not looking good for Joe ,Cass’ and crew. But the cavalry arrives in the unlikely shape of a troop (what is the collective noun, a “hunt”? A”kill”?) of Predators, out to rescue their captured kin. They team up, and set out to stop Reinstot who is intent on wreaking havoc on MC1 with his human/animal/xenomorph mash ups.
With no help from the Grand Hall, Dredd, Pred’ and Cass’ have to face down Reinstot’s forces on their own. Climaxing with the inevitable appearance of the alien queen (spoiler? Nah. Not really. If that comes as a surprise, then you are really new to this franchise).
So, any good? Meh. It’s fun, but not earth shattering. I’m a Dredd fan, with a more than passing interest in Aliens and Predator. No problem with the representation to the two 20th Century Fox properties, but the characterisation of JD is pitiful. And when I say pitiful, I mean really, really, REALLY shockingly bad. Dredd comes across as boorish, bullish and macho, rather than determined, stubborn and authoritarian. It portrays Dredd as a cliched action hero, sliding back to the dark days of the Stallone film. If Wagner wasn’t available to script, why couldn’t we have had Rob Williams, Al Ewing, Gordon Rennie or Alan Grant? Layman just doesn’t get it, or it might be deliberate for it to appeal to the american market. Whatever. It’s still bollocks. Dialogue is equally shocking, stilted, unnatural and out of character.
Mooneyham’s art is nice. Good poses, great action scenes, clear storytelling but not a patch on Henry Flint’s art on “Incubus”. Still, on the upside the plot is fun enough. It’s completely over the top with silly schlocky science, plenty of action and gore.
If that isn’t enough, and you want more Judge Dredd inter company cross overs, read the 3 part guide that starts here.
So, essential Dredd? Nope, not by a long shot. Is it a story that was fun for gits and shiggles as I had hoped in my issue 1 review – yeah, ish, but if you really want to see JD versus Aliens and Predators, pick this up :