Crossovers can be tricky. When they are done wrong, they are ham-fisted collages of characters and worlds that don’t tell a cohesive story. They can be a real mess. On the flip side, when they are done right they come out like Dark Horse Comics’ Predator Vs. Judge Dredd Vs. Aliens #1. If you’re a Judge Dredd fan, this first issue is utter perfection, delivering everything we love about the character. If you are here for the Aliens and Predators, there’s clearly some nasty stuff on the horizon. Either way, as far as first issues go, Predator Vs. Judge Dredd Vs. Aliens #1 is fantastic and delivers one hell of an awesome set up.
John Layman plants the story of this epic meet-up in Dredd’s world. It works wonderfully because Xenomorphs and Predators aren’t really stranger than the sort of goons the Judge’s normally face off against. Layman also nails Dredd’s voice, wonderfully capturing the character and leaving us Dredd fans begging for more. Hell, let’s get a Judge Dredd ongoing series from Layman. Sure, the Aliens and Predators are cool and all, but Layman writes such a perfect Dredd. IDW just needs to launch a new Dredd series written by John Layman. Where’s the petition? I’ll sign it.
This issue is freaking beautiful, too. Chris Mooneyham’s art with Michael Atiyeh’s colors make for a visual feast that will fill your soul with mutants and mayhem. Mooneyham is unreal, just look at that first double-page spread. There’s so much grit and kinetic energy in every panel, it’s really stunning. Mooneyham’s storytelling is topnotch, too, the issue paced expertly and you are never bored, never left skimming panels. Everything in this comic book deserves your attention. Every panel is a winner.
Layman and Mooneyham clearly have a winner on their hands here. Not only is this a kick butt Judge Dredd issue, it’s a bench mark for how crossovers should be handled across all comics. They respect the properties while embracing the madness of the situation and having fun. Judge Dredd has had some truly epic crossovers in the past, but if this first issue is any indication, this might be his best to date. We need issue two right freaking now.
Images: Dark Horse Comics