Dark Horse Comics/IDW Publishing 2016
Written by John Layman
Illustrated by Chris Mooneyham
Coloured by Michael Atiyeh
Lettered by Michael Heisler
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!
Now i’ll admit i’ve never been a Judge Dredd fan, don’t think i’ve actually read an issue of any of his comics really. But let’s face it crossing over with Predators and Aliens well yeah count me in. Plus with this latest offering it keeps the inter-company crossover alive and well and continues to prove why they are excellent choices and why they should keep on coming.
I have to give John credit because the opening certainly captured my attention and imagination. I also have to say that the unfactored in faction in all this are those that the Predator encounters first making the sides go from a triangle to a square and hopefully we’ll see how a four sided affair comes into play. If not then well then i’m all for more of these characters seeing as how Buck and his companions have a great look and feel to them.
I’d almost forgotten how good Mooneyham’s interiors were. I’ve missed him on a monthly title and how much i’ve missed Five Ghosts. His eye for storytelling and his attention to detail here are amazing. From the character designs to the inside of the ship and the trophies it contains to the way angles and perspective are used in pages to help the flow the of the story are incredibly well done. While I may not be as familiar with Judge Dredd i’ve seen enough to know he’s nailed him to a T here and i’m mightily impressed by that.
I like the characters we see, how they are written into the story and how they will inevitably become embroiled in a war between them. It’s smart, intelligent writing that John has mastered and can take these different factions and find a way to get them in the same place at the same time without things feeling like they were orchestrated.
The introduction to me of Dr. Niles Reinstot was one of the best moments of the book for me. Crazy mad-scientist, yes redundant, with a penchant for experiments in gene-slicing and manipulation who has a Predator in his chair and the bones of the trophies from his ship. Ah what a man like this can do out of sheer audacity, boredom and because he can. As far as catalysts go this man has my vote for one the best most intriguing around. If he’s a mainstay foe of Judge Dredd then I may have to find his appearances if this is his debut then bravissimo because he’s one heck of a character.
This really a shining example of what can happen when companies let creators have access to their characters, let them honour them and team them up with other franchises to thrill audiences.