|PREDATOR VS. JUDGE DREDD VS. ALIENS No. 1, July 2016|
Touted by “Dark Horse Comics” as “the ultimate science-fiction crossover” by pitting “legendary Judge Dredd against [both] the universe’s supreme hunters… [and] the galaxy’s ultimate killing machines”, this opening instalment of a four-issue miniseries actually lives up to its ‘online community hype’ by being “exactly as awesome as it sounds.” In fact, besides John Layman strangely scripting for a lone Hish-qu-Ten to be unforgivably outfought by some spear-carrying animal-men during the book’s opening, this twenty-two page periodical provides a near-perfect platform upon which to base “the greatest showdown in the history of the universe.”
For starters the Eisner Award-winner soon establishes a suitably gritty feel to “Splice And Dice” by initially focussing almost exclusively upon Mega-City One’s “judge, jury and executioner” as he leads a team of fellow judges into “the vast atomic wasteland known as the Cursed Earth” looking for a group of “robot-worshiping apocalypse cultists.” The subsequent search of Smeg’s Saloon and fist-fight with the “group of terrorist fugitives” instantly provides the former “Wildstorm” editor’s tale with plenty of pulse-pounding gusto, and additionally allows the America Author ample opportunity for both Judge Anderson to demonstrate her psi-powers and the moustached Gilligan his ‘flawed’ thinking.; “Looks can be deceiving, Judge Gilligan.”
Sadly, perhaps this comic’s only real disappointment comes once the lawmen realise that Archbishop Emoji has escaped west into the Alabama Morass and all of the audience’s attention is then turned upon the foolish ‘DNA doings’ of Doctor Niels Reinstot. Although Layman’s script makes it clear that the multiple-eyed mutant “geneticist supreme” has only just manufactured his laboratory’s assortment of face-hugging extra-terrestrials from one of his captive predator’s skeletal trophies, it is still somewhat unfortunate that these encapsulated second stage endoparasitoids are as close to a living mature specimen of Xenomorph XX121 as the plot allows artist Chris Mooneyham to go…
However, besides failing to depict one of H.R. Giger’s famous Necronom IV-inspired creations, the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Art graduate’s contribution to Issue One of "PvsJDvsA” is hard to fault with its punchy panels and square-jawed depictions of Mega-City One's finest; especially as the Milwaukee resident’s heavily-lined rough-looking pencilling is rather reminiscent of former flagship “2000 A.D.” artist Cam Kennedy.
|Script: John Layman, Artist: Chris Mooneyham, and Colors: Michael Atiyeh|