|PREDATOR VS. JUDGE DREDD VS. ALIENS No. 3, December 2016|
Having spent so much time and patience in the previous two instalments contrivingly conspiring to ensure that all three of this mini-series’ titular characters are thrown together for “the biggest brawl in the history of the universe”, it is doubtful many of readers enjoyed John Layman’s resoundingly swift, and arguably unbelievable, resolutions within Issue Three of “Predator Vs Judge Dredd Vs Aliens”. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine more of a ‘cop-out’ than the Eisner Award-winner’s belief that the Justice Department would actually befriend “the universe’s deadliest killers” rather than ‘sentence them to death’; especially when Chris Mooneyham so graphically illustrates one of the extra-terrestrial hunter’s spearing Judge Gilligan whilst the injured man is being carried to safety by Mega-City One’s toughest lawman; “You just made a big mistake scum.”
Disconcertingly however, that is precisely what the American author would have his “IDW and 2000 A.D.” co-publication's audience believe, and later even goes so far as to portray Joe begrudgingly praising the Yautja for murdering his colleague by declaring that he won’t be “charging him for what he did to Judge Gilligan.” Maybe the sentient, humanoid alien was “right” and the lawman “was already doomed as soon as the implanted xenomorph started to grow within him.” But Dredd doesn’t usually wait around to see whether or not someone who has killed a judge is justified or not? And this attitude certainly fails to explain why, despite one of them having been levelled by a blow from Fargo’s clone, the three predators decide to team-up with Judge Anderson when they are only facing two of their endoparasitoid extra-terrestrial prey.
Just as preposterous is Layman’s bizarre plot-twist that depicts Cassandra somehow managing to take over the mind of Judge McCrary, in order for her to manipulate the alien DNA-fused lawman into both attacking a Predator-Xenomorph XX121 hybrid and releasing a seemingly securely incarcerated Dredd. This psychic power is admittedly not completely out of the realms of plausibility considering the Psi Judge’s documented abilities are chiefly telepathy and precognition. Yet it, along with her sudden aptitude to mentally communicate with the Yautja, still seems a little too convenient considering at the time Anderson was in the hands of the mad genetic scientist Dr. Reinstöt…
|Script: John Layman, Artist: Chris Mooneyham, and Colors: Michael Atiyeh|