Review - Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 (@DarkHorseComics @IDWPublishing @2000AD)

"He comes from the sky, from very far away."

Judge Dredd, Predator and Aliens are three behemoth characters in science fiction. It only makes sense that they all meet at some point right? Dark Horse Comics, IDW and 2000 AD are teaming up to facilitate that crossover in Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1. The issue is written by John Layman, illustrated by Chris Mooneyham, colored by Michael Atiyeh and 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!

Each of the three characters in the issue's title bring with them an appropriate amount of mythological science-fiction status. Layman unites the three extremely effectively through a script that feels possible as far each character goes while also paying notable homage where necessary. His script is very free-flowing and pays respect to each character's traits while at the same time crashing their universes together. Layman clearly understands what draws fans to the concept of Judge Dredd tangling with Predator and Aliens and works it all in accordingly. There are plenty of new characters introduced by Layman as well that also gives the book a new feel and doesn't seem to force the notion of a crossover.

Helping the reader get more into the action is Mooneyham's art which is fantastic. Each of the title characters are illustrated brilliantly and bear trademark characteristics--from the Predator's hulking frame to the Judge's bold jawline to the Aliens terrifying appearance. The other characters are equally as distinct and give the reader a sense that the universe is filled with plenty of characters. Mooneyham also fills each panel and page with a ton of kinetic energy, refusing to give the characters a break from the action. The colors by Atiyeh are subtle yet pop where necessary, infusing the book with another level of life that promises to get even livelier.

Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 is a perfect example of how a crossover should be handled. The three title characters aren't ones to back down from challenges and reconciling their abilities with and against one another will be a treat. Layman knows the characters well and writes them that way, providing enough of an interesting dynamic brewing among them that readers will enjoy it. Mooneyham's artwork is awesome, rendering a world filled with other players for everyone to fight through. Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 is a strong first issue that fans of any of the properties will definitely want to pick up.

Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 is available July 27.