Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #1 squares the ultra violent characters off in one comic. In a collaboration between IDW, Dark Horse, and 2000 AD the reader gets to see how the three characters will interact with each other.
Cross-overs are not uncommon in comic books but a three way crossover is. The comics of Predator, Judge Dredd and Aliens have all crossed over before with each other, but not all three in one comic.
The first issue is just a setup for two out of the three players. Predator crashed landed and is being hunted. While, Judge Dredd is looking for fugitive terrorists who worship a Robo-Messiah named Archbishop Emoji.
A big question prospective readers may have in the series is accessibility to the lore of the comics. I have never read a Predator, Judge Dredd or Aliens comic. Plus I have never seen either Judge Dredd movie. The lore of the comic so far is not very intensive. Leaving me to have to look up that Yautja/Hish-Qu-Ten is the predator alien’s race. If you come to this comic series with general understanding of the three comic/movie universes you will be fine.
Writer John Layman is able to manage the characters well, by not taking the over-the-top character of Judge Dredd and making him silly. Layman was also able to pay tribute to the gory Predator without making it a blood bath from start to finish. Even though you might not know how these characters came to be, Layman does a good job of easing the reader into the characters and the current story.
Artist Chris Mooneyham and colorist Michael Atiyeh work together well. The character designs are true to the characters without any weird additions. The color designs are done nicely with Dredd having a very hot color palette in his panels. Conversely Predator has a very cold and spacey palette, but inside the ship’s trophy room is dull red. The choices with the art is very well done.
The Aliens side has not factored into the story yet and it will be interesting to see how they do. The issue on a whole is well written and the art is also well done. It is too early to determine if the story will live up to its potential but it does have a great deal of it.
This could turn into a fun butt kicking crossover must-read.