The past year has offered fans of vicious (fictional) extraterrestrials plenty of reasons to get excited. With the 30th anniversary of Aliens, Ridley Scott has announced a series of prequels, including Alien: Covenant, which is now in production. And in honor of the anniversary, Dark Horse Comics announced it would release an ongoing comic series, Aliens: Defiance, returning the dangerous interstellar xenomorphs to the forefront.
Another visit to the Predator franchise, helmed by Iron Man’s Shane Black, fuels fond memories of the Alien Vs. Predator crossover series. The comic book-based series was an action-packed melding of two popular sci-fi franchises into one intense comic book. And what’s better than the two titular villains teeing off again? Having them face off against futuristic lawman Judge Dredd.
Dark Horse recently revealed their plans to join up with IDW and 2000AD to bring these three iconic characters together this July (via CBR). Christened Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens, the series will be written by John Layman (Chew), with art by Chris Mooneyham (Predator: Fire and Stone), and cover by celebrated Preacher artist Glenn Fabry. Dark Horse’s official press release describes the upcoming futuristic showdown:
"Judge Dredd and Judge Anderson have tracked a criminal cult across the Cursed Earth and into the Alabama morass, where a mad genetic scientist with destructive designs has acquired the best genes that evolution has to offer—a xenomorph skull! A Predator, attracted to the warm climate and superior prey, has declared hunting season as he calls for backup. All paths will cross in a mind-blowing sci-fi showdown with the fate of the Earth at stake!"
Take a look at some of the upcoming book’s cover art and panels:
Io9 spoke with Layman at an Emerald City Comic Con about the crossover recently. He admitted to being a huge fan of both series and that this crossover is "the sort of concept that would have Teenage John Layman wetting his pants with excitement." While discussing the book, as well as the ways Aliens and Predators are the "21st Century equivalent of…vampires and werewolves," he dove into the premise of the new series, revealing the fun twist which kicks off the limited run:
“We open the book with a crashlanded predator, and instead of being the hunter, as usual, the predator is the prey. He’s crashlanded in a jungle overgrowth in the middle of the Cursed Earth, where he is pursued by an Island of Dr. Moreau group of man-animal hybrids, creations of a crazed genetic engineer. And this crazed scientist recovers not just the predator, but some of the predator’s hunting trophies—including a Xenomorph skull, and the Xenomorph’s DNA contained therein. You can probably see where this is headed, but add to it Dredd chasing the robot leader of an apocalypse death cult, and everybody on a collision course. Then s*** gets nuts!”
The two comic book properties first came together in Dark Horse Presents #36 (1990). Over the years, the franchise gained a large following, becoming a semi-regular series which ran on and off until 2005. It also spawned a fun yet divisive film, Alien Vs. Predator and a lesser sequel, Requiem. Predator Vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens won’t be the first time the nasty ETs have faced off against a popular foe, either. In past, Superman and Batman, Witchblade and The Darkness, and the Terminator have all squared off with the deadly creatures. In fact, Judge Dredd has faced off against Predators and Aliens before, just never at the same time.
Including Judge Dredd into a mix of mad science and extraterrestrial maniacs is muddled but action-packed choice of combatants. While some of the previous AVP crossovers were more successful than others, the manic intensity of Dredd and his dystopian Cursed Earth promises a hyper-violent, engaging showdown. The only question is who will come out on top. My bet is on Dredd.
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 of 4 will hit newsstands on July 27, 2016.