In the many film and comic incarnations of the Predator there is one constant â€“ a Predator is a skillful hunter whose rite of passage is to eliminate challenging prey. Itâ€™s why earth is one of their hunting grounds. And as part of the folklore Aliens were bred to be hunted by the predator race. In essence this sphere is used as one big training session. Where does that leave humanity â€“ possibly seen as less than meat.
Called â€œcursed earthâ€ Judge Dredd unwittingly enters the fray. He brings the law and is often a bit too enthusiastic about it. But from John Laymanâ€™s prelude you get the sense that he just may be out of his league this time. After all itâ€™s been nearly 40-years since the film Aliens, and those creepy critters are just as frightening as when one expunged itself right through John Hurtâ€™s stomach. Although created as a test for the predator warriors they have evolved into the ultimate survivors. Better yet, theyâ€™re still scary as hell. And too often writers have taken on established comic book figures only to render a watered-down version. But, Layman has successfully avoided this by utilizing iconic characters where he propels their history forward. Thereâ€™s no stagnation here. Instead there is a steady sense of anticipation. Unexpected twists happen to the predator, alongside his trophy and war chest. It leaves you wondering who is diabolical enough to outwit a member of a warmongering alien race.
Like a real good horror movie you canâ€™t help but watch. Just because you believe you know whatâ€™s going to happen next doesnâ€™t mean you donâ€™t continue reading. Instead itâ€™s the possibility of being right, then finding out youâ€™re totally wrong that makes a thoroughly, invigorating narrative. The best types of stories leave you wishing there are more than 22 pages. At the end of this issue you want something, an end notes page, an afterward or a letter to the fans to give a glimpse of what may happen in oncoming issues. But no. All you get is the title of the issue 2 and in-satiating need to know what will happen next.
An ongoing comic book series where Judge Dredd is only seen as a minor threat? It makes for high drama for issue one of â€œPredator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens.â€ And when you can imagine a town that makes the wild-west look like evening tea time then you may have a glimpse into what the plans are for the next installment for these characters.
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