Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus

Summary: The ultimate lawman – stern, uncompromising, and deadly – Judge Dredd has brought countless perps, mutants and monsters to justice. The ultimate killing machines, the Aliens destroy all who stand in their path, spreading carnage with terrifying speed. They know no pity…no quarter…and no law! When an Alien surfaces in Mega-City One, the Judges must go all-out to capture or destroy it. But there’s a devastating secret concealed beneath the city – and it may well be more than the Justice Department can handle!

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Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus, by John Wagner, Andy Diggle and Henry Flint 7.5

After reading ‘RoboCop vs The Terminator‘ and ‘Predator vs Judge Dredd‘, my expectations were really low. My enthusiasm was even lower. Still, ‘Judge Dredd vs. Aliens’ was bundled up with the latter, and I was stuck on the bus, so I read it.

It was much better than I’d imagined.

Not great, but much better.

Decent, even.

It begins with some guy being chased in the streets and being rescued by the Judges – just in time for his chest to burst open. Of course. Out of the cavity lunges out a small xenomorph, which escapes the Judges and hides away in a 5000-patient hospital.

Well, guess what happens next?

Yeah, exactly: carnage.

To make matters more complicated, Dredd discovers that the reason the xenomorphs are on Earth is because a former space pirate discovered them and purposely brought them to get his revenge on society. To do so, he placed hundreds of eggs near Justice Hall.

The Judges are going to get their asses handed to them by the xenomoorphs.

But, naturally, Judge Dredd will return the favour.

Huzzah!

The book is nothing exceptional, but it’s exactly what you would expect from an ‘Alien’ story, with the characters learning about and dealing with xenomorphs. Still, it’s well-constructed, taking the whole of its four chapters to set the stage and develop it.

Further to that, there’s some decent social satire, courtesy of the Judge Dredd aspect of the book, with the authorities reminding the population that there are more chances “of being attacked and murdered by a loved one than by an alien”. Ha! Priceless!

And I loved discovering that Mega-City One recycle cadavers into products, and then boasts of it, reminding its citizens in mourning that their dearly departed still have a purpose after demise – and that they are “available at a discount from the souvenir stall”.

Too much! Between the ridiculously paranoiac messaging and the heartless, consumeristic mentality, it’s exactly the kind of thing that I can see ourselves headed towards. After all, we were told to continue shopping, or else the terrorists win. I loved it.

So, although this is mostly an action book, it’s well-constructed and it has a vision that stands it apart from the other crossover books that I read. It’s not the greatest comic book that I’ve ever laid eyes upon, but it fulfills its promise adequately, and with verve.

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