What a time to be alive.
Dark Horse comics have recently announced a new crossover starring all 3 sci-fi franchises. The basic premise to the story, will revolve around a mad scientist in the cursed land, attempting to genetically engineer the perfect warrior, based off Xenomorph DNA which he obtained after capturing a Predator. Obviously Dredd wants to stop this from happening and the Predator in the series, well he just wants a chance at hunting the biggest and best prey imaginable.
Kotaku recently sat down with the writer of the upcoming series, John Layman, and asked him a couple of questions surrounding the highly anticipated crossover.
How much of a fan were you of the Alien, Predator and Judge Dredd growing up?
John Layman: Dredd has always been at the top of my characters-to-write bucket list. I was a fan in high school, and never lost my love for the character — Ugh… I’m remembering the time during my high school sophomore year [Year 10] where I was invited to a birthday party, and instead of using money to get the birthday girl a present I bought some Brian Bolland Judge Dredd reprints — what a dick I was! Writing Dredd is something I’ve danced around with IDW for the new comics they have been doing with Dredd, but timing and circumstance was never right.
I’m also a film nerd, a big fan of both Ridley Scott and James Cameron, so Aliens have always been near and dear to my heart — except Aliens 3 — which DIDN’T HAPPEN! Predator is something I was not huge into when it came out, but got into it later because my wife loves Predator. And, I know they are not high cinema, but I’ve enjoyed the Aliens vs. Predator films. So… yea, [it’s a] trifecta of awesomeness. I can only image what Teenage John Layman would have thought if he knew someday, when he was very, very, very, very old, he’d be writing a comic featuring all three.
Can you give us a quick set-up of how PvJDvA begins?
Layman: One of the things I love about Dredd is the sheer kookiness of the world, so I’m embracing it in a big way. I’m also trying to upend some expectations, not give you more of the usual.
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 shit gets nuts!
You’ve worked with the Alien franchise before, on Inhuman Condition, but this is your first time working on Dredd and Predator. What was your reaction like when Dark Horse came to you about writing the series?
Layman: Stunned disbelief. It’s one of those projects that seems like it would just be pure fun, and not work. Turns out it’s both — because all comics are work once you get into the writing process, but it’s still damn fun. Each of the three worlds are fun in their own way, but mix it together, and it gets bonkers… which is something I enjoy embracing.
What is it about the Xenomorphs and Predators that makes them so perfect for mash-up stories like this?
Layman: They are modern monsters, kinda the 21st Century equivalent of story of vampires and werewolves. They are vehicles to tell different types of stories, and I don’t think the story possibilities will ever be exhausted, any more than stories of vampires are. There’s always a fresh take to be found. In the case of this story, I’m just shooting for crazy fun and adrenaline-fuelled escapism madness.
I know you can’t reveal how it all goes down in the comic, but as a fan, who would you want to win in the encounter between Dredd, the Aliens and the Predators?
Layman: My money’s always on Dredd, but I’d like to see him and his world be put through a lot of hell first.
Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens releases it’s first of four issues on July 27.