Judge Dredd versus Aliens: Incubus, also known as Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus, is a four-part comic book story that was first published by Rebellion and Dark Horse Comics in Rebellion's 2000 AD magazine Prog 2003 and #1322-1335, from December 2002-April 2003. It was written by John Wagner and Andy Diggle, illustrated by Henry Flint, colored by Chris Blythe, lettered by Tom Frame, and edited by Philip R. Simon and Matt Smith. Issues #1322, #1324, #1330 and #1335 of 2000 AD also featured Judge Dredd versus Aliens cover art by Kev Walker, Greg Staples, Frazer Irving and Jock, respectively, while Jock also provided a variant cover for issue #1335.
In the overall Dark Horse crossover comics line, Judge Dredd versus Aliens: Incubus was preceded by Superman vs. Aliens II: God War, published concurrently with Batman/Aliens II, and was followed by Superman and Batman vs. Aliens and Predator.
#1: It's the comics clash of the new millennium as Britain's award-winning sci-fi anthology 2000 AD teams up with Dark Horse Comics to bring you a battle of epic proportions! The tenacious Judge Dredd, upholding the law in Mega-City One, has faced everything from mutants to supernatural possessions... but can he and a group of judges fend off an infestation of the deadly, acid-drooling Aliens? Facing their most dangerous enemies yet, it's lawmen versus nature's best killing machines in a bloody battle to keep the vast metropolis of the future from becoming a breeding ground for the vicious creatures. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus brings the carnage, horror, and chest-bursters to the universe of Britain's toughest comics character.
#2: Judge Dredd, the gritty, gruff hero of Britain's award-winning sci-fi anthology 2000 AD, faces off against 20th Century Fox Films' Aliens in a battle that just may bring Mega-City One to its knees! With a special extermination unit called The Verminators now on Dredd's side, it's lawmen versus nature's best killing machines in a bloody battle that leads straight to the packed Eisenhower General Hospital! The unflinching Judge Dredd and his elite group of Judges struggle to fend off an infestation of the deadly, acid-drooling Aliens and to discover their origins. Dredd initially thought that the Aliens were part of an illegal pit-fighting ring, but it's possible that they are linked to Mutant Jack and his anti-Judge activists... and only time will tell if more Aliens are hidden in the city!
#3: After a deadly battle in Mega City One's General Hospital, Judge Dredd and the special extermination unit, the Verminators, bury their dead and reorganize to fight a possible city-wide infestation of the bloodthirsty, acid-filled Aliens. An anti-judicial terrorist group exists unnoticed in the ruined Undercity, plotting to breach the city's defenses to let loose Alien terror upon the Judges and innocent civilians. With the Verminators and Judge Dredd's assault squads already ravaged by an Alien attack, will the addition of the Mechanismo Droids, old robotic Judges, be enough to protect Mega City One from the fiercest killing machines in the galaxy? Incendiary, high-speed fun brought to you by a collaboration between Dark Horse Comics and Britain's award-winning sci-fi anthology 2000 AD.
#4: Spreading up from the Undercity, an infestation of the Aliens threatens Mega-City One. While Judge after Judge goes down in battle, Dredd and his assault squads make little progress, even with the assistance of the Mechanismo Droids. Despite being impregnated by a facehugger, Judge Dredd faces off against the enraged, anti-Judge leader, Mister Bones, and his mutant henchmen. As Dredd's forces hope to curtail the Alien invasion with pheromone tags and a mini-nuke, will Dredd live to see the final battle? Or will the Alien embryo in his stomach be the end of him? Judge Giant says, "Drokk! Alien frenzy!" Be here for the ferocious finale, brought to you through a collaboration between Dark Horse Comics and Britain's award-winning sci-fi anthology 2000 AD.
Towards the end of the comic's original serialization in 2000 AD, it was launched as a four-issue limited comic book series in the United States, from March-June 2003. The issues reused the Judge Dredd versus Aliens covers from 2000 AD #1322, #1324, #1330 and #1335 by Kev Walker, Greg Staples, Frazer Irving and Jock, respectively, although the covers by Walker and Staples were switched — Walker's cover appeared on issue #2, while Staple's was used for issue #1.
A deluxe hardcover edition of the comic was released by Rebellion in November 2003, under the slightly altered title Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus. This edition featured a new cover by Greg Staples and a foreword by British actor Simon Pegg.
The comic was collected again, once more under the title Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus, as a standard trade paperback published in January 2004. This edition reused Staples' cover from the hardcover collection.
The Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus trade paperback was re-released in April 2007.
The series was collected again in October 2014, under its original title of Judge Dredd versus Aliens: Incubus, alongside the comic to which it is a sequel, Predator versus Judge Dredd, in a hardcover trade paperback entitled Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus and Other Stories, with new cover art by Henry Flint.
Behind the Scenes
Rebellion, who co-published the comic, is the same Rebellion Developments that created the video games Alien vs Predator (1994), Aliens versus Predator (1999) and Aliens vs. Predator (2010). The company, founded as a video game developer in 1992, expanded into comic book publishing in the year 2000 (notably purchasing the rights to long-running British comics anthology 2000 AD, in which the Judge Dredd crossover first appeared).
Dredd is arguably the single most iconic and popular character to ever come out of the British comics scene. Ironically, despite his popularity in America, Dredd and his series actually serve as a satire of American culture. The stories featuring Dredd are set in a dystopian future, making it somewhat of a thematic match for the Alien franchise. Dredd has always appeared in the pages of the 2000 AD weekly anthology series, but has also branched off into his own solo series at times, most notably Judge Dredd Megazine. The character has made various attempted inroads into the American comics world at times, including an American publishing venture by 2000 AD publisher Eagle Comics in the 1980s and Fleetway Publications in the 1990s. The character was for a time optioned by DC Comics in the 1990s, as well, surrounding the release of the big-budget American movie adaptation starring Sylvester Stallone. However, both the movie's success and the life of the DC Comics version of the series were short lived.
Like it's predecessor, Predator versus Judge Dredd, Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus was created by a who's who of talent associated with the iconic British comics series. Writer John Wagner was co-creator of Judge Dredd in 1978 and has gone on to work variously in American comics as well, notably on a number of Batman stories for DC Comics and A History of Violence, which was made into a film starring Viggo Mortensen. Artist Henry Flint is a seasoned judge Dredd artist and has co-created the popular series Zombo, while co-writer Andy Diggle is one of the more recent writers to helm the character in the pages of 2000 AD, and also one of the more recent to cross-over into the American comics field.
Owing to the historically somewhat complicated nature of the rights to the Judge Dredd franchise, each of the three Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator crossover comics featuring the character have been published by Dark Horse in collaboration with a different co-publisher — Fleetway Comics for Predator versus Judge Dredd, Rebellion for Aliens vs. Predator: Incubus and IDW Publishing for Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Splice and Dice.
While none of the crossover comics are considered canon with regards to the Aliens/Predator/Alien vs. Predator franchises, Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus is one of a select few that forms an official, canonical part of the other comic book franchise involved. Historically, all appearances of Judge Dredd in his native stories are considered canonical and all fit into the same continuous timeline (for example, the character has aged in real-time over the course of his appearances). Thus his "trans-dimensional" encounters with such outside characters as Batman, the Xenomorphs and the Yautja are all considered part of actual Judge Dredd canon. Other examples of Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator crossover comics that are likewise considered canon in at least one of their "parent" series include Agents of Law #6, WildC.A.T.s/Aliens and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Space No One Can Hear You Slay!. However, none of these comics are considered canon in the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchise.
- The simultaneous digital release of the Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus and Other Stories trade paperback makes Predator versus Judge Dredd one of only five Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator crossover comics to ever see a release in the digital format (the others being Predator versus Judge Dredd, Archie vs. Predator, Aliens/Vampirella and Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Splice and Dice). Uniquely, all three of the crossover stories featuring Judge Dredd are available in this format.
- Preview of the first few pages of the story online at the Dark Horse Comics website.
- "Hasslein Blog - The Alien/Predator Comic Strips, Part Three". Retrieved on 2018-10-29.