Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Splice and Dice, originally titled Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens, is a four-issue limited crossover comic book series that was published by Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing from July 2016-June 2017. It was published simultaneously in the digital format via Dark Horse Digital. The story was written by John Layman, illustrated and inked by Chris Mooneyham, colored by Michael Ayiyeh, lettered by Michael Heisler and edited by Cardner Clark and Patrick Thorpe, with cover art by Glenn Fabry.
In the overall Dark Horse crossover comics line, Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens was preceded by DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics: Aliens, published concurrently with Dark Horse Comics/DC Comics: Superman, DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics: Justice League Volume 1 and Dark Horse Comics/DC Comics: Justice League Volume 2, and was followed by DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics: Batman vs. Predator.
The series was originally supposed to run from July-October 2016, but issue 3 was delayed until December, while issue 4 was delayed until February 2017. The release of the final issue was later pushed back to March 2017, before being delayed until April, and again until June. The reasons for the extensive delays were not revealed.
#1: The ultimate science-fiction crossover pits the legendary lawman Judge Dredd against the universe's supreme hunters, the Predators, as they both try to survive an onslaught by the galaxy's ultimate killing machines, the Aliens!
#2: Want to make apocalypse stew? Throw in four Judges, one insane genetic scientist, a smattering of emoji-based cultists, a dash of Predator, and a pinch of essence of Xenomorph, mix, and retreat to the nearest bunker. In this issue, Dredd follows a criminal cult leader into the Alabama Morass. A crew of Predators arrives on Earth to rescue a kidnapped comrade. And they both unwittingly wander into the territory of a revenge-obsessed, gene-splicing scientist who's just gotten his hands on a Xenomorph skull — and the universe's deadliest DNA!
#3: Dr. Reinstöt is hosting a party! AN APOCALYPSE PARTY! He's gotten his hands on some Xenomorph DNA: a dream come true for a mad genetic scientist who's already built a clan of animal hybrids. He's also captured a Predator, and even his old acquaintance Judge Dredd has come knocking on his isolated lab's door. Now that his friends are here and ready to go, the only thing left to do is hit the town! They're taking the party to Mega-City One and raising hell!
#4: Road trip! The mad, gene-splicing scientist Dr. Reinstöt is having the best summer ever as he hits the road toward Mega-City One. He's got a sweet ride: a stolen Predator ship! He's got his new BFF, the murderous Archbishop Emoji, riding shotgun. And he's got snacks... or maybe he is a snack... for his homegrown crew of Xenomorphs. Spoilsport Judge Dredd and his killjoy Predator friends are hot on their tail, trying to ruin everyone's fun, but Dr. Reinstöt has a secret weapon that will keep the party going. Until the end of time! Which might be tomorrow, if Reinstöt has his way. Either way, it's going to be a killer time.
After its initial publication under the original title Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens, the series received its current title, Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Splice and Dice, when it was collected in a trade paperback on October 4, 2017. This collection reused Glenn Fabry's cover artwork from issue 1.
Behind the Scenes
Judge 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. 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.
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 Judge Dredd versus Aliens: Incubus and IDW Publishing for Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Splice and Dice.
Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens is notable as one of the few Aliens stories to depict the scientific procedure of gene-splicing to create Spliced Xenomorphs, which are bred for sole purpose of being more obedient and controllable. Gene-splicing is also a plot device in another Aliens crossover story, Batman/Aliens II, as well as Aliens: Rogue and Operation: Aliens.
- The series' simultaneous digital release makes Aliens/Vampirella 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, Judge Dredd versus Aliens: Incubus, Archie vs. Predator and Aliens/Vampirella). Uniquely, all three of the crossover stories featuring Judge Dredd are available in this format.
- In issue 2, "Splice and Dice", Dredd makes a comment to Dr. Reinstöt regarding his prior knowledge of the Xenomorph and the creature's capabilities, accompanied by a citation in a text box that reads "*see Judge Dredd versus Aliens: Incubus".