Judge Dredd versus Aliens: Incubus, also known as Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus, is a four-issue limited crossover comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics and Rebellion Developments from March-June 2003. It was written by John Wagner and Andy Diggle, illustrated and inked by Henry Flint, colored by Chris Blythe, lettered by Tom Frame and edited by Philip R. Simon and Matt Smith, with cover art by Greg Staples, Kev Walker, Frazer Irving and Jock.
#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.
#1: 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!
#1: 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.
#1: 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.
Judge Dredd versus Aliens: Incubus collected in trade paperback form, under the altered title Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus, in January 2004, with a new cover by Greg Staples.
In the United Kingdom, Judge Dredd vs. Aliens: Incubus was serialized and reprinted in 15 parts in the long-running British comics magazine 2000 AD — the first installment was included in the Prog 2003 issue, published December 2002, while the remainder of the story was serialized in issues 1322-1335 of the regular series, from January-April 2003. Issues 1322, 1324, 1330 and 1335 reused the covers art from the four issues of the original series, though issue 1335 also had an original variant cover.
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 Developments, 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, the traditional home of Judge Dredd).
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 Comics 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 Developments for Aliens vs. Predator: Incubus and IDW Publishing for Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens.
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.
- Preview of the first few pages of the story online at the Dark Horse Comics website.