The Justice Department hasn't been idle though. They have formed a task force to located and contain the threat. Dredd in his usually lovely manner takes control of the task force, and immediately pisses of the PSI auxiliary Schaefer. Schaefer is in fact the Great, great, grand daughter of the late Dutch Schaefer (ref. first predator movie). The sole survivor from a previous Predator encounter back in the 20th century. Schaefer attempts to locate the alien using her psi abilities and the blood of the injured Predator. But as results are slow coming Dredd and Schaefer have an argument about her claimed abilities. Schaefer storms off with the blood sample and speeds away in her car. With her mind elsewhere Schaefer loses control and crashes the car. Accidentally ingesting a sample of the xenos blood (gross!). In this moment Schaefer gets a flash of the aliens nest and a captured Judge near by. Realising this is the break they are after, Schaefer consumes the rest of the blood and forms a psi bond with the alien hunter. Now finally with a target, Dredd leads the task force along with support from two Wardroids against the Predators nest. But it's never that simple and soon the Predator has tallied up an impressive kill ratio on the Judges. Now alone Dredd faces off against the ultimate Game Hunter, in a burning down building. This time though the lawman of the future is triumphant and leaves the fallen body of the xeno to burn with the body.
Within moments of reaching the medical staff, Godber begins to suffer fits. As the Judges struggle to restrain Godber, his chest brusts open in a fountain of gore! From within the injury appears a worm like creature that escapes into the hospital vents. Dredd unsure what exactly he had seen immediately quarantines the hospital and calls in the Justice Departments specialists. The elite team called 'Verminators' specialised in pest control of the future. Equipped with the best armour and weapons the team were expected to clear out pest from rad roaches all the way upto nest of albino sewer gators. The 'Verminators' team consists of Packer, Butterman, Wilson, Maier, Marinello, Fisk, Millar, Orson and Shook. Straight away Packer orders all the wards into lockdown to restrict movement in the hospital. And launches a hover camera into the vents. Feeling this situation is under control Dredd heads off with Giant and Sanchez to investigate Godber's background.
Soon it becomes apparent that they are dealing with an off world creature and the death toll starts rising rapidly. Not wanting to give to much away. All I can say is the next few pages are classic Alien movie scenes, as the teams findout the hard way about these aliens. There's gore, blood, acid, missing body parts, acid, confined spaces and did I mention acid? There is even a fight scene of Dredd versus Alien on top of a moving Zoom train, which is epic! But as the case unravels we findout the real mastermind behind this infestation, is Mr. Bones. A mutant banished to the Cursed Earth as a child and forced into becoming a space pirate. During his time as a freebooter Mr. Bones' hatred for the justice department grew. Then one day he came across the aliens and had the answer for his revenge. Harvesting the eggs Mr. Bones and his mutant band of merry men, transported the eggs to the undercity and set about growing a hive, under Justice Central! With fear of the law coming down on them, Mr. Bones brings his plans forward. Blasting a hole into the basement levels of Justice Central, the aliens swarm in. Dredd and Giant find themselves swamped by the xenos threat. Imagine epic last stands, a judge death toll unheard of since the Apocalypse war, a recuse mission and coming face to face with a Queen! These last fifteen odd pages are so action packed, that if I went into any real detail you would still be reading for another week. But rest assured our future lawman deals with the bugs in an unforgiving way.
First of the things I liked;
- Wagner, he knows how to tell a tale.
- Henry Flint one of my all time favourite Dredd artists (wish he had done both strips).
- Aliens and Predators oh my! Best scifi-horror villians of the 20th century.
- Actioned packed, both strips especially the Alien one, had me gripped from start to finish.
- The Acid, oh how it burned!
- Schaefer, didn't feel like a real character and seemed rushed.
- Reusing the name Gomer in both strips. Not sure why they used the name twice. After a bit of googling I found the name Gomer Andres, who made a movie called Alien Predator. But not sure if it's the missing link to this.
- How Dredd deals with the Aliens/Predators. He destroys all traces of them. Which seems unrealistic to me as I'm sure Justice Central would love to experiment on them both. But I guess it also makes sense as they don't want these stories becoming main cannon in the Dredd time lines.