Mars Attacks Judge Dredd is a comic book crossover between the popular British comic book character and the martians from the violent trading card set from the 1960s, which has also been frequently adapted into comic books.

It opens with a meeting of the Mega City Mafia, headed by a big ape (who prays to Tarzan), and whose members include a sentient vacuum, and Don Travolta, who makes Grease and Staying Alive jokes. Apparently a disgruntled mobster has teamed with the mobsters to take over the mob himself,

Meanwhile Dredd is sent to the north sector, where apparently crime is dropping, but the police suspect this is actually because the mob is expanding their influence. When he first encounters one of the martians he simply assumes it’s a “severe mutation” and suspects the mob is doing mutant trafficking. Later his psychic partner learns the truth, but only after realizing the martian imagery she sees in her mind is not merely a psychic shield.

Soon a full scale invasion of Earth is on and Dredd and the gang fight them off. These two properties fit perfectly together with their over the top goofy violence and mayhem. One of the unique things about this crossover is it sort of utilizes the trading card format from which Mars Attacks initially sprang from. Some panels of the comic mimic both the front and back of a trading card, complete with a unique number. The picture is like a comic panel, and the apparent back side has text which moves the story along and in some cases provides exposition. To my knowledge this hasn’t been done before.

Another interesting thing is an article in the back of the first issue detailing past Dredd crossovers. It mentions Judgement on Gotham and Vendetta in Gotham which I’d previously reviewed, as well as two other Batman crossovers, Ultimate Riddle, and Die Laughing. Another DC crossover with Lobo was called Psycho Bikers vs The Mutants From Hell. Dredd also met Aliens and Predator from film. The article mentions that all these crossovers are considered in cannon, for Dredd at least, as these stories have ramifications for various  supporting characters and plot points from the 2000 AD Dredd series. With any luck more good Dredd crossovers will follow.

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