Okay, last time, the superheroes duked it out with vampires, zombies, various other forms of re-animated carcass, and hyper-dimensional demons.
Now, it's threats from outer-space, and cyber-space.
Hey, a hero has to be ready for anything, if it gets too weird for ya, stay out of the tights.
Batman versus Predator
Hmmm....I think...I'm pretty sure this was the very first of the modern batch of these.
These hero/movie-monster crossovers, that is.
Up until this point, it was always a tussle against the classic gothic monsters.
Probably, because their novels are public domain.
Thank Dark Horse for busting down that wall.
Structurally,....this is pretty much Predator 2 with Batman.
And you know what?
That's exactly what Predator 2 was missing.
I'll be damned, but it totally fucking works.
But...really, what couldn't be improved with judicious application of Batman?
I won't spoil this too much, except to say, that if the end fight in "Dark Knight Returns", didn't prove it enough, this drives home the axiomatic fact that Batman can defeat anybody with enough time to plan.
Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch
So, Batman whupped a generic Predator, so, legend goes out across the galaxy, and the Schwarzenegger of Predators comes to Gotham to whup his ass.
This time though, Bats is helped out by Huntress.
Catwoman with arrows, for you non-reading types.
The first one, tonally, Batman is put into a Predator movie, this time, Predator is in a standard Batman issue.
I dunno if this is something they set out for, or serendipity, but...the style contrast works, and I like it.
Both of these are pretty decent reads.
Batman versus Predator III
Remember how application of Batman fixed up Predator 2?
This time, application of Predator fixes the Schumacher bat-movie-verse.
"Hey, that's a neat trick!".
Yes, it is.
It's a delight to see happen.
So, this one, things keep escalating with each sequel, and an assload of Predators fight against Batman, Robin, Catwoman (original recipe), and Oracle.
They also get temporary help from Mister Freeze, the first super villain in these.
I think this book even came out around the same time as "Batman & Robin", hence, Robin and Freeze.
The guys & gals in the DC offices no doubt wanted to perform an exorcism.
I happen to think it worked.
But, that's me.
This is the least-good of the three, but still entertaining.
Well, this is interesting, Alien was a haunted house in space, Predator was Alien in the jungle, here, the actual hotdog heads are in the jungle.
With Batman as Dutch, and a pseudo-Ripley character as sidekick.
Also, there's caves.
So, bits of Alien, Predator, Aliens....yeah, overall, it's Batman plopped into an Alien movie.
Did I mention Bernie Wrightson?
Fucking buy this.
Don't make me get the gun.
Okay, first of all, no Wrightson, but this other guy does a so-so impression.
Second of all, similar reversal to the BvP2 book, this time, hotdog heads are plopped into Gotham, and into a Batman-verse story.
Third of all, I like the one little nod to continuity, by having Batman still having the freeze gun from "Batman versus Predator 3".
Anyway...yeah, it's good for awhile...and then it goes off the fucking rails when a female mad scientist gene splices the Aliens with Arkham villains, creating talking super-powered Alien soldiers.
...that somehow also inherited the disfigurements of Joker and Two-Face.
On the one hand, it's stupid as fuck....but on the other hand....if we had never seen an Alien movie, and this race had been plopped into a 70's Batman, can you honestly say this shit wouldn't have happened in those pages?
So...the flavor of the Alien series getting a bit assraped in the context of the comic book world is...tonally correct, if not a satisfying artistic choice overall.
The logic that lead up to this is sound...but...my gut shouts "no, dammit, no!!".
I...hesitate to knock it, it doesn't suffer from thin-read syndrome, or a host of other modern comics complaints, the characterizations are good up until that point, but...no...once you see the fuckin' Joker-Alien there's a tire screeching noise, and you're done.
Time to bail.
Yeah, avoid this.
Superman plopped into an Alien movie (tone wise).
This time, Aliens.
The dramatic suspense comes from that Superman is off-planet, and away from the yellow sun, so his powers start to fade, making the Aliens gradually more dangerous.
Also, he finds a survivor, one Kara of Argo city *wink, wink*.
This one, like the first Batman/Aliens, was really good.
I think this one even came out first.
Yeah, worth your time.
Again with the tone reversal.
Now, the Aliens are plopped into a Superman story.
Specifically, a Superman & New Gods crossover.
Darkseid gets ahold of some Alien eggs, and uses them as weapons.
Calamity and mayhem ensue, and much fun is had by all.
Superman vs. Predator
Superman is plopped into Predator 1.
Dramatic tension is added by Supes being infected by a case of Predator sniffles, that in Kryptonians, robs them of their powers.
So, for the rest of this, Supes has to protect his friends, manage not to get de-skulled, and locate some Predator Thera-Flu.
You know he's gonna win, but it's a fun ride getting there.
Not the greatest of all of these, but it pulls off what it is without anything groan inducing like Joker-Aliens.
Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predator
Right up there with "Superman & Batman vs Vampires & Werewolves", for mouthful of a title.
No, moreso, cuz it uses "and", not "&".
Anyway, this one kicks some fuckin' ass.
It takes it as rote now that Bats & Supes have a history with these races, so now, all the "golly gee whiz! Chest busting? They keep trophies?", shit Is dispensed with, and everyone gets down to fucking business.
So, the gist of this one is, a ship full of Predators crashed on Earth in the ice age, found volcanic caves for warmth under Antarctica, brought Alien eggs with them to hunt, and have been living there for generations undetected until now, and Supes and Bats are on the scene, and bump into each other, and compare notes.
At the same time, a black-ops group wants to nuke the fucking place.
Supes is a bit wavey-hand on the Aliens, but his boy-scout values absolutely apply to protecting the Predators, so, it's a race against time to gain their trust, and get everyone the hell out of there before the mushroom blooms.
Hard nailing down the tone of this one...plot wise, it's an epic Superman episode, but art wise, it's like something out of Heavy Metal, so is a bit Alien flavored.
Eh, it's its own thing at this point.
And the DC crew seem to have learned from their missteps as this series has evolved.
Green Lantern versus Aliens
As, if not more satisfying than the first Superman/Aliens.
Okay, first issue, Hal Jordan and some other classic Lanterns find an Alien infestation, can't bring themselves to kill them under their hero code, so forcefield-bubble them all to Mogo.
Issues 2-4, Kyle Rayner has to rescue the crew of a crashed freighter on Mogo from the Aliens.
Superman versus Terminator: Death To The Future
Tonally, Terminators plopped into the Supes-verse, even though, plot-wise it's both Terminators in Metropolis, and Supes in the future war.
Seems to take place before T2, because John Conner looks younger, but...hard telling.
Could be a year or two in either direction from T2.
Well, at first blush, you'd think Supes would lazily make mincemeat out of Terminators, and at first, he does, but remember how the computer in "Superman 3", figured out how to spoil Superman's day?
Well, Skynet is a nastier piece of work than that Colecovision hunka-junk, so, just evolve the idea forward, and you get the gist.
Worth one read, then you can chuck it.
Robocop versus Terminator
Lot of people turn up their nose, but I like it.
Give it a chance.
Okay, so, the link between these two, is a female future soldier finds out Skynet got its awakening life spark from merging with the human bits of Robocop, so, she goes back in time to kill him, and the Terminators go back to stop her, and Robocop fights the Terminators, the chick realizes he's a good guy, and it goes from there.
On one hand, fanboyish, on the other hand, workmanly constructed by Frank Miller, so...without him, it could have been a lot worse.
And speaking of...
Terminator-Robocop: Kill Human
Piece of shit, piece of shit, piece of fucking, fucking, shit.
Okay, I'm only two issues into this messy turd, but here goes...
The future war has happened again, Robocop has been preserved in some kind of cybernetics museum, the last human, a woman, finds Robocop, and reactivates him, she explains what's going on, Robo plugs into a terminal to confirm her story, Skynet virus-hacks him, and makes him kill the girl, his human half is wracked with guilt, so, he goes back in time to the 90's, specifically, right during T2, to prevent the future war.
So much is wrong with this, where to begin?
Robocop time travels without a flesh covering with no explanation, Robocop suddenly acquires a potty mouth, and is able to weep, Robocop kills an innocent, under the influence of Skynet, sure, but, that means his prime directives had to be wiped, but...he's compelled to undo the damage, and save mankind...but...suddenly he thinks causalities are okay, even John Conner if need be, for the greater good, but...even directive free, he wouldn't be that cold-blooded, Murphy was a better man than that, he was a father himself, so...maybe we're seeing residue of Skynet's influence...but....Robo has a potty mouth, and anger...so his emotions are still in charge...
It's all over the fucking place, the writing is shit, the dialog is shit, the art is shit, it's just diarrhea.
This is everything I was bitching about, and the specific book I was hinting toward in my rant about "Hulk vs Dracula".
No understanding of the characters involved, or the universe involved, decompressed rushed pacing, hipness for hipness's sake, Beavis & Butt-Head maturity level in everything, just total wank.
And, all of this could be fixed by editors who give a damn.
Pull the choke chain on these stupid little twerps.
Where are the fucking grownups to be in charge, and make sure this product is worth the four fucking dollar price they slap on these things now?
And this is indicative of a lot of books I pick up on the stand, or preview online.
It's a plague of unprofessionalism, but...the buck doesn't even stop with the editors, it's the fucking suits who don't give a shit, as long as the dough keeps trickling in.
And these hack writers/artists see their checks still come in, so, they don't give a shit.
There are plenty who do, the industry isn't totally ruined....but it's in dire fucking straits.
It's heartbreaking to see the artform I love, and have devoted myself to, end up in this miserable shape.
I really don't know what to do about it, except warn people away from the shitty books whenever I can.
But...that means I'd have to practically make a career out of reading all this shit, and who wants to fucking do that?
Yeah, moosh together this and the Hulk/Dracula rant, and that's my thoughts on this whole disheartening mess.
Comics are in a period of huge uncertainty, they could go either way.
Into a glorious renaissance, or off a precipice, due to stupid fucking economics.
Tch...well...if the big houses imploded right now....it could be reborn off self-publishers from scratch....so....there'll always be comics.
It's just the industry that would be dead for awhile.
Industries have headaches, but they can come in handy.
Feeding people being a big feature.
Ah, well, we'll see how it all goes...
Got way far afield, um...yeah, so, "Terminator/Robocop: Kill Human", avoid it, and all things that share in its bad storytelling habits.
Only reward good storytelling with your hard earned buck.
Aliens versus Predator versus Terminator
Okay...so...it's post "Alien Resurrection", Call (Winona Ryder's android character) gets wind of a top secret installation....look, I'll cut right to it...
Ripley and Call find out Terminators survived the Skynet war, covered up the Skynet war, and erased it from history, evolved into the Alien-verse androids, and have been pulling the strings in Wayland-Yutani's fevered quest to acquire Aliens as bioweapons to make Alien-Terminator hybrids, and have finally succeeded.
This calls the attention of the Predators, and they join the fray.
Overall quality, meh *wavey hand* I thought it was a tad on the shlocky side when I first read it, but it's fucking Shakespeare next to Terminator/Robocop 2.
Who's the superhero in this?
Ripley, I guess. I mean she does have super powers thanks to her infusion of Alien DNA, right?
All right then.
Aaaand, that's it.
So, that completes these, up next, inter-company crossovers.
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