Deep in the Andes, a long-dormant volcano has stirred to spectacular
life, uncovering a deadly secret: two alien races have secretly
occupied Earth. One uses everything in its path to assure
its propagation and survival; the other is a culture of hunters,
bound to a strict code that reduces every encounter with outsiders
to a battle against becoming their prey. Superman and Batman
are Earth's first line of defence, but they are faced with
a terrible dilemma. As ruthless as these creatures are, the
Man of Steel regards all life as sacred, while the Dark Knight
cares about protecting humanity above all else. Their hands
may be forced by an outside agency dedicated to the extermination
of interplanetary intruders and all who are seen to abet them...
had Superman/Batman, Aliens Versus Predator,
Batman/Aliens, Superman Versus Predator and
Batman Versus Predator, so I suppose it was only a
matter of time before DC Comics and Dark House Comics got
together again to bring us Superman and Batman Versus Aliens
and Predator. But wait - we've also had Batman/Judge
Dredd and Aliens
Versus Predator Versus Terminator, so when
is the ultimate movie/comics crossover Superman, Batman
and Judge Dredd Versus Aliens, Predator and Terminator
going to come out? Only joking. That would, of course, be
Seriously, though - this slender volume manages to fulfil
the unenviable task of doing justice to its hefty cast of
iconic characters within the space of just 96 pages. The Aliens
get the roughest deal in terms of exposure, failing to burst
from any chests at all, though we do get plenty of Alien Queen
Conversely, Batman seems right at home in this crossover.
Writer Mark Schultz establishes commonalities between the
Dark Knight and the Predators early on, as we see the costumed
hero doing a spot of hunting of his own, tracking down felons
while remaining unobserved.
The only thing that sits rather oddly in terms of series continuity
is the depiction of Superman's Fortress of Solitude, which
differs in terms of both its location and architecture from
the version seen in the ongoing range of Superman comics.
In all other respects, though, this story remains true to
the current Superman mythology, with Clark married
to Lois, who knows his secret superhero identity. I also found
the Man of Steel's desire to protect all life, including the
Aliens, a little difficult to swallow.
Throughout the book, our eyes are treated to the visual splendour
of Ariel Olivetti's beautifully painted artwork.
Graphic novel versus reviewer? This graphic novel wins hands