Batman/Aliens 2

Author: Ian Edginton
Artist: Staz Johnson
Titan Books
RRP: £10.99
ISBN 1 84023 734 1
Available now

Construction work in Gotham City uncovers a secret vault built by an explorer who returned from Antarctica in 1927 with more than just frostbite. His desiccated corpse is found inside the vault, torn open - from the inside. A monster now roams the dark places of a dark city, leaving Batman to battle an adversary he hoped never to meet again - the perfect killing machine: The Alien...

A man who wears tights and prances about pretending to be a bat versus the most well designed living killing machine? Not much of a contest... or so you'd think. Batsy gives as good as he gets. But when the inmates of Arkham Asylum are transformed into mutant Aliens surely Batman's number is up. And who is the mysterious Doctor Catherine Fortune? And why is she so keen to ensure that the Aliens are not wiped out?

Batman/Aliens 2 is a great collection that will please fans of both characters. Nitpickers out there will wonder how Batman - an ordinary, mortal man - can overcome the planet's deadliest threat. We've been there with Superman and Aliens, but that seems a much more realistic match.

I originally felt that the infection of Arkham Asylum by Alien DNA was an interesting plot device, but then as the story unfolds I realised it's like any other Batman story where the inmates are running the nuthouse - only this time the job of stopping them down is a little more complicated.

There are also some rough sketches (including a very funny illustration of an Alien sat in front of roaring log fire, wearing slippers and sipping a brandy) at the back of this collection.

A well written and wonderfully illustrated collection, but at it's heart this is just an up-tempo Batman story.

Steve Mikando

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