Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Undefined Gamer: "Batman Versus Predator" Review

So, yeah, I forgot Thursday was UG Day.
So, BOP is Tuesday!

      In the comic book world, when two household names slug it out,
especially when those names are owned by opposite companies, it is
always a big hit. First discovered in the 1940s when someone decided
to boldly have Submariner square off against the Human Torch, this
kind of battle comic has been around for a long time, and will be
around in the future.
      Well, it wasn't long before Dark Horse caught on and decided to pit
two brands that they owned (at least in the comic world): Alien and
Predator in a best-selling mini series titled "Alien Versus Predator."
We all know that eventually a movie under the same name would come out
in 2004; however in the decade before that movie actually came out,
Dark Horse launched a variety of Versus series, crossing Alien and
Predator over with icons owned by DC, Marvel, Top Cow, and Image.
      After Alien Versus Predator, the first of these versus series is
Batman Versus Predator. The comic kicks off in a Gotham ruled by two
gang lords; Alex Yeager and Leonard Brodin. A lone Predator lands on
Earth and iniates his killings just as the championship boxing round,
which Yeager and Brodin own both competitors in, begins. Yeager's
boxer wins, but gets murdered by the Predator that very same night.
      This send Batman and Commissioner Gordon on the case. Naturally, the
Predator targets Brodin's fighter next, then attacks Batman while he
was investigating the murder.
      In the midst, Yeager and Brodin try to work out their differences
to catch this killer. As of now, Yeager has the upperhand in Gotham,
as he's gone "legit," due to his association with rich tycoon,
Nicholas Squire. All three are attacked by the Predator in a meeting,
and Brodin fends off the Predator, though Yeager was killed. Brodin,
now seen as a hero, vows to clean up Gotham.
      Brodin fails. His death is more tragic than all the others.
Throughout the book, Brodin is developed as someone who seems to be
trying to do good, yet has to resort to misdeeds to do so. He has a
great relationship with his mother. He goes to church regularly. Yet
he is uneducated. You really have much options other than get involved
with the gang. Like Yeager, he wants to "go legit" and is willing to
put his life on the line to clean up Gotham.
      He is murdered with his mother.
      The next targets are: Mayor Lieberman, Batman, and Commissioner
Gordon. All but Lieberman survive, though Batman gets badly wounded,
though not as severe as his encounter with Bane. Batman build himself
a robotic suite to track the Predator down and kill him, before the
National Guard arrives that morning to search Gotham top to bottom to
catch this killer.
      Batman, naturally, does, with the help of Alfred. Yes, you heard
right, Alfred actually kicks some ass in this book.
      After the Predator is defeated, a Predator Mothership swoops down.
The Predator leader, who sports a nice flowing yellow cape, forces the
Predator to kill himself via sword stab. Afterwards, the Predator
leader scoops up the now-dead Predator, awards Batman with the sword
that he killed himself with, and phoned home.
      One of the things that I like about this book is the fact that it's
set up like a movie, both in its narrative pace and action sequences.
The art is fairly standard for its time, though it often does lead to
confusion as to what is going on due to awkwardly sketched body
angles, though that was common for 1993. It's clearly enjoyable,
combining the horrorific gory style of the Predator films with the
dark, gritty seriousness of the Batman films (at least the first one).
If you are a fan of either film, you will enjoy this. If you're into
early 90s comics, you will like this.
      In fact the only thing not likable about this comic is the style
of art its made in. Around the late 90s and early 2000s, many comics
made the jump to a more realistic style, featuring more shading and
textures than were previously used, to reignite public interest in
comic books. If you're someone who has gotten used to this new style
of comics, it may be hard for you to get invested in this type of
comic. That doesn't make it bad, its unfair to judge a book this old
by its lack of modern techniques, but like I experienced with the
Aliens movies: it can be hard to get used to the style of the period.
Batman Versus Predator gets 5 stars out of 6

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