Comics - S&BvP&A and MZvAD (3 stars)

Mark Schultz & Ariel Olivetti

Superman and Batman v Aliens and Predator (DC/Dark Horse)


John layman & Fabiano Neves

Marvel Zombies v Army of Darkness (Marvel/Dynamite)

Every now and then you get an Abbot & Costello meet Frankenstein or Freddy v Jason, but it’s comics that have truly embraced the crossover. The Aliens vs Predator comics even went as far as inspiring (the admittedly rather tepid) AVP movie. It’s a cheap way to boost sales as fans, and the plain curious, buy into the latest, invariably hastily written, double headliner title. Things aren’t as crazy now as they were in the 90s where comics worst excesses ran rampant across the industry with glow in the dark and foil covers being the norm, and the biggest explosion in crossovers ever (X-Men meets Star Trek being an extreme example).

And here we get one of the most overcrowded yet with S&BvP&A, but with all the potential inherent in some of the most iconic characters in comics and sci-fi it’s a bit of a let down. The main problem with any crossover, especially the more bizarre, is that it spends half the time just contriving to get all the characters in one place at the same time. So there’s an average story with some nice art, but the Aliens in particular are criminally underused.

Swiftly followed by Marvel Zombies v Army of Darkness where the alternate Marvel universe inhabited by living dead superheroes take on Evil Dead’s hero Ash. Totally preposterous, but if you’re willing to just run with its ridiculous concept there are a few laughs to be had. Flippant, gory and gutsy, this opening issue (of five) is just a peek at the bloodbath to come. Unfortunately it never quite gets the right handle on Ash’s personality (as played so decisively by B-movie legend Bruce Campbell in the infamous video nasty). A missed opportunity that would have lightened any horror fanboy’s heart if they’d nailed it, but there’s still a few cheap thrills to be had along the way.

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