Of Noir and Crossovers

April 23, 2005 at 4:33 AM (General)

I’d recently posted about two of the Sin City stories that I read — "The Big Fat Kill" and the excellent "That Yellow Bastard" — well, yesterday I read another one, called "The Hard Goodbye".  These are the three stories that have been adapted into the movie.

"The Hard Goodbye" is about Marv, who spends a night with Goldie, only to find her dead when he wakes up.  She was pretty much the best thing to happen to him, and he decides to find the people responsible for her murder and take revenge.  While the story may sound simple, it has deep characterisation, and it kept me totally involved.  Like the other work by Frank Miller that I’ve read so far, it is very emotional.  I also love the black and white artwork in this story.

Recently, I’ve also read a number of crossovers, including the four-part Aliens vs. Predator vs. The Terminator series, Batman/Spawn, the three-part Batman vs. Predator series, and the four-part Superman vs. The Terminator series.

Out of these, Batman vs. Predator was pretty decent, with a Predator showing up in Gotham City and murdering gangsters.  It all eventually leads to a showdown with the Batman himself.  I thought the artwork was very good, and the series had its share of bloody and violent battles.  If Predator 2, the movie, had taken place in Gotham City, it would have been similar to what this series depicted.  Written by Dave Gibbons, with artwork by Andy (pencils) & Adam Kubert (inks, letters) and Sherilyn van Valkenburgh (colours).

I did not like Superman vs. The Terminator much.  It had Sarah and John Connor in Metropolis, running from Terminators who want to eliminate John.  Superman steps in and fights for humanity in 2000 A.D. as well as 2032 A.D.  A lot of characters are introduced (Supergirl, Superboy, Lex Luthor, Cyborg, Steel and a Terminatrix), and personally I did not think the timelines were properly handled at all.  Written by Alan Grant, art by Steve Pugh (pencils), Mike Perkins (inks) and David Stewart (colours), letters by Clem Robins.

Aliens vs. Predator vs. The Terminator picks up a short while after the storyline of the Alien: Resurrection movie.  Annalee Call and a group of soldiers have got word that a space lab is conducting strange experiments involving the aliens, and therefore plan to stop them with Ellen Ripley’s help.  Once they get there, they stumble upon a plot to destroy humanity — apparently Skynet has embedded commands in dormant Terminators, who would resume their attack against humans when the time is right.  And now they’re building Alien-Terminator hybrids.  It’s up to Ripley to save the day.  Somehow, the Predators have also tracked them down, and they’re willing to assist Ripley in destroying the Alien-Terminator hybrids.  I thought this series was OK, though, I didn’t much like the interpretation of the Predator.  They’re shown simply as green-skinned humanoids, and all Predators look alike.  And I also have a complaint about the Predators’ ships being orange in colour.  Other than these two complaints I liked the artwork.  Written by Mark Schultz, artwork by Mel Rubi (pencils), Christopher Ivy (inks) and David Stewart (colours), letters by Pat Brousseau.

I also read the one-shot Batman: The Killing Joke, written by Alan Moore, and illustrated by Brian Bolland & John Higgins.  This was an excellent book, with Batman tracking down the Joker, who has escaped from Arkham Asylum.  The Joker’s origins are also explored in parallel, and we see what a truly disturbed character he is.  The artwork is very beautiful and detailed, and I think it’s some of the best artwork I’ve seen in any comic.  It wonderfully supports the character-driven story, and overall, it is a fantastic book.

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