Reporting Luke McKinney
Alien is an iconic franchise, but it’s not the most suitable for crossovers. If director Ridley Scott and designer H.R. Giger had made the sexual themes any clearer the audio would have been non-stop rape-whistle. Superhero comics are the least suitable place for Aliens outside of an obstetrician’s waiting room, which didn’t stop several publishers from injecting their superheroes with bizarre penis-themed intrusions…pre-empting both the internet and Japan by several years.
Here we shamefully present four comics that crossed into Alien territory decades before Prometheus, and hopefully made all the mistakes so that tomorrow’s debuting blockbuster won’t have to.
Aliens vs Batman
Batman/Aliens 2 (Ian Edginton & Staz Johnson)
Crossing Aliens with Batman characters is so completely insane the writer set this comic in Arkham Asylum. A villain mixes xenomorphs with Batman’s enemies, possibly trying to create the Worst Thing Ever, and definitely making Batman look like even more of an idiot for refusing to kill bad guys. He insists on non-lethal takedowns even when fighting mass-murdering chest-bursting psychopaths.
The creative team also gave the freaks uniforms and guns, because at this point they not even pigtails would make them look any stupider. These Aliens are the worst hybrid disaster since The Fly was run over by a Prius. Some have eyes, some have human mouths-inside-mouths, and all the women are ridiculously humanoid–because splicing psychotic murderers with incompatible silicon life-forms is fine but god forbid an artist draw anything female in a comic without boobs. This story is even more determined to destroy aliens while still sleeping with their women than Captain Kirk.
Batman stumbles around dodging kisses from monstrous women and demanding to know what the hell is happening, so he’s acting more like a frat pledge than a hero. The story is put out of its misery when the Alien Killer Croc goes out of control and blows everything up. And when Killer Croc ends up as the hero you’ve written the worst Batman comic of all time.
Aliens vs Superman
Superman/Aliens (Dan Jurgens & Kevin Nowlan)
Superman fighting Aliens should be like cheat codes in a videogame. Their only weapons are teeth and acid blood – the best they can hope for is cleaning stubborn stains off his costume as they burst. But every Superman crossover is based on a ridiculously contrived reason he doesn’t win in two seconds, and this one makes Superman look so bad you’d swear it was written by Lex Luthor.
Superman spends three issues refusing to kill, even when his enemies reproduce by rape-murder and those are their only three hobbies. Aliens are the ultimate guilt-free villain. They have no redeeming features. There are fewer grey areas than Charlie Chaplin’s crossword, and Superman still spends sixty pages running and whining and being shouted at by the woman whose world is dying because he’s an @$$#0!&.
He is by far the worst character in his own comic and that’s including the Aliens. At least they’re trying to do something. The standard-issue LexCorp weapons-researching villain kills one. Lois Lane kills two. The woman shouting at him kills an entire planet of the things, and he rewards her by getting them both impregnated, leaving her behind, and the climactic Superman-vs-Alien battle is him super-miscarrying in space and coughing up goo like he has a Kryptonian cold.
Aliens vs Judge Dredd
Judge Dredd vs Aliens: Incubus (John Wagner, Andy Diggle & Henry Flint)
The terrifying xenomorph nightmares descend upon Mega City One and they have never been so out of their league.
They’ve survived the depths of space, dominated everything they’ve ever encountered, and exterminated entire worlds, but so has Judge Dredd. And he’s much better at it. Aliens usually survive because idiots don’t take initial warning signs seriously and refuse to kill infected people who are threats to the group. But in this comic, the Aliens are the ones making those mistakes. Seriously: killing threats is Dredd’s entire job, personality, and reason for living.
The Aliens’ only advantage is being the first dumbasses with a valid reason for keeping Dredd alive and bringing him back to their base, and it’s still their last mistake. In every other story the discovery of the Alien hive is a terrifying scene of literally unfolding horror as pods peel back to reveal lethal face-huggers. Here it’s the world’s greatest game of whack-a-mole and Dredd wins.
Aliens vs Terminator
Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator (Mark Shultz, Mel Rubi & Chris Ivy)
This crossover also involved the Predator, but ever since 2004 mankind has agreed not to mention those and Aliens in the same phrase and just try to forget it ever happened. And those movies were still better than this mess. You’d swear this comic was trying to protect humanity because it utterly destroys everything about Aliens, Predators and Terminators.
If you want to know how badly they screwed up Aliens vs Terminators: it doesn’t have any proper Terminators. Instead they have not-T-800 “crypto-Terminators” building not-T-800 “hybrid super soldiers”, and the only place old red-eye turns up is in Ripley’s dreams when she’s drugged by Predators for surgery. When even your own characters are dreaming of better Terminators during alien abductions, your story sucks.
It’s a nightmare of pointlessly convoluted fan-fiction which spends all four issues explaining how Terminators, Aliens and Predators could end up in the same place before they even meet. Here’s why: BECAUSE YOU WROTE A COMIC CALLED ALIENS VS PREDATORS VS THE TERMINATOR. You’re writing it! You could have them kicking each other’s ass from the first page! Look, we’ll do it:
PAGE 1: Alien descends on unsuspecting man in leather jacket. Alien’s inner mouth shatters against victim’s face, melting it off with acid to reveal the red eyes of the T-800. T-800 throws bleeding Alien into the Predator and pulls out a rocket launcher. Predator fires shoulder cannon.
PAGE 2: Thirty more of each turn up.
PAGES 3-60: EXPLOSIONS
When you’re ramming three massive continuities together you can do whatever you want, and this author wanted to ruin all of them. John Connor shrugs his shoulders and lets Terminators escape to rebuild Skynet, Ripley teams up with the Aliens, Predators ask for help, and Winona Ryder’s character from Alien: Resurrection still exists. That’s the exact opposite of who each of those characters is.
Wall-E was a better Terminator story, because at least he was still a robot relentlessly searching for an organic target. Aliens haven’t destroyed anything so brutally since John Hurt. And Predators to this day deny any of it ever happened.
But we’re still looking forward to Prometheus.
Luke McKinney knows booze & video games. His recent attempts to find the hottest food in the world led him to eat Murder Spice, which gave him the ability to melt through porcelain. The next day. In the bathroom. Follow him on Tumblr.
Luke previously savaged the creative efforts of Japanese Bikini Samurai Squad –>