Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Superman vs Predator #1

Superman vs Predator #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 31, 2000

Cover date: July 2000

Writer: David Michelinie
Artist: Alex Maleev
Colourist: Matt Hollingsworth

Reviewed by: Gareth Baker (

Deep in "La Jungla De LAs Sombras" - The Jungle of Shadows - a group of STAR Labs' scientists are exploring in search for whatever secrets the jungle might hide, cures and medicine.

Dramatis Personae:

Dr Marla Rollins - A rather scantily clad - considering the condor sized mosquitoes - female physicist who is in charge of the expedition.
Dr Casey Trabor - A xenobiologist, probably in his 50s. Been divorced twice and likes to complain.
Machu - The lead guide.
Captain Skane - The commander of the mercenaries.
Mr Ward - Our mystery villain.

As their guide cuts through the jungle, he is suddenly shocked when he comes face to face with an alien spaceship all overgrown with vines and other jungle fauna. Dr Rollins orders Machu and his men to cut down the vines. Trabor, suggests that they use their dynamite to blow the whole spaceship up. Rollins is outraged. Think of the technology the artifacts on board. Trabor nods in agreement; that is why it must go! Rollins, overrules Trabor's suggestion and tells Machu to carry on.

Machu cuts down a strange looking sack-like vine and as it lands on the floor a large number of human skulls fall out. Trabor simpley says "Boom?". Rollins is now unnerved a little and suggests they take "some" precautions.

In the continent of North America - Metropolis to be exact - Superman successfully stops a groups of terrorists from stealing some plutonium, and saves a large number of marathon runners from a police car that is force off a bridge during the terrorists' escape.

On top of the Daily Planet building, Lois, looking very beautiful, is waiting with Clark's clothes. He quickly changes and apologises for having to run out on their dinner. Inside the newsroom, it's a hive of activity. Ron Troupe quickly fills Lois and Clark in on the discovery in Central America. Clark is off, and Lois asks Perry for The Planet Learjet.

Back in Central America. Trabor is still unsure about messing with the ship, but Rollins suggests that the owners of the ship might not be aggressors. Trabor points out the small skull collection. Rollins believes that science is the way forward for mankind. Trabor agrees but isn't sure about "the alien angle".

Superman arrives.

Superman takes control of the situation and scans the ships with microscopic vision and x-ray vision and discovers what appears to be a self destruct mechanism, and some loose wires - which might explain why it didn't go off. Superman then rips open the door and is attacked by a sonic blast.

In space, a ship approaches and a hands turns off a flashing red light.

Superman and the STAR team, head inside the ship, though Superman points out that he must check everything out first. Superman is checking out some circuit boards with his x-ray vision when it suddenly goes all blurred. Rollins asks if he is okay, and suggests that maybe there is some alien metal that affects him like lead. Outside, Trabor mutters "Or maybe alien help ain't it all cracked up to be."

Suddenly, gunfire is heard outside in the clearing as several jeeps and trucks attacks the site. The soldiers capture the team, and then Superman arrives. Rollins is taken hostage by one of the soldiers, and much to her surprise, Trabor karate chops her attacker and rescues her. Superman picks up a jeep to throw at the soldiers to scare them off, when his strength gives out on him and he falls over. He's then hit by an anti-tank missile. Using his heat vision, Superman ignites a truck's petrol tank and he and the STAR team escape - Superman being carried by Rollins and Trabor.

Skane communicates with Mr Ward to inform him of the success of their mission. Ward orders Superman killed.

As Rollins, Machu, Superman and Trabor escape through the forest, Trabor suggests that maybe there was some sort of bacteria or virus on board the ship that only affects Superman's body, just as Earth germs don't affect him. Rollins says that finding a cure is their top priority, when they are suddenly stopped by Machu. Before them lies a huge crater, its sides fused.

Machu begins to tell them the story behind the crater. Years ago, foreigners came to their land and started a secret war. They did not see the devil warrior that came down from the sky. At last a great hero came to fight the daemon, and despite its amazing weapons and its ability to become invisible, the hero won. In shame, the daemon "called up the fire from hell" and left behind the crater. There is now a superstition that the daemon might return.

Trabor thinks that the story makes sense. The daemon could easily be the pilot and the hell fire a self destruct mechanism - the ship was meant to be destroyed as well, but didn't because of the loose wire.

Above them a helicopter appears, though Superman is the last to hear and see it.

Skane and his men are out in the forest for Superman and the scientists when they see the helicopter. They fire a rocket laucher and hit it.

Superman has just enough x-ray vision power to discover that Lois is on board. Using everything he has left, Superman flies up into the sky, and catches the helicopter before it crashes. By the time Superman gets the chopper safely down, the mercenaries arrive and capture everyone and tie Superman in chains as he is completely exhausted.

Elsewehere in the forest a Predator emerges from a cave.

Captain Skane and his crew take Superman and the rest of their captives to their secret base which is hidden deep within a cave, with Mayan carvings, where no one, not even a satelite, will be able to find them. Rollins is interested in the carvings and Skane explains that the Mayan tribe moved in here, maybe to hide from something and then just disappeared. On the wall, on of the carvings is of a Predator. Inside the cave lies a huge Mayan city, complete with temple and large gun!!!

Walking to the very top of the temple, Skane takes the group in to see Mr Solomon Ward. He is very happy to see Ms Lois Lane, she will be invaluable in helping people to understand what he has been doing here. Ward begins to explain how he is going to help mankind fulfill its potential, by sending an isotope into the air (with the big gun) which will then fall to the ground as rain. Lois is horrified to think that Ward is going to kill everyone. Ward explain that he isn't going to kill everyone, and Skane plays a video. The video shows a person with Down's Syndrome, and they are having a drink. The next thing, they're dead. Ward explains that the isotope will only kill those people with a genetic disorder and anyone who carries the recessive gene.

Rollins and Trabor are not impressed. Trabor likens Ward to Frankenstein. Superman tries to struggle free of his chains, but doesn't have the strength.

The group is herded off to a cell, when the time is right, Trabor attacks the guards and frees Superman from his chains. Trabor goes to give Rollins a gun, but she backs away as she doesn't believe in them, and falls over the edge of a cliff. Superman doesn't have time to catch her and she is left hanging from the edge. By the time Lois comes to help, it is too late and they are all recaptured.

Back at the spaceship, the mercenaries are mysteriously attacked... the Predator has arrived.

4Story - 4: This was a very pleasant surprise. I liked both movies, though preferred the second. Why? Coz Arnie is built like the proverbial out-house, Danny Glover isn't, you knew Arnie was gonna win. Similarly, with Superman stripped of his powers, he's going to have to rely on his own "human" strength and hopefully his guile and cunning. However, I was surprised how quickly his powers diminished. What impressed me the most with this comic is that it looks like it's gonna have a plot and a quite an intelligent one too. I had feared it was just going to be one big fight - and I'm sure it will come down to that - but I really liked the whole Solomon Ward plot. Superman now has double jeopardy. The "guest" cast of Rollins and Trabor are interesting, though Trabor more so. Will he still hate aliens by the end of it? And he certainly is more than he appears to be.

4Art - 4: Ok, when I flicked through this I thought "What a load of *%@#!". However, recently I've been branching out and getting lots of different comics from different companies (though not Marvel) and I'm beginning to appreciate all these different "styles". Although I don't like the way Maleev draws Superman, his work on the rest of the issue is wonderful. Lois looks really sexy on page 11 holding Clark's clothes and as for the pages telling the story of the sky devil (they are drawn in a Mayan style), well they're just fantastic! Perhaps the biggest success of this comic is the colouring. It really comes through here, and I'm beginning to appreciate the colourists job. Maybe I'd still think the art was *%@# if the colours weren't so well done.

3Cover Art - 3: Well it doesn't happen in the comic, of course, but it is certainly eye catching, though I imagine Superman's cape is caught on something as it is very long.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic was on sale.

January 2000

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