|Batman versus Predator|
Cover of the Batman Versus Predator trade paperback collected edition (1993). Art by Dave Gibbons.
|Publisher||DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics|
|Publication date||December 1991 - February 1992|
|Number of issues||3|
|Batman Versus Predator||ISBN 1-56389-092-5|
|Blood Ties||ISBN 1852869135|
Batman versus Predator is a comic book crossover featuring a duel between Batman and the creature from the Predator film. It was written by Dave Gibbons, with art by Andy Kubert and published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics in 1991. In 1995, a sequel was published called Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch. It was written by Doug Moench, with art by Paul Gulacy and Terry Austin. In this book, Batman gets help from Huntress in taking down the Predator.
A third series, Batman versus Predator III: Blood Ties was published in 1997. Written by Chuck Dixon, the story featured a father-son Predator duo taking on Batman and Robin. Mr. Freeze is the only Batman super-villain to have appeared in a Batman versus Predator story in this comic book, though Catwoman makes a brief cameo, and The Joker is mentioned.
The first book opens with a boxing match in Gotham. Each of the fighters are backed by two of Gotham City's biggest gangsters — Alex Yeager and Leo Brodin. When the winner of the fight is killed in his apartment shortly after the bout, Batman is called in to help investigate the crime. Though accusations are directed against Brodin, the sponsor of the losing fighter, the grisly yet unusual murder (consisting of spine and skull removal) suggest otherwise. Batman's main goal initially is to avoid a battle on the streets of Gotham between the two mob bosses — the death of the losing boxer only making matters more complicated.
In an attempt to defuse the conflict, Yeager's partner, a "legitimate" but corrupt businessman, arranges a meeting between the two crime lords during which Yeager is murdered by an intruder. Clues lead Batman to the killer's hideout, but in a deadly duel, he comes close to losing his life to the Predator, who escapes. Batman gets back to Wayne Manor, where his butler Alfred sees to his injuries.
Over the next few days, and in the absence of the Dark Knight, the Predator takes out Yeager's partner, Brodin, and Gotham's current mayor in a series of calculated assaults. Commissioner James Gordon himself is almost killed in his own home by the hunter, but escapes. Batman attempts to recover quickly, knowing the death toll rises every day. A countdown is initiated by the National Guard and SWAT teams: If Batman does not show before the end of the countdown, they plan to flush the Predator out of hiding by searching street by street, a tactic that will likely take more lives than would be saved.
Batman, nowhere near healed yet able to walk, plans one last face-to-face match with the Predator, using a specially-designed powered sonar exoskeleton suit to increase his strength and compensate for his recovering blindness and the Predator's stealth technology. The battle begins on the roof of the Gotham City Police Department, continues in the Batcave, and ends on the outskirts of Wayne Manor. Batman finally defeats the Predator just as its ship lands, with others of its kind disembarking. The defeated Predator honorably commits suicide with a sword which the Predator commander then presents to Batman before leaving. Batman is confident that the Predators will not return after having met what lives in Gotham.
The story opens after Batman — unwillingly aided by the Huntress — successfully apprehends a criminal during a drug-related homicide. The criminal reveals that his boss, a crime lord named Terraro, has put a price on Batman's head. The Huntress begins her own hunt for potential assassins. Shortly after the capture, a strange, luminous object (reported to be a meteorite) lands beyond the Gotham River. A lone marksman attempts to make a shot at Batman as he patrols the streets, but is killed by an invisible creature. The victim is one of seven hired assassins tasked with tracking and killing Batman.
The creature kills several police officers at the police station, injuring others, including Police Commissioner James Gordon, before retreating with the Bat-Signal. After investigating a crime scene where two of Terraro's associates were killed and the Huntress knocked out (and immediately assessing that this is the work of yet another Predator), Batman follows the signal's direction beyond the city limits. Batman is ambushed by the creature, only to be saved by the timely arrival of the Huntress. Another of Terraro's assassins is eliminated by the Predator when he tries to steal the kill during the fight.
Now informed on the creature's identity, the Huntress follows leads on Terraro, avoiding two assassins that kill each other accidentally. The FBI arrive, revealing plans to set up a specialized strike force to kill the creature quickly. Batman and the Huntress both confront Terraro himself, but all are attacked, and Terraro is murdered in his own loft. Another of Terraro's assassins is apprehended afterward. Batman tracks the alien, only to find the Predator dead; stranger still, it's not the same Predator, and its own head has been taken. When another Predator retrieves his fallen comrade in plain sight of him, Batman deduces that these two are not tracking him, but rather the Predator rampaging through Gotham, who seems to have no qualms in killing members of its own species.
After disabling one of the two of Terraro's remaining assassins, Batman regroups with Commissioner Gordon, now aided by the FBI. They plan to use the Bat-Signal to lure the creature into the open, where they can assault it. The attempt fails: Both federal agents are killed, a non-threatening Predator is mistaken for the real killer and is injured (perhaps dying), and one of the team, Lt. Stocker, is captured by the true killer and taken hostage. Batman and the Huntress track it back to the ship, followed by the last of Terraro's assassins, who is also murdered by the beast. It overpowers the both of them, but Lt. Stocker sacrifices his life, impaling the Predator with its own spear, though the creature lives long enough to activate the ship's engines. As Batman and the Huntress escape the fleeing vessel, another ship appears and follows, opening fire on the vessel and destroying both ships. The book ends with the Bat-Signal lighting up again, signaling trouble from The Joker; a relative relief to the other-worldly troubles.
Gotham, suffering yet again from sweltering temperatures and increased gang warfare, finds itself with more mysterious deaths. Aided now by his ward, Robin, Batman worries that this may be yet another series of hunts by the brutal Predator aliens — yet refuses to disclose this to his partner, which only serves to irk Robin. Indeed, not one, but two beasts are prowling in Gotham: An elder creature who seems to tell stories of previous hunts to his younger partner.
Gotham's criminal population continues unaware of the visitors, until Mr. Freeze and his associates are attacked by the two cloaked Predators. Though all of his nearby henchmen are killed, Freeze is left alive, as his lowered body temperature makes him invisible to the Predators' infrared vision. Despite Robin's questions about the bizarre attacks, Batman does not reveal anything more than what Robin has already overheard, though he agrees to let Robin aid him until Freeze is found. Batman later confides to Alfred that he's keeping Robin at distance to prevent the boy from becoming another Predator mark.
Batman attacks one of the aliens with a "stolen" helicopter with many technological advances (the craft actually belonged to Wayne Technologies), inadvertently saving Catwoman's life in the process (and convincing her to take a night off from her jewel-thieving plans). Batman discovers the second Predator, too late to prevent the copter from being destroyed, though he's able to eject. Meanwhile, Robin learns many of the details during his computer research on the previous "hunts" through confidential government files, after taking advice from Barbara Gordon (under the alias "Oracle"). He also successfully tracks down Mr. Freeze and subdues him. When questioned, Freeze reveals the creatures did not seem to have even seen him.
With Freeze now in custody, Batman orders Robin to lie low, further aggravating the youth. Bruce manipulates WayneTech into closing down for 24 hours to provide a battleground he can control, in an effort to defeat the beasts. He also modifies the powered exosuit he used in his first encounter to mask his body temperature, correctly assessing from Freeze's incident that the Predator's vision is thermal-based. The plan works, but only lures one of the two. Responding to Batman's confusion, and using Tim Drake's voice, he indicates that it is now tracking Robin — who, ironically, is at a drive-in theater with friends, watching old science-fiction alien flicks.
Alfred contacts Robin, who immediately accepts the truth when he sees the creature's silhouette and returns to the Bat-Cave. Alfred reveals what little they know of their assailants before they are attacked. The two are nearly caught, until Batman returns, carrying one of the elder Predator's ornaments and telling the younger hunter to cut his losses, take his defeated (and still living) father and return home. When questioned, Batman reveals that they were chosen as targets because the Predators saw them as they themselves were: father and son warriors.
The series have been collected into trade paperbacks
|Batman Versus Predator||DC Comics||1993||ISBN 1563890925|
|Batman Versus Predator II: Bloodmatch||DC Comics||1995||ISBN 1563892219|
|Batman Versus Predator III: Blood Ties||DC Comics||1998||ISBN 1852869135|
- Batman: Dead End, a fan film where Batman fights groups of both Predators and Aliens.
- Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predator