display | more...

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Dan Jurgens and Kevin Nowlan
Release Date: June 1996

Superman/Aliens is a crossover between DC Comics and Dark Horse, describing a battle between DC's greatest hero and Dark Horse's baddest villains. It was released as a three part comic series, and then collected into a trade paperback. The story begins when Clark Kent and Lois Lane, in their day jobs, investigate a lost probe that crashes into the ocean. Clark/Superman thinks it is Kryptonian, and flies away on a Lexcorp spaceship to find out where the distress probe was sent from. He lands inside a city floating in space, apparently a remnant of Krypton. A remnant of Krypton that is under attack by the infamous Aliens of the movie, as well as floating deep in interstellar space where Superman's solar powers are fading fast. He also finds a woman there, whose appearance and story seem to mirror that of Supergirl (As a side note, continuity on intercompany crossovers is often hazy, but since no one can keep track of Supergirl's continuity, it doesn't matter anyway). Together, they spend a lot of time running from the vicious, unkillable Aliens in the fading, broken up city, all while Superman holds to his vow against killing sentient life. (Although I don't know how sentient the Aliens are.) At the end, Superman escapes back to earth, despite being infected,and manages to use his newly-renewed powers to vomit out the alien. He also rescues Lois, who has been dodging some of the same Aliens on a Lexcorp satellite.

Personally, I think this is about as good as it could be for when it was released, which was about a year before Grant Morrison made DC awesome again. The art is good, and the story telling well paced. The biggest story tension is between the fact that Superman and Aliens are two very different properties: Superman is nearly omnipotent, and is an optimistic figure, while the Aliens are a creeping horror. The horror of the Aliens is not captured as well in this story as it is in the movies, and the feeling I got is that this is a DC comic about Superman that happens to feature monsters from another comic company. The other major story element was Superman's steadfast refusal to kill, which actually comes across as leaden and forced, rather than a realistic moral point. It is also somewhat inconsistent, since he ends up "killing" the last alien by not letting it chew up his insides. His moral sensibilities don't extend to making himself an open buffet, apparently.

It should also be remembered that crossovers are not to be judged on the same scale as other comics: for most people, the thrill is seeing two previously unrelated realms or characters interacting, not in the specific execution of the story. So I would say that this crossover attempt was fairly successful in combining the shining myth of Superman with the dark horror of Aliens.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.