The Box: Batman vs Predator II #4 & Defenders #119

For the full rundown of what The Box is all about, check this out. This week’s picks (I went with two because I had some spare time and felt like trying my luck again) are Batman vs. Predator II #4 and The Defenders #119. One thing I forgot to mention before is that, as you can clearly see in the picture, there are actually two boxes (“The Boxes” just doesn’t have the same kind of ring). Also the box that’s completely full of comics is full of Marvel, the less full one is mostly DC and Dark Horse with some incredibly random stuff thrown in (there’s even a copy of Spawn #1).

Alright, enough explaining of things. Let’s get into the comic reviews. First up is BVPII #4 from 1994 which was written by Doug Moench and drawn by Paul Gulacy. I’m 90% sure I haven’t read this series before. I have read–and own–the original and more Predator comics than I care to admit (or am able to remember), but I’m still thinking this one wasn’t on the list. I’m glad I snagged the last issue and not a random one in the middle (I think there’s a few more in the box, but I’m not sure). Anyway, you pretty much get the full story right here even though there’s nothing like a flashback to catch newbies up. Batman’s got a contract out on him while one Predator is attacking Gotham. Meanwhile, another Predator is there to stop the bad one. I’m not sure what makes him bad, as Predators all love to hunt humans. Unlike the first volume there’s some government dudes in weird costumes and Huntress is involved. It’s not a great comic, but the last bunch of pages were a lot of fun as the poo hits the fan and we get our final battle. Maybe I’ll check the trade out online.

And now we have The Defenders #119 by Steven Grant and Sal Buscema which has a cover date of May 1983. Having only ever read one Defenders comic (the first issue of Erik Larsen’s series), I was glad to find out that, even though the issue number was so high, this was actually a “never told story” that takes places between issues #68 and #69. That might not seem like much help, but, apparently at this time, the team still consisted of the main members I’m vaguely familiar with: Namor, Dr. Strange, Hulk, Hellcat, Valkyrie and Nighthawk (who apparently died right before this issue came out). The flashback shows us a tale of Yandroth taking mental control of most of the Defenders only to have them fight the ones who aren’t controlled in the end. When I first looked at the cover it was just a glance and I read the text “MARVEL SUPER-HEROES BATTLE SIDE BY SIDE AGAINST…EACH OTHER.” I thought “Awesome, big huge fight issue. Then I looked at it a little closer and saw that Namor, Clea and Dr. Strange were on the opposing side. That’s not really that interesting of a stand-off and unfortunately the issue mimicked those sentiments. I guess the real point of this story is that Nighthawk’s nurse Luann Bloom was actually a robot, spying on him for a shadowy organization yet to be revealed. All of which would make a lot more sense if I knew anything about the Defenders. Oh well, it was a fun enough issue to read and did make me curious about checking out other Defenders comics.

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