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Games
GamelogoBy Australian Ninja

Remnants & Relics. Buttonhole *Special* Feature

Welcome dear reader to Remnants & Relics, the first in an ongoing series of features looking back at various aspects of yesterday's video games. This series is one that I'd hoped to kick off many months ago, but I just haven't had the time to do it justice, until now. So consider this your opportunity to put on your best pair or rose-tinted glasses, open up a luke-warm can of clichés and prepare to hop aboard the way-back-machine.... It came from beyond two dimensions! -A Look Back at Isometric Gaming-

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

ACMI Day Tripper

Welcome Buttonhole readers to another feature that is so choc-full of goodness that I've divided it into several sections. The top half is about the Indy video games showcased at ACMI. The bottom half is about the Pixar exhibit. It's ridiculously long and all terribly interesting to read, so you may as well read it in two halves, or just the parts that interest you. After reading about the ACMI exhibits on their website and getting more than a little excited, I decided to make the perilous trek to inner Melbourne. With time on my side and money stuffed in my pocket I ventured forth to the train station. Once on board I passed the time by staring out the window, reading a volume of Dark Horse's Concrete and snacking on tasty fruit. Arriving at Flinders St, I wandered around until inevitably finding my way out of the rat-maze like station.

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Classic Comic-book Review. Kraven's Last Hunt

"Here lies Spider-Man - Slain by the Hunter" So reads the grave of one of histories greatest superheros. "But he's not dead, is he? What happened to everyone's favourite web-slinger? Spidey seems to be alive and well now, what with his three movie deal and a string of monthly Marvel comic-book titles to his name, so why was he buried six feet under? The year is 1987. The company is Marvel. The character is Sergei Kravinov also known as 'Kraven the Hunter.' Back in the 60's Stan and Steve (Lee and Ditko, respectively) churned out a heap of cool villains for the title "Amazing Spider-Man." Doctor Octopus, The Cham

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Batman vs. Predator TBP Comic Batman vs. Predator. Trade Paper Back Comic Review

The bout to knock the other guy out

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Mon, 1 August 2005

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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At night the shadows come alive in Gotham city. There's a new threat in Gotham and you better not get in its way.

Batman versus Predator is a comic that some may dismiss because the idea seems silly. In actuality, it is a comic-book with extraordinary production values. It fits in well with both the Batman comics and Predator films.

To me this is an exciting comic book and it tells a story that could never work as well in any other medium. Batman versus Predator combines not only the worlds of two fictional characters but also crosses the mediums of film and sequential art.

If you get excited by the thought of Muhammad Ali versus George Foreman, Superman versus the Incredible Hulk, Bruce Lee versus Chuck Norris or Hulk Hogan versus The Rock, then you will understand why I must re-read this comic every year or so. Batman has featured in numerous comic-book crossovers during his reign. A few are worthy reads, most are forgettable. Some are just plain awful and more useful as bonfire fuel than reading material. Fortunately Batman versus Predator is one of the few worthy of your attention.

An invisible killer is on the loose in Gotham city. He's slaughtering the good and not-so-good people of Gotham like there's no tomorrow. This killer is more than your garden-variety loopy Batman villain and Jim Gordon is clueless what to do. So, when an alien hunter is running amuck in your hometown what do you do? You call Batman.
The Predator may be hell strong and vicious but he made one big mistake. He chose the wrong city to go hunting in. This city belongs to the Dark Knight, the self appointed protector of Gotham.

You know, Bruce Wayne - that perfectly sane obsessive millionaire orphan who lives in a giant mansion and dresses up as a bat at night time - that guy. Did I mention he's also a survivalist, hand-to-hand combat expert and the world's greatest detective? I think I mentioned that part. Which is important because when the predator leaves in its wake a trail of headless corpses strung up in leftover fishnet stockings all over the show, those detective skills will come in handy.

One of the great things about Batman versus Predator is that in addition to being a cool concept, it contains dirty artwork by Andy Kubert and a satisfying story by Dave Gibbons. When I say dirty, the art is gritty and dark. The colouring is muddy with brown overtones that lend an 'old crime movie' feel to the comic. Seeing the usual gaudy superhero colours in this comic would have done neither character justice. Batman is drawn so that he looks suitably dark and scary.

The Predator is dark, ugly and just plain frightening, as he deals out lashings of ultra-violence. He makes Batman look like a Boy Scout by comparison. The mafia goons who laughably shoot at the predator don't last too long. Neither do the police; the predator cuts them up like a hot knife through butter.

The realism in this comic I really love. What if, Batman went hand-to-hand with a Predator? Realistically what would happen? Think about that for a moment before you read on. Ask yourself, are there martial arts / combat moves that will work on any opponent regardless of size or strength? Yes? Well, would those same moves work on a 400-pound Gorilla? The kind that could literally tear off one of your limbs at his leisure, then casually throws you away like a football using just one arm? Then ask yourself what could the dark knight do in an unarmed fight against a Predator, who would be stronger than that gorilla. The answer, not a damn thing!

The result is that Batman gets his ass handed to him and barely escapes with his life in this macabre tale. What is satisfying about seeing Batman beaten to a bloody pulp, almost helpless and teetering on unconsciousness - what is satisfying is that here is a challenge worthy of the unrelenting determination of the Batman.

The predator alone is almost more than Batman can handle. But he has other problems. After investigating the string of murders by the "invisible slasher" he winds up bed-ridden temporarily blind with "deep puncture wounds, extensive lacerations, third degree burns and severe concussion." The words of a doting Alfred. No matter how often he wrinkles his brow Alfred cannot keep Bruce Wayne in bed for long. I won't ruin the story by giving too much away. Let's just say that not too many crime fighters could go up against the Predator and survive. Then go back to their day job of punching crims square on the jaw while simultaneously keeping the Arkam Asylum loony bin in business. Let's just say Batman is one tough bastard and leave it at that.

Overall, this is a great work of comic-book fiction. It does fall into the superhero category, though not in the usual mould. It comes to us from the good people at DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics. This is not Shakespeare or Hitchcock so don't expect it to be. What it is, is a fun violent and very bloody comic-book. It's an enthralling read from beginning to end. It emulates the best qualities of a Batman comic and a Predator film. I pity the fool who doesn't get excited about that.


by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja




It's the stuff comic-book dreams are made of!

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Le Chevalier D'Eon V1. Anime DVD Review
Manifest '07 Report


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The Simpsons
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Futurama
Family Guy
King of the Hill
Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny etc.)
The Flintstones





Toons
ToonlogoBy Borgieman

Manifest '07 Report

Ninja's note: Once again, it's time for another Buttonhole report on the Melbourne Anime Festival, otherwise known as Manifest 2007. If you missed Ichibod's feature on a previous Manifest, check it out here. This Manifest coverage comes to you courtesy of forum regular and newest Buttonhole contributor Borgieman, a cool guy who knows his Anime and has been known to play a video game or two. So read on true believers! A Day at Manifest 2007

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Only Yesterday. Anime Review

The problem with having favourite films is that every time I watch another Studio Ghibli film it becomes my new favourite. It kind of renders the word 'favourite' meaningless when every Studio Ghibli film takes my breath away. Still, I can't complain about being thoroughly entertained by this whimsical and insightful film, "Only Yesterday". This gem was directed by Isao Takahata, well known for his anime film Grave of the Fireflies. Although Only Yesterday is a light hearted film that ambles along at a leisurely pace, it still manages to explore themes such as love, work, family relationship struggles, following your dreams and country versus city living. In the film, the main character Taeko decides to take a working vacation in the country, getting away from her office bound job and unexpectedly starts t

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Jason

Speed Grapher V1. Anime Review

Well, "I don't like it" was my initial feeling when viewing this Anime for the first time. Subsequent viewings haven't changed my views a great deal. Nothing really stands out as being absolute shit but it seems that this series tries too hard. It's almost like they were more interested in creating something 'edgy' and confronting but sadly forgot to include an even remotely palatable story. The hero of this particular piece is a bloke called Tatsumi Saiga. Tatsumi is a photographer and a veteran war journalist for whom taking photos has become somewhat of a fetish. Although he seems to have become jaded - nothing is worth wasting his film on - that is, at least until he stumbles across an exclusive club for the mega rich

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