Okay, so admittedly most Predator and Alien stories fall under the same umbrella of protagonists falling for the same mistakes their disembodied predecessors did, blood and guts splatter the page, and we reach the end satisfied with watching some schmucks get ripped apart. That’s all well and good, and with a little interesting twist here and there, I would be satisfied with a well drawn, well written version of that every once in a while. Dark Horse has a long tradition with both the Predator and the Alien franchises and has in the past done them quite well. This comic treads well-trodden ground: the predators lying in wait on a un-terraformed planet that Weyland-Yutani has its eye on, a platoon of soldiers is sent in, and violence ensues. It’s a classic set up, this time with the twist only being that it takes place a year after the events of the original Alien. What that means is yet to be seen… Decent artwork by Brian Thies and decent writing by Dan Abnett move this issue along, as we see our typical plot unfold. The Weyland-Yutani officer accompanied by a platoon of soldiers move through the jungles of this unknown planet searching for pirates or miners sent by an opposing mega-corporation who might want the planetary resources for themselves. After the tense discovery of a beaten up ship the soldiers find a survivor, he promptly and ominously tells them that they are property of “them” now and that they should never have come here. The scene cuts to the second brigade of soldiers being torn apart by two Predators. So there it is, the issue ends, and we can expect a lot more carnage from the rest of his mini-series. The bad thing is that we’ve seen it all before, the good thing is that they brought plenty of soldiers to use as fodder for the Predators.
It’s a difficult thing to take a licensed title such as Predator and make it fresh and exciting, especially when the original films worked so well. This is the same thing with Alien, as I’ve seen it many times before, the bad guys just want to keep trying to capture a live Xenomorph and it always escapes and kills everyone. The plot of the original was just so good that they had to reuse it again, and again, and… again. Admittedly this is the opening scene of a four-part mini-series so many mysteries could unfold before the end, and Dark Horse claims that this series will include Aliens and the engineers from Prometheus. But for right now, if you’re looking for a little bit of action and some carnage, and you’re a fan of Predator, then pick up a copy of Dark Horse’s latest rendition, you won’t be disappointed.