“If it bleeds, we can kill it.”
That is one of the most iconic lines in any science fiction/horror film, as far as I’m concerned, delivered by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987’s classic Predator. That franchise has had its up and downs over the nearly forty years, with some great films depending on your tastes; Predator 2 and Predators are solid action flicks, and the recently released Prey might just be the best of the bunch, while the less said about the lacklustre The Predator the better (and lets not even discuss the two Alien vs Predator films, ok?)
In the world of comic books, the Predator franchise spent all of its publising time at Dark Horse Comics until Disney bought Fox and the rights to both the Predator and Alien franchises a few years back. 2021 saw Marvel begin their own Alien comics, which have been excellent, and this past week saw the release of the first Predator comic from the House of Ideas.
Here’s the logline: HUNT. KILL. REPEAT. In the near future, a young girl sees her family slaughtered by the deadliest and most feared hunter in the universe: a PREDATOR. Years later, though her ship is barely holding together and food is running short, Theta won’t stop stalking the spaceways until the Yautja monster who killed her family is dead…or she is. Ed Brisson (IRON FIST, GHOST RIDER) and Kev Walker (DR. STRANGE, DOCTOR APHRA) forge a violent, heartbreaking and unforgettable new chapter in the PREDATOR saga not to be missed!
Stepping into writing a franchise like Predator can be tough, I think. Much like the Xenomorph in Alien, these creatures are virtual killing machines, and part of the fun of watching the films that feature them is watching how they take down their human adversaries. The problem comes if you don’t care at all about the humans, though, because after a while killing characters off just gets old. The Predator suffered from that, in my opinion; we were given a bunch of soliders that were clearly supposed to recall that first group from the first Predator film, but it just didn’t work, unlike with characters like Schwarzenegger ‘s Dutch of Danny Glover’s Mike Harrigan in the second film, or Amber Midthunder’s Naru in Prey, all of whom you wind up rooting for.
Creators Ed Brisson and Kev Walker get that the Predator is only as interesting as its prey. In this first issue go to great lengths to get us interested in our human lead, Theta, who we see experience extreme loss because of a Predator, and is determined to make it pay. The hard part is finding the one who took everything from her. Predator doesn’t have the horror of Marvel’s Aliens title, instead leaning into the creature’s action/sci-fi roots, which is not a bad thing at all. Character development here works in the book’s favour.
Ultimately, Brisson and Walker have created an easily accessible entry point into the Predator franchise, with no knowledge of either the films or the previous comics needed to appreciate this brand new series.