The Attempted Review of Predator Comics #1 and #2

Posted by WhenYourGodGivesYouLemons On 11:25 AM

I know I'm not exactly Johnny on the spot with this review as both Predator 1 and 2 have been out for quite sometime and the third issue is out soon but I only just picked them up the other day. Also I think you shouldn't complain because you are getting two reviews for the price of one. So now sit back and enjoy.

What it's All About... Most people have seen or heard of the Predator series of movies and know that the Predator's themselves are some seriously bad dudes. An alien race from far away they are the perfect hunters utilising both extremely advanced technology and natural skill and instinct to hunt down the biggest game prizes all over the galaxy. One of those prizes is a human, which just so happens to result in many Predators ending up on Earth. Dark Horse's new comic book series based on the baddest hunters in the galaxy once again sees the Predators hunting on Earth but that's not the worst of it.

Predator follows a group of military contractors working security in East Africa. The country is basically going to shit due to a civil war between the Government and some Rebels and it's summer time so the country is hot as hell. Now we know nothing attracts a Predator more than a hot and steamy war zone. In the 1st issue we are introduced to the major players on the security team, Major Briggs the US army liason and Thorpe the leader of the contractor team. The teams mission is to secure a route to the Hilton so that some important people can meet without being blown up. The day before they run a trial meet to check out the route. They soon discover the route is terrible so they check in with their base before finding a better one, thing is the base isn't responding to their calls. You guessed it, the Predators are behind it brutally killing all those at the base. First thin you'll notice is the Predators appear to be working in teams, in all the movies they were individual hunters even at the initiation temple on Earth they seemed to work better and want to work by themselves. Here we see them in at least groups of three or four sometimes more. Also they all appear to be wearing the same armour, that same minimal style from the movies where lots of flesh is exposed and it still looks ridiculously cool with the black and red design and this could be some sort of faction or clan design. Anyway it's not long after the Predators have hit the comms base that they hit the convoy. This time there's about 5 or 6 Predators, wearing the same armour as the ones who attacked the comms base. Thorpe, Griggs and another contractor escaped the attack because they were checking out the other route, Thorpe soon gets heroic ideas in his head and charges straight at the Predators in SUV with a remote control rooftop mini gun, not a bad way to go about it. Thorpe's all guns blazing assault is cut short as he crashes into a wall with a Predator on top. He then goes into some weird hunter mode himself, getting ideas about hunting down the Predators. Thorpe and the survivors start to head back to base, not knowing it's been wiped out all the while keeping an eye out for the Predators. Unfortunately they forgot about the Rebels who are closing in on the city and start pounding it with mortar fire. With that out of the way the Predators are right back on their trail and they soon start picking off the members of Thorpe's team. It seems all is lost as Thorpe is being choked by one of the Predators but just before he is about to pass out and die the Predator is killed by a laser blast. What's that you say? A laser blast? You guessed it was by another Predator!

What it Did Well... While the build up to the story was predictable, hot war zone brings the Predators, this series is clearly going somewhere different to any of the movies. From what I've read and been told this is going to be a full on Predator war, on our planet and it's going to be sick. Anchoring the story around the humans then is a smart way to begin as it gives the story a big mystery element, why are they doing this why here etc and gives an extreme thriller element to it because the Predator remain the unknown, the faceless hunters who appear out of no where kill everything and move on. Also the fact that Thorpe and his men are facing a threat from the Rebels as well as the Predators just adds to the suspense because every attack leaves you wondering, was it a Predator or the Rebels?

I liked the new design of the Predator's armour. It looks more like scout battle armour, less bulky giving you more room to move at the expense of less protection and given it's a Predator war it's quite possible they are a scout force. It's also interesting to note that the colour scheme of the Predators who have been the focus of issue 1 and 2 is the same as the military contractors, black and red. The art design is nice, keeping the gory violence from the movies and all the Predator weapons that we know and love like the hand blades, staff and laser blasters are there. Also those front covers are extremely cool, the first one with it's Predator commander in some crazy armour with spikes and points all over it leading a group of Predators with huge laser guns and the second one with a lone Predator in room full of skulls looking into the eye of a human skull with one huge blade. They just look ridiculously good if a little misleading. Overall though I think these are some nice looking comics, with a lot of detail going into both the design of the Predators and the design of the city to make it look like a war zone. Everything is surrounded by rubble or riddled with bullet holes, making it look like a hostile and dangerous place.

What it Didn't... While anchoring the story around the humans was a good move I don't like any of the human characters, especially Thorpe. He just seems like a douche bag, going in all guns blazing in that car and then scolding himself for almost getting killed. Of course you were probably going to get killed, you didn't think about your actions you just did it on impulse so the risk is far greater. Also in issue 2 he all of a sudden turns into this great hunter and somehow knows that the Predators hunt of heat signals and that by using infra red, even in daylight he'll be able to see them when they are trying to hide. How do you know these things??!! It just bugged me that he all of a sudden turned into this master hunter of Predators.

Also I'm hoping that in future issues we will see some sort of Predator focus or perspective so we can better understand them, their culture and this war. So little is known about the Predator species it would be great to find out some information in this series and plus I think it would be lame if the humans just said must be a war between them and that was it. I want some depth as to why this conflict is going on and hopefully I'll get it.

Memorable Moment... It's definetley in the first issue when you see the cutback to the comms base. Seeing that room filled with Predators and dead bodies was very cool. They were just standing around like "yep just another day of killing inferior species with our kick ass weaponry and mad skills cause we are awesome". You didn't need to see how they managed this because everyone knows how good the Predators are at infiltration and death while it made for a big reveal in the story, to turn the page and find out that Thorpe's team are now alone and cut off from aid. 

What it All Means... Predator is definetley a series I'm going to keep on buying. It's managed to capture the look and feel of the movies but placed enough of it's own spin on it to make you very interested. Also the premise of some Predator v Predator action is just too good to pass up. Look out for issue 3 soon. I'm giving Predator 1 and 2 8.5 out of 10.



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