Aliens vs. Predator: Chained to Life and Death is a comic book short story that was first published by Dark Horse Comics in Aliens vs. Predator: Annual #1 in July 1999. It was written by Mark Schultz, pencilled and inked by Tom Biondolillo, colored by Lee Loughridge, lettered by Clem Robins and edited by Philip Amara.
An Elder Predator and veteran of numerous hunts, aware that he has grown past his prime, chooses to embark on a final hunt on the Xenomorph home world. He stalks and engages an Xenomorph in close combat, but during the battle his reflexes fail him for the first time — he is injured by the creature's tail while impaling it with his spear. As the Xenomorph removes the spear, the Predator stands up and removes his bio-helmet, finally acknowledging that he is no longer at his best. Looking upon the prey that he and his kin admire so much, he prepares to finish the creature with his Plasmacaster while reflecting upon his life and history, his hunts and trophies, and his attempts to understand and think like the Xenomorphs. Considering these things, the Predator elects not to shoot the Xenomorph, preferring instead to meet his end at the hands of such worthy prey.
However, as he watches the creature crawl towards him, the Predator realizes he and his prey have nothing in common and that the Xenomorph could never understand his decision, or the Yautja's concepts of hunt and prey. It would never recognize the decision it had made; the creature is nothing more than the very soul of chaos. In his final moments, the Predator recognizes that his achievements in life were ultimately insignificant, his nobility meaningless, and that this is not the end for which he had hoped.
Aliens vs. Predator: Chained to Life and Death was first reprinted in the limited-release promotional comic Alien vs. Predator: Whoever Wins...We Lose in 2005, included with copies of the Alien vs. Predator Unrated Edition DVD sold at Best Buy outlets.
The comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on May 1, 2013, collected with Aliens vs. Predator: Hell-Bent, Aliens vs. Predator: Pursuit and Aliens vs. Predator: Lefty's Revenge and reusing Jae Lee's cover art from Aliens vs. Predator: Annual #1.
Behind the Scenes
Comics writer and illustrator Mark Schultz was quite busy in the three related Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comics lines for Dark Horse in the late 1990s. In addition to the Chained to Life and Death short, Schutlz also wrote the full mini-series Predator: Hell & Hot Water and Aliens: Apocalypse for the company.