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Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War is a six-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from January-September 2010. It was written by Randy Stradley, pencilled by Rick Leonardi, inked by Mark Pennington, colored by Wes Dzioba, lettered by Nate Piekos and edited by Chris Warner and Samantha Robertson, with cover art by Raymond Swanland. Warner also provided a variant cover for the first issue. The series served to relaunch the Aliens vs. Predator comics line after a ten-year hiatus (although several one-shot tie-in comics had been released during this time, to coincide with the release oft he Alien vs. Predator films).
The series is one of the few Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comic books to serve as a direct sequel to an earlier story. In fact, it serves as a sequel to no less than three separate stories — as well as featuring the return of Machiko Noguchi from Aliens vs. Predator: War, it is also a continuation of both Aliens: More Than Human and Predator: Prey to the Heavens, containing references to and characters from both series. Additionally, it incorporates concepts introduced in the 2010 film Predators, specifically the idea of a civil war amongst Predator subspecies.
In the Aliens vs. Predator comics line, Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War was preceded by Alien vs. Predator: Civilized Beasts, published concurrently with Aliens vs. Predator: Special Collector's Edition, and was followed by Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone.
#1: A centuries-old interstellar conflict threatens humanity's very existence as a long-lost Predator clan stakes its claim for galactic dominance, intent on exterminating its rival clan, the selfsame trophy hunters who have plagued Earth's history and every world they have touched. And if the advanced technology and military precision of this new threat weren't enough, they have an even more terrifying weapon at their disposal — Aliens, weaponized and under their malefic control. This puts earthmen in the dangerous position of parlaying with the same alien warriors who have relentlessly hunted them, and who better to carry out the negotiations than Machiko Noguchi, the only human known to have spent time alongside the Hunters.
#2: Machiko Noguchi is the only human known to have lived among the extraterrestrial hunters known as Predators — and she's had plenty of up-close-and-personal experience with another deadly, otherworldly life form, the xenomorph Aliens, hunting the beasts alongside her Predator hosts. Machiko thought those days were long past, but now a long-lost rival clan of warlike Predators has emerged, using specially bred Aliens as weapons, and both Predators and humans are threatened. Now, Machiko must again don her Predator armor and negotiate a possible alliance with the very same race that made trophies of humans for centuries. And when you "negotiate" with Predators, there will be blood!
#3: Against her better judgment, Machiko Noguchi is back with the Predators, trying to forge a coalition between the clan that once accepted her and a strike force of Colonial Marines. But it's an uneasy alliance at best as neither side understands the motives or mores of the other. Every gesture is a challenge, every altercation an invitation to battle. But the real battle is yet to come-against a rogue clan of warlike Predators with an army of Aliens under their control. It is said that no plan survives contact with the enemy, but Machiko's plan can barely stand up to her allies!
#4: This time it's war! The forces of the shaky alliance between the "hunter" Predators and Colonial Marines hits the beachhead established on the former colony world of Caparis VII by the enemy Predator clan and the Alien warriors under their control. No quarter is asked, and none is given as the Marines and the Hunters intend to destroy their foes, and the Aliens and their Predator masters are fighting for their lives. But as the attack unfolds, Machiko Noguchi suspects that the allies have made a fateful blunder-and no one in command will listen to her warning!
#5: Whoever said "War is Hell" didn't know the half of it. The Colonial Marines and their Predator allies look to take the fight to the enemy Predators and the Alien horde they control — but the daunting numbers of the bug swarm may be more than human and hunter can overcome. Their last hope may lie in the synthetic hands of the android David Sereda, who discovers the enemy's bug hatchery and a secret that may stem the deadly Alien tide — if he can survive long enough to tell the tale!
#6: With the enemy Predator clan and their murderous legion of Alien war slaves ready to close the book once and for all on the alliance of Human and Predator, the Colonial Marines and "Hunter" Predators mount a desperate offensive behind enemy lines to unleash the one surprise element that could even the odds and win the day. But humans should never make the mistake that "the enemy of my enemy" can be counted on as a true friend, and with each Hunter packing a fissile self destruct, could this courageous assault really be nothing more than a nuclear suicide mission?
When a mysterious faction of Predators attack a mining operation on a human colony world, the Colonial Marines go to visit Machiko Noguchi, a former hunter herself, to try and enlist her help in fighting them. Though she refuses at first, she is shown a video which shows that the Predators were working with Xenomorphs. She identifies that these are a rogue demographic of Predators called "Killers," which are not part of the maintstream culture of the Hunters. Faced with the evidence, Machiko reluctantly agrees to help the Marines. With Machiko on point, the humans devise a deadly new plan: to enlist the help of her old hunting party to stop the Killers...
Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War was collected as a trade paperback in June 2011, which reused Swanland's cover for issue 1, albeit with the image flipped horizontally.