|This article is about the comic book series. For the novel, see Aliens vs. Predator: War (novel).|
Aliens vs. Predator: War, originally titled Aliens versus Predator: War and also known as Aliens/Predator: War, is a five-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from May-August 1995. The contents of the first issue (issue #0) were originally published in 14 installments in the promotional publication Dark Horse Insider, Vol. 2 #1-14, from January 1992-February 1993. The story was written by Randy Stradley, pencilled by Chris Warner, Mike Manley, Jim Hall and Mark G. Heike, inked by Warner and Ricardo Villagrán, colored by Jim Sinclair and Chris Chalenor, lettered by Steve Dutro, and edited by Edward Martin III and Bob Cooper, with cover art by Richard Corben.
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 continuing the adventures of Machiko Noguchi from the original Aliens vs. Predator series, it also features the return of the Yautja Top-Knot from Aliens vs. Predator: Blood Time, as well as Lieutenant Kat Lara, Martin Jess and Brian Ellis from Aliens: Frenzy.
In the Aliens vs. Predator comics line, Aliens vs. Predator: War was preceded by Aliens vs. Predator: Duel, published concurrently with Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species and Aliens vs. Predator: Booty, and was followed by Dark Horse Classics - Aliens versus Predator.
#0: Sometimes reeling-in the catch of your life can mean the end of your life. Machiko Noguchi, the last survivor of the colony on Ryushi, is journeying aboard a massive Predator ship when a freshly caught Alien Queen snaps her tethers, destroying all in her path. Unfortunately for her, Machiko is in that path.
#1: First blood or last breath. Those are the only choices in Aliens vs. Predator: War! The Predators converge on the seed planet, Bunda, for the biggest bug hunt yet, each taking position to draw first blood. Machiko, the human survivor from Dark Horse's historic first Aliens vs. Predator series, and now a full-fledged member of the Predator clan, is forced into a duel in order to claim her rightful place in the upcoming hunt. But when a new group of humans shows up, including the three survivors from the end of Aliens: Berserker, what began as sport becomes serious business.
#2: The quick death of a fractured spine, or the extended agony of birthing a chestburster. If you had your choice, which would it be? Find out how a band of displaced humans deals with this dilemma in the second issue of Aliens vs. Predator: War! Loose ends begin to tie together, drawing characters and situations from the first AvP series, from Aliens: Berserker, and from the very recent AvP: Duel! This issue comes packed with adrenaline!
#3: Aliens and Predators: two deadly species fighting for domination of an otherwise abandoned world. What they didn't count on was the added confrontation of the deadliest species of all... the species known as humans! Guns are pumped, knives are wrapped, and claws are sharpened in preparation for the all-out battle for the planet Bunda! Three bloodthirsty armies prepare themselves for an all-out WAR!
#4: War is all about lines, the kind you draw between your enemies and your allies. But those lines become blurred in the conclusion to Aliens vs. Predator: War! Machiko Noguchi has abandoned her Predator allies and joined the human survivors on Bunda. But perhaps she'll reconsider her position when the humans find themselves caught between the ultimate in rocks and hard places! It's the final battle of this all-out war, with the Aliens on one side and Predators on the other, and the outmanned humans hang their only hopes on a fearsome and uncontrollable suit of MAX berserker armor!
The story starts as Machiko Noguchi is now living with Top-Knot's clan. They are in a world dominated by xenomorphs in a mission to capture a Queen. Machiko is being bullied by a hunter she calls "Shorty", who mimicks Machiko's voice mocking her. Machiko takes a little revenge on him by saving his life, which is a major insult in the Yautja culture. The hunters capture the Queen, but she tries to free herself and kills a hunter called "Three Spot". Machiko controls the situation, but disobeys Top-Knot in the process. The Queen again frees itself inside the ship, and Shorty closes the hatch trapping Machiko in the hold with it. Machiko barely escapes the enraged Queen.
The clan is preparing one of the greatest hunts ever. Meanwhile, Machiko listens to a random chat on her leapwave receptor from Ryushi. Inadvertently to her, the chat is from the Nemesis survivors: Katherine Lara, Martin Jess, and Brian Ellis, whom are calling for help. They receive response from Big Archey, a floating platform over the jungles of Bunda, which is the same planet in which the hunt is to begin. The platform's administrator, Kevin Vincent, is warned by a Weyland-Yutani corporative, Mr Briggs, that the survivors must be on quarantine due to a possible infection.
Meanwhile, on the Yautja ship, the clan is gathering and one of the last are Light-Stepper, a one-handed young Yautja which uses a USMC flag as a bandage. Machiko thoughtlessly touches it, making him angry and giving her a submissive sign, losing her place in the hierarchy. The only way to regain her status is fighting those at the bottom, namely Shorty. Machiko is winning the fight, but Shorty cheats and Machiko loses her place in the hunt, so she stays on the ship. As the Nemesis APC lands on Big Archey, a monkey-like creature is Facehugged in the jungle below. The survivors from the Nemesis are immediately arrested by the Big Archey personnel.
Later, two surveyors, Pratt and Rembert, are chased by a xenomorph and are herded into an Egg silo resulting in both of them getting Facehugged. Top-Knot's shuttle lands and the hunt begins. However, they hear Mr Briggs shuttle overhead and, for some reason, decide to hunt the humans instead. Lara, Jess, and Ellis are interrogated by Mr. Briggs, accompanied by his two bodyguards, Keene and Nirasawa, about their mission data on Terminal 949. The Yautja then attack Big Archey, forcing Mr. Briggs, Vincent, and Nirasawa to investigate while Keene watches the prisoners. Lara kills Keene while he is distracted and they escape.
Machiko lies inside her room and listen the SOS from Big Archey. Learning that the hunters are killing humans, she decide to change sides and betrays the clan. She kills the ship's captain, seals the bridge, and frees the captive Queen. Machiko flies the ship towards the signal of Top-Knot's shuttle. A Yautja attacks the survivors as Brian is refueling the APC, but he quickly doses the predator in jet fuel and causes a big explosion that causes the platform to crash. Feeling bad about how his actions always causes disaster, Ellis flees as Machiko crashes the ship in from of Jess and Lara.
After a short presentation, Machiko and the survivors are interrupted by the hunters, led by Top-Knot. The two-way battle turns into a three-way battle as the Queen and her offspring join the fight. Machiko, Jess, and Lara are saved by Ellis, now inside the MAX unit. they flee into the jungle and soon are found by Nirasawa, who is revealed to be an android, carrying a Facehugged Mr Briggs.
The clan attacks again, so Machiko and Nirasawa makes a stand to buy time for the others to get into the shuttle. Machiko fights and kills Shorty while Nirasawa is destroyed. Lara is trying to fly the shuttle as Machiko arrives. All are reunited and they soon flee. However, just before escaping, Jess puts Mr. Briggs inside the MAX unit to fight the bugs and the hunters while he is still alive. The survivors return home together.
After its initial publication under the original title Aliens versus Predator: War, the series was collected in trade paperback form under the new title of Aliens/Predator: War in May 1996, featuring a new painted cover by artist Duncan Fegredo and an introduction by Robert Sheckley. This release also collected the stories Aliens vs. Predator: Blood Time and Aliens vs. Predator: Duel.
The series was collected and released again as part of Aliens vs. Predator: The Essential Comics Volume 1, released on October 16, 2019.
Behind the Scenes
The release of Aliens vs. Predator: War was followed by a three year break in the publication of new Aliens vs. Predator comic stories from Dark Horse Comics. During this time, the only AVP comics released would be a six-issue reprint of the original Aliens vs. Predator series entitled Dark Horse Classics - Aliens versus Predator, published throughout 1997, and a collected one-shot release of the story Aliens vs. Predator: Booty, which was originally serialized in the catalogue magazine Previews from 1995 to 1996.
- In its original publication, Aliens versus Predator: War was the first Aliens vs. Predator comic to use the expanded form of the franchise title, with the full "versus" conjunction. It has since been renamed to use the more common, shortened "vs." form.
- The way in which the two surveyors from Bunda Survey are facehugged is very similar to the scene in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem were Buddy Benson and his son Sam get chased and Facehugged.
- Theoretically, the Warrior aliens on Bunda should be Predaliens as Machiko freed the Queen inside the ship and it proceed to impregnate the crew.