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Predator: Bad Blood is a four-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from December 1993-June 1994. It was written by Evan Dorkin, pencilled by Derek Thompson, inked by Keith Aiken, Chris Warner and Thompson, colored by Chris Chalenor, lettered by Pat Brosseau, and edited by John Weeks, Chris Warner and Edward Martin III, with cover art by Thompson.

The story deals with a wildly psychotic Predator who begins a mass slaughter in New Jersey, in turn being hunted by another Predator. The series was preceded by the short-story Predator: Bad Blood short story, produced by the same creative team.

In Dark Horse's Predator comics line, Predator: Bad Blood was preceded by the short story, published concurrently with Predator: The Hunted City and Predator: Blood on Two-Witch Mesa, and was followed by Predator: Invaders from the Fourth Dimension.

Publisher's Summary[]

#1: The New Jersey Pine Barrens have become a slaughterhouse, witness to a hideous spree of murders and mutilations. Ex-CIA operative John Pulnick is accused of the gruesome crimes, but he knows the true identity of the slayer: a creature from another world — a Predator. But unlike others of its species, this alien intruder is no sport hunter, but a blood-crazed psychotic, a butcher of its own kind, an unhinged killing machine. While a massive manhunt sweeps the Barrens, a stalker of a different kind searches for the killer — a second Predator, bent on bringing down the rogue monster.

#2: A special task force sweeps the New Jersey Pine Barrens in search of a psychotic Predator, a blood-crazed butcher bent on killing any living creature it encounters. While the government craves the beast's technology, a team of ex-CIA rogue agents have different plans for the extraterrestrial monster and its human hunters. And if this cast of spooks and psychos weren't enough of a potential powder keg, enter another Predator, here to wreak vengeance upon its unhinged brother — and anything that gets in its way.

#3: The CIA's special task force searches the New Jersey Pine Barrens, hot on the trail of a Predator cutting a bloody swath through the area. Someone else is on the trail too: a team of ex-CIA agents with their own agenda. It's a ferocious pitched battle as the two teams encounter each other, each armed with enough heavy weaponry to take on a Predator. And as the humans square off, so does the Predator — against another Predator, that's tracked its quarry through the depths of space to Earth. Will anyone survive the ensuing insanity?

#4: The New Jersey Pine Barrens echo with the roar of a rogue, serial-killer Predator. He's just taken on another Predator sent to kill him — and now he's gone berserk, attacking anything he encounters. Now, ex-CIA agents Poppa John and friends face a horrific extraterrestrial and the wrath of the U.S. military. Wounded, trapped, with no way out — it's a one-way ticket to hell as they face a Predator who is willing to kill his own kind!

Plot[]

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The Bad Blood.

Following the massacre by a Predator at Body Count Paintball in New Jersey, John Pulnick, owner of the paintball range and ex-CIA member, arrives to find his range swarming with police. Shortly afterwards, a CIA taskforce led by Claude Loudermilk arrives in the area. Claude attempts to remove the cops from the area and detain John, but John escapes and flees into the range woods.

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The Enforcer Predator.

There, John encounters the mutilated bodies of the lawyers and his guard dogs Duke and Medusa, along with an inhumanly large machete lodged in a lawyer's corpse. Suddenly the killer - a Bad Blood Predator that kills indiscriminately - grabs John by the head. Pulnick frees himself by ripping off one of the Predator's dreadlocks, getting thrown for it. Two cops arrive to help John, and John escapes while the Bad Blood kills them. Pulnick flees the woods and tells Loudermilk the killer isn't human or animal... only to find Loudermilk already knew. Disgusted, John uses a paintball gun to bluff his way into leaving. As the CIA team sets up to hunt the disgraced hunter, an Enforcer Predator arrives in the woods via a Drop Pod with the same goal.

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Pulnick, Kelso and the CIA team.

John visits his friend, Police Deputy Richard Keslo, giving him a number to call some old friends and the Predator's dreadlock. But Kelso had been tricked by the CIA, who apprehend John and take the men to their temporary base in a hospital. Claude meets John and the two discuss how they worked together in the past and their falling out. Claude also reveals his team plans to capture the Predator and its ship, and that he's framing John for all the deaths. Realizing that Pulnick is not the killer when the Bad Blood kills two more of Loudermilk's men, Keslo makes the call, leading to the arrival of John's old CIA team consisting of ex-agents Philip Smith, Robert Graves and Mandy Graves (formerly Mandy West before marrying Robert). The trio break into the CIA compound with Kelso's help and rescue John; they'd all gone AWOL years ago after learning how corrupt their employers were but kept in touch. The former agents and Kelso decide to take down the Bad Blood themselves.

Claude sends three teams out. One finds the Bad Blood's lair and are quickly killed by the psychotic Predator, who's developed a grudge against John (shown by his reaction to a polaroid of John). The other locates the Bad Blood's ship, finding the corpses of six Predators the Bad Blood tortured, killed and ate inside. However, one agent accidentally triggers a boobytrap while checking the flight log that makes the ship explode. This wipes out the second team, injures the Enforcer - who had just arrived at the ship - while wrecking his plasmacaster and is heard across the forest. The Bad Blood finds John's team and taunts them, but the third and largest CIA combat team arrives. Before the two groups can start shooting, the Bad Blood begins massacring the CIA team.

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The Enforcer surrounded by Pulnick's team.

The Bad Blood is in turn ambushed by the Enforcer, who almost succeeds in impaling the rogue Predator with his combi-spear. The duel is interrupted when the Enforcer is shot by one of the CIA soldiers, giving the Bad Blood the upper hand as the CIA survivors retreat. However, the wounded Enforcer is saved when John, having noticed that the Enforcer is only attacking the Bad Blood, has his team shoot the Bad Blood, who flees. The Enforcer and John's team have a brief standoff, ending when John gets the team to lower their guns. The Enforcer peacefully leaves to tend to his wounds and group realize Kelso has disappeared. Stealing a CIA radio, they learn another combat team accompanied by two helicopters is on the way through a stolen radio and grudgingly move on without Kelso.

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The Enforcer is stabbed with its own mask by the Bad Blood.

It turned out Kelso was taken hostage by the retreating CIA members in the chaos. Unfortunately, the Bad Blood catches up and kills them, saving Kelso for last and taking his head. John and his colleagues run into the CIA combat team, Loudermilk himself being on one of the helicopters. A firefight ensues, with John's team gunning down the ground troops before gunfire from the helicopters forces them to take cover. Philip is wounded trying to shoot Claude's helicopter down with his bazooka, and the group prepares for a last stand. Elsewhere, the Bad Blood finds a shack inhabited by three mountain men and their dog. The Bad Blood kills them and then takes a short rest, making trophies of his victims and even eating the men's flesh. The grotesque meal break is interrupted by the Enforcer's arrival, and they fight to the death.

During the fight both destroy some the other's weapons, take several wounds and set the shack on fire before the Enforcer disarms and overpowers his adversary. But as the Enforces is about to strike the killing blow, the Bad Blood grapples the Enforcer, removes his spiked bio-helmet and stabs him in the chest with it. The Bad Blood does a victory dance on the Enforcer's chest until he hears the sound of an approaching helicopter; Loudermilk sent one to investigate when they saw the fire. The Bad Blood steals the Enforcer's Wrist gauntlet and wrist blades, using the former to locate the Drop pod. Leaving the Enforcer for dead, the Bad Blood turns the tables on the helicopter team by hurling the Enforcer's spear at it, killing the pilot and causing the helicopter to crash. Loudermilk abandons the fight with John's team, reasoning the Predator is their top priority and can also flee into outer space while John can't leave the forest before they find him again.

Mandy does recon work while John and Robert treat Phillip's wounds. During this, she encounters the seriously wounded Enforcer Predator. Desperate, he splices together audio transmissions from Earth, telling her his mission and the Bad Blood's plan. Giving Mandy a device to find the Drop Pod, he tasks the team with killing the Bad Blood and makes a request of Mandy. Mandy accepts and grants the Enforcer Predator's request - killing him. The Bad Blood reaches the Pod and sets coordinates for the Enforcer's Mother Ship to land nearby. Loudermilk uses the transmission to track the Bad Blood, and John's team arrives shortly after, leading to a three-way-battle.

The Bad Blood leaps from a tree onto Claude's helicopter, slaying everyone on board and taking Claude's head as a trophy. Jumping clear as the helicopter crashes, the Bad Blood is attacked by John's team, but they fare little better. Phillip is slain when the Bad Blood's netgun detonates his phosphorous grenades. Robert is set on fire by the phosphorous explosion but survives until the Bad Blood impales him and uses him as a human shield against John's gunshots. Mandy's hand is crushed as she tries to help Robert, but the alien throws her aside to focus on the target his grudge - John. Despite the shots John lands, he is quickly overpowered before the Bad Blood kills John by crushing and disemboweling him, though John rips Kelso's head from the Bad Blood's belt and shoves it in the Bad Blood's mouth as a last act of defiance. The Bad Blood starts eating Kelso's head, the distraction allowing Mandy to ambush him. Mandy shoots the charging Bad Blood several times in the head, killing him and finally ending his rampancy.

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Mandy is left the sole-survivor of the slaughter.

As the CIA team is recalled, the Enforcers arrive and begin cleaning up after the incident. Acknowledging Mandy's role in the Bad Blood's defeat, they treat Mandy's wounds and give her a ceremonial necklace as a gift before leaving the planet with the Predator bodies and technology.

In the aftermath of the event, Pulnick's black ops team are blamed for the murders within New Jersey, though only John is named on the news. Mandy, in hiding, her hair now white and her hand still bandaged, is seen in her quarters introspectively staring at the stars.

Characters[]

Reprint History[]

Predator: Bad Blood, along with its prologue story from Dark Horse Comics, was eventually collected and reprinted as part of Predator Omnibus: Volume 3 in June 2008.

The complete comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on April 17, 2013, reusing Derek Thompson's cover art from Dark Horse Comics #12.

Marvel Comics[]

Following Marvel Comics' acquisition of the rights to Predator comic books, the comic was collected as part of Marvel's Predator: The Original Years Omnibus Volume 1 collection, alongside many other early Dark Horse stories. The collection was released on December 27, 2022.

Behind the Scenes[]

Bad Blood was preceded by a prequel short story, also called Predator: Bad Blood, published in Dark Horse Comics #12-14. While this is not unusual (several other Predator and Aliens vs. Predator series were preceded by similar namesake prequels), what is unusual is that the short story was never collected as an issue of the main series. In fact, the prequel story was not collected until it was included, as part of the main Bad Blood series, in Predator Omnibus: Volume 3.

Chris Warner, who doubles as co-inker and co-editor in this series, started as an artist on Predator: Concrete Jungle, the first Predator limited series, in 1989. He would go on to provide art for various Aliens and Predator series, write a portion of the long-running Aliens: Colonial Marines series, and eventually become the editor of both the Aliens and Predator comics lines at Dark Horse in 2009, his current position.

The CIA Special Task Force depicted hunting the Predators in Bad Blood may be members of the OWLF taskforce, as seen in the film Predator 2, or the Task Force shown hunting Predators in Predator: Race War. In fact, Bad Blood's task force commander Claude Loudermilk may be the same blonde, be-suited special agent known only as "Blondie" in Race War. At the end of Race War, Blondie mentions that next time things will be personal between him and the Predators, and Loudermilk expresses the same sentiment during the showdown at Bad Blood's climax.

Bad Blood writer Evan Dorkin previously served as artist on Dark Horse's second popular Predator miniseries Predator: Big Game.

In San Diego Comic Con Comics, issue 3 from 1st August 1994 (collected DHC stories), is included Predator pinup, art by Derek Thompson - unused sketch in Bad Blood comics.

Trivia[]

  • A goof within the series is from some panels that show the Bad Blood's point of view. His vision is presented as clear infrared, despite his lack of a Bio-helmet (it was broken during the space battle in the prequel). It's especially egregious as the Bad Blood can see photographs clearly enough to identify faces, even after having mace sprayed in his eyes, and spots a spider in a tree despite spiders being cold-blooded.
  • Despite the premise, Bad Blood is the third work in the franchise to depict Yautja on Yautja violence (the second was the novelization of Predator 2 and the first was the Aliens vs. Predator (comic series) from 1989).
  • Bad Blood is arguably the first comic to depict a Yautja eating (the aftermath of a Yautja's meal is shown in Predator: Big Game), and the only one depicting a Yautja eating human flesh. However, given the Bad Blood is a dangerous criminal even by Yautja standards - to the point of cannibalism, it's highly unlikely that typical Yautja eat humans despite their willingness to hunt and make trophies from sapient life.
  • The 2018 feature film The Predator, likely drew influence from the comic, as both revolve around a fugitive Predator who crash lands on Earth while on the run from another Predator pursuing it (albeit for theft rather than murder). They also clash with a government agency trying to acquire their technology and a team of rogue soldiers assembled by the protagonist who are also at odds with the agency. However, the Predator roles are reversed, with the fugitive Predator having a code of honor and being willing to work with humans like the Enforcer Predator and the Upgrade Predator being more like the Bad Blood (he killed unarmed victims, mauled a severed human head, enjoyed carnage and died the same way as the Bad Blood - shot in the head with a pistol after a showdown in a forest).

Gallery[]

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