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Predator: Big Game is a four-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from March-June 1991. It was written by John Arcudi, pencilled by Evan Dorkin, inked by Armando Gil, colored by Julia Lacquement, lettered by Kurt Hathaway, and edited by Diana Schutz, with cover art by Chris Warner.

In Dark Horse's Predator comics line, Predator: Big Game was preceded by Predator: God's Truth, published concurrently with the movie adaptation Predator 2, and was followed by Predator: Cold War.

Big Game was later adapted as a novel of the same name by Sandy Schofield, published in 1999.

Publisher's Summary[]

#1: Corporal Enoch Nakai is a young American Indian with a bad past and an even worse present. Stationed in the American Southwest, he and his good army buddy Dietl go on a recon patrol to investigate a small disturbance — but discover that the disturbance is anything but small! Try a seven-foot, bad-attitude extraterrestrial who's armed to the teeth and lookin' for trouble! Even though Nakai sees a resemblance between the Predator and the legendary Indian "adilgashi" that haunts his nightmares, it's clear that the alien has more on his mind than invading people's dreams!

#2: Cole Arm Base has been destroyed by a nuclear blast and is declared off limits to all. Corporal Enoch Nakai has other ideas as he heads for the base just the same — in defiance of his superiors' orders. On the way, he comes across the bloody trail left by the Predator and finally catches sight of the alien itself. It seems that Nakai and the army have a great deal more to worry about than a measly old nuclear explosion!

#3: The young American Indian, Corporal Enoch Nakai, has given up everything to pursue an army career — his traditional way of life, his family, and maybe even his principles. Unfortunately, the army couldn't care less — and the one man who might have a chance against the Predator is placed under arrest by his superior officers. This leaves our wily alien free to do what he does best: wreak havoc and kill people in gross ways!

#4: The fast-paced conclusion reaches new heights of excitement as Corporal Enoch Nakai goes one-on-one with the deadliest hunter in the galaxy. When his army training comes up short, Nakai relies on his native skills and intuition to try and outwit the Predator. But our otherworldly friend has a few tricks up his sleeve as well, keeping us all on the edge of our seats. Who will be the final victor?

Plot[]

Stationed at the Cole Army Base in Cibola County, New Mexico, Corporal Enoch Nakai is dealing with issues at the barracks. Part of it is discrimination from being half Navajo Native American, and the rest is his struggles to get approval from Sergeant Coates for a three-day pass to spend time with his girlfriend Alda in the town of Agate. He decides to wallow in his frustration by drinking a secret stash of Bourbon with his bunkmate, Private Dietl.

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The US military discover a Predator Scout Ship.

The following morning, Both Nakai and Dietl went out on an anti-aircraft patrol. After Nakai picked up a peculiar scent, an unknown entity suddenly ambushes them, killing Dietl with a blue energy blast and attempting to kill Nakai. Nakai flees, perceiving the attacker to be an "Adilgashi" (witch), and hitches a ride in a nearby military jeep. He is taken to Colonel Athelry and Sergeant Coates at a site where the military had recently discovered the alien spacecraft and details his encounter to them.

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Nakai being teased by other troops.

Coates has two soldiers sent to retrieve Dietl's corpse from the scene of the attack at sundown while Athelry tells Nakai to keep what he saw to himself. However, Coates' two soldiers are met with Dietl's flayed corpse strung up to a tree and are ambushed and killed by the 'Adilgashi'.

Back at base that night, two other soldiers mock Nakai while he is mourning Dietl's death, resulting in a fight. The fight is broken up by Sergeant Coates, who escorts Nakai to a storage room where Colonel Athelry awaits him. Athelry and Coates inform Nakai that his claim has been verified; the ship the army discovered was confirmed to be an alien combat vessel and that Enoch more than likely had a run in with its pilot. To keep him out of harm's way, Enoch is subsequently granted his three–day leave, despite his protest, and leaves early in the morning for nearby Agate before sunrise.

Unbeknownst to Enoch, the Predator saw him leave and knows the army has his ship. He then activates something in his wrist gauntlet and follows Enoch on foot. Back at Cole Base at sunrise, Coates and Athelry examine the ship alongside military scientists while discussing their next course of action, until Atherly notices a flashing screen on the ship. As the three men begin to realize what it means, the ship suddenly self-destructs, destroying the entire encampment with a nuclear explosion.

The size of the explosion means everyone in Agate heard it, including Enoch and Alda. Upon hearing of the news confirming Cole Base's destruction, Enoch takes Alda's car back to base to aid the investigation. As he leaves, he refuses a local sheriff request to help investigate a double murder at a sheep farm. Denied access to the site by a police cordon, Enoch calls Alda, telling her he's going to return back home. Alda informs Enoch the sheriff from earlier and their deputy were also murdered at the farm and Agate is being evacuated. The dead herder's wife and son survived, and the son was the only witness, but all he can say is what killed the men; "blue fire". Nakai, realizing that this was the work of the same creature that killed Dietl, frantically urged Alda to leave town and told her he will sneak into "what's left" of Cole Base. Unbeknownst to any but the Predator, the sheriff hit him with a few lucky gunshots before being slain, injuring him and destroying his cloaking device.

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The Predator.

As night falls, Enoch travels through the prairies of New Mexico to Cole. He later finds a faint fire in the horizon. He slowly approaches unseen and discovers the figure that is his Adilgashi - a Yautja; the alien is attempting to repair his cloaking tech and is surrounded by trophy skulls. Nakai manages to lay low but gives himself away by accidentally dislodging a small rock with his hand. As the Predator starts to investigate, he is suddenly attacked by a mountain Lion, giving Nakai enough time to flee to a nearby military camp. There, Nakai informs the camp's Colonel, Trench, of the Predator's whereabouts.

The Predator later enters the evacuated town of Agate and plays chicken with a tourist's car, causing a crash that kills the driver. As he takes the driver's head as a trophy, the Predator is confronted by three military jeeps of soldiers, including Enoch with a rocket launcher. Enoch taunts the Predator before firing the rocket launcher, giving the Predator enough warning to ensure he only suffers an indirect hit from the explosion, though he is wounded by it. A small firefight ensues as the hunter kills a soldier by hurling the severed head and manages to escape. Colonel Trench soon arrives and orders them to stop shooting in case any civilians are nearby. Enoch is ordered to stay at Agate as part of an occupying force while Major Amblin is ordered by Colonel Trench to pursue the hunter with a squad.

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The Big Game Predator emerges and massacres the soldiers.

Enoch later is sent on patrol with and gets to know fellow American-Indian, Dan Tilden, who is also Zuni like Alda. As they chat, Dan wonders why the Predator didn't use its "ray gun" during the ambush, given he threw the tourist's severed head as a projective. This makes Enoch realize that the Predator may have a special camp where he is storing his equipment, and he rushes to inform Colonel Trench. Trench accepts Nakai's idea that the Predator has a camp but refuses to call off the search party looking for the hunter and instead says he'll order major Amblin to send out a scout for a camp.

Frustrated with his rejection, Nakai steals the Colonel's jeep and drives to Amblin's squad. During this time, the Predator, breathing heavily from injuries inflicted by the explosion, does hit-and-run attacks on Amblin's squad and slays three men. The Predator still doesn't have his plasmacaster and resorts to using one of the soldier's rifles. Nakai manages to find Amblin just as the soldiers have formed up and is arrested for stealing the Colonel's jeep and disobeying orders. Amblin calls in an Apache helicopter to kill the Predator, but the Predator emerges from cover with his plasmacaster, using it to destroy the Apache and slaughters Amblin's squad. Nakai, who is unarmed, survives by fleeing into the bushes before the Predator notices him, Amblin angrily calling Nakai out before being killed himself.

The next day, Nakai scavenges binoculars and an M60 from the remains of Amblin's unit. Ashamed that he fled the previous night, Nakai resolves to atone by hunting down and killing the Predator by himself. After a tiring and dangerous journey where he nearly falls into a deep crater covered by ingenous rock, Nakai reaches a small jungle surrounded by igneous rock. He checks it with his binoculars and is able to discover his prey sleeping at a small makeshift camp surrounded by animal and human corpses. Nakai rushes through the jungle towards the Predator's position but, distracted by the rotting flesh smell from the camp as he gets close, Enoch triggers a spiked booby-trap that impales and seriously injures his right arm. Enoch's Adilgashii hears the noise and attacks, still breathing heavily from his injuries. Enoch manages to briefly fend off the attacker with the M60 before the Predator snaps the gun in half with his bare hands. Enoch flees with the Adilgashii in hot pursuit through the trees, but one branch snaps under the Predator's weight and he falls to the ground, aggravating his injuries. Exhausted and in pain, the Predator lets Enoch go and rests again.

Meanwhile, back at Agate, Colonel Trench arranges a larger force to go into El Malpais after getting no word from Amblin's squad. He assigns an Abrams Main Battle Tank to accompany them, deducing that the Predator took out the Apache helicopter, so the tougher tank has a better chance. Trench personally accompanies the battalion, putting a sergeant in charge of the force in Agate and arranging to phone in every hour on the hour, authorizing the sergeant to call an airstrike on the area if Trench misses two calls in a row. When the sergeant asks Colonel why not call in the airstrike now, Trench answers that he blames himself for whatever happened to Amblin's squad, as he'd underestimated the Predator. Therefore, Trench considers himself indebted to do everything he can to bring any surviving soldiers home. When the sergeant points out the danger, Colonel Trench replies saying the day he shies away from danger he'd send his men into is the day he's unfit for the army, and leaves.

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Enoch with the Predator's head.

Enoch returns to the crater that he almost fell in earlier. He figures that he may be able to lure the Predator into falling into the same sixty-foot hole, killing it once and for all. Nakai covers the hole in leaves and vines, then sets the jungle on fire with a lighter from the Colonel's jeep to flush the Predator out. The plan works, but the Predator finds Nakai quicker than anticipated and chases Nakai up to the formation, where he suddenly falls into the trap hole. However, the Predator quickly escapes and overpowers Nakai despite his injuries. As the Predator prepares to go in for the kill, the sound of gunshots from a distance distracts the Predator (the forest fire ignited the shells from Nakai's destroyed M60), giving Nakai enough time to grab his handgun.

Colonel Trench and his men arrive at the site where Amblin's force was attacked. As they investigate, they find a headless body of a soldier stranded in the prairies. As a soldier asks Trench who could have done this, Trench replies with "only a savage can answer that question for you, soldier". A ragged voice immediately replies "Only a savage can answer that? Then go ahead and ask him." The speaker emerges, turning out to be Nakai brandishing his Adilgashi's severed head.

Characters[]

Reprint History[]

Predator: Big Game was first serialized and reprinted in the United Kingdom in 7 parts in Aliens magazine, Vol. 1 #8-14, from September 1991-March 1992.

In Germany, the series was serialized and reprinted in 2 parts in the anthology series Predator #8-9, from June-September 1992.

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Cover to Predator: Big Game trade paperback, 1992 edition.

The comic was later collected in trade paperback form in August 1992. A second trade paperback was released in 1996, with a new cover by painter Den Beauvais.

It was collected collected as part of Predator Omnibus: Volume 2 in February 2008.

The complete comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on March 6, 2013, collected with Predator: God's Truth and reusing Chris Warner's cover art from issue 2, recolored by Dan Jackson.

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[]

The first non-movie-related Predator story ever produced by Dark Horse Comics, Predator: Big Game is considered by many to be one of the best Predator comics ever made to this day.[citation needed] Its creative-successor, Predator: Bad Blood, written by Big Game co-creator/artist Evan Dorkin, was similarly well received. Each of the stories build around strongly developed central characters, are uncompromisingly bloody and build to action-heavy climaxes worthy of the film that inspired them.

John Arcudi is a veteran writer of Aliens and Predator comics, having also worked on Predator: God's Truth, Aliens: Reapers, Aliens: Genocide, Aliens: Alien, Aliens: Stronghold, Aliens: Alchemy, Aliens: More Than Human and Predator: Prey to the Heavens. He was also the original writer on Dark Horse Comics' The Mask, which was turned into a theatrical film of the same name starring Jim Carrey.

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