|This article is about the comic book series. For the novel, see Predator: Big Game (novel).|
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.
#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?
Stationed at the Cole Army Base in Cibola County, New Mexico, Corporal Enoch Nakai is struggling to get approval from Sergeant Coates for his three-day pass to spend time with his girlfriend Alda, which was being constantly delayed. He decides to sate his frustration by drinking sneaked Bourbon with his friend Dietl.
The next day, the two went out on an anti-aircraft patrol. After Nakai picked up a peculiar scent, an unknown entity suddenly ambushes them and kills Dietl with an energy blast. Nakai flees, perceiving the attacker to be an "Adilgashi" (Witch), and hitches a ride in a nearby military jeep. He locates Colonel Athelry and Sergeant Coates at a site where the military had recently discovered a crashed alien spacecraft, and details his encounter to them. They note this and tell him to keep what he saw to himself.
Later, Coates has two soldiers sent to retrieve Dietl's corpse from the scene of the attack at sundown. However, they are met with Dietl's flayed corpse strung up to a tree, and are ambushed and killed by the 'Adilgashi'.
Back at base, Nakai was mourning Dietl's death in a barrack whilst two other soldiers begin teasing him, 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 validated; the ship army discovered was confirmed to be a combat vessel and that Enoch more than likely had a run in with its pilot. Enoch is subsequently granted his three-day leave, despite his protest.
After Nakai leaves Cole Base, Coates and Athelry examine the ship, before it suddenly self-destructs, destroying the entire encampment.
Back home, upon hearing of the news of Cole Base's destruction, Enoch attempted to take Alda's car back to base so he could help out with the investigation, but he was denied access. Enoch calls Alda, telling her he's going to return back home, to which Alda informs him that a sheriff and his deputy were murdered, and that the herder's son told the news that they were killed by "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.
As night falls, Enoch travels through the prairies of New Mexico to Cole. He later finds a faint fire in the horizon with a figure sitting by it. He slowly approaches it, unseen, only to discover his Adilgashi - a Yautja. Nakai manages to hide before it notices him. As the Predator becomes suspicious, it is suddenly attacked by a mountain Lion, giving Nakai enough time to flee to a nearby military camp, informing the camps Colonel, Trench, of the Predator's whereabouts.
In the town of Agate, the Predator claims it's latest trophy before it is intercepted by Enoch in a military jeep with a rocket launcher. A small firefight ensues as the hunter manages to escape, with Major Amblin being ordered by Colonel Trench to pursue it. Enoch is ordered to stay at Agate as part of the occupying force.
He later meets with fellow American-Indian, Dan Tilden. Dan wonders why the Predator didn't use its "ray gun" after the ambush. Enoch suddenly realizes that the Predator may have a special camp where he is storing his equipment, and rushes to inform colonel Trench. Trench is despondent to Nakai's claims 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 decides to steal a jeep and ride off and look for Amblin's squad. Nakai manages to find Amblin and his men just before the Predator ambushes and slaughters them all, including Amblin. Nakai manages to escape into the bushes without being seen, slipping from its grasp once again.
The next day, Nakai, armed with an M60, traverses El Malpais, ready to get back at the Predator. After a tiring and dangerous journey, Nakai reached a small jungle surrounded by igneous rock. He checks his binoculars and is able to discover his prey, resting at a small makeshift camp. Nakai rushes through the jungle towards the Predator's position but is suddenly intercepted by a booby-trap and has his right arm impaled and seriously wounded. Enoch's Adilgashii hears the noise and attacks. Enoch manages to briefly fend off the attacker with his M60 before it intercepts him and destroys the weapon. Enoch flees with the Adilgashii in hot pursuit, but the Predator, still exhausted from his last encounter, lets him go.
Enoch returns to the igneous rock and back to a deep crater that he almost previously fell in. He figures that he may be able to lure the Predator into falling into the sixty foot hole, killing it once and for all. Nakai decides to set the forest on fire to draw it out to his position. The hunter takes the bait and follows Nakai up to the formation, where he suddenly falls into the trap hole, but it quickly recovers and overpowers Nakai. As the Predator prepares to go in for the kill, gunshots from a distance distracts the Predator (the forest fire ignited the shells from Nakai's M60), giving Nakai enough time to grab his handgun.
Meanwhile, Colonel Trench and his men 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". Nakai suddenly emerges, brandishing his Adilhashii's severed head, and responds with "Only a savage can answer that? Then go ahead and ask him."
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.
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. 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.
- While Predator: Concrete Jungle, Predator: Cold War and Predator: Dark River are referred to by the publisher as the "core Dark Horse Predator graphic novels", the events of Predator: Big Game are mentioned briefly in Cold War #2 as "...an incident down in New Mexico..."