Predator: Cold War is a four-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from September-December 1991. It was written by Mark Verheiden, pencilled by Ron Randall, inked by Steve Mitchell, colored by Chris Chalenor and Rachelle Menashe, lettered by Clem Robins, and edited by Randy Stradley, with cover art by Brian Stelfreeze.

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. Specifically, it features the return of Detective John Schaefer (brother of Predator hero Alan "Dutch" Schaefer), his partner Detective Rasche and Major General Homer Philips from the comic Predator: Concrete Jungle.

In Dark Horse's Predator comics line, Predator: Cold War was preceded by Predator: Big Game, and was followed by Predator: The Bloody Sands of Time.

Cold War was later adapted as a novel of the same name by Nathan Archer, published in 1997.


Publisher's Summary[]

#1: The Predators are back, only this time they've touched down in a remote section of Soviet Siberia. "So let the Russians worry about 'em," is New York city police detective Schaefer's attitude. The only problem is someone seems to want Schaefer (the hero of Dark Horse's first Predator series) in on the action — whether he likes it or not!

#2: Something's happening in Siberia, and the U.S. military suspects what the Soviets are just beginning to find out — the Predators are back! Detective Schaefer and General Philips' elite squad parachute into the icy wasteland to investigate, only to receive a warm welcome from both the Russians and the Predators.

#3: In the sub-zero ruins of Siberian oil-pumping station, U.S. commandos take on their Soviet counterparts as the superpowers teeter on the brink of war! Only Russian Lt. Ligachev and American detective Schaefer seen interested in going after the real enemy — the Predators.

#4: Schaefer and Ligachev take the battle to the enemy when they attack the Predators' downed spacecraft. The only thing Schaefer can't understand is, if it's winter in Siberia, why is it so hot that he and Ligachev are forced to strip down to their skivvies?


In the remote wastelands of Siberia, a large, mysterious object falls from the sky, attracting the attention of a local hunter named Taro, who is quickly slain when he goes to investigate.

The fallen object begins emitting heat and radiation, which is detected at a nearby pipeline pumping station. The station's small garrison of Russian soldiers, led by Lieutenant Ligachev, heads out to discover the source of the readings, but they too are decimated by an unseen enemy, with only Ligacheva surviving the incident. The radiation from the crashed object is also picked up by the American military, who deduce from seismic readings that its source likely fell from the sky. Word reaches General Philips, who has been sidelined since the Predator incident in New York six months earlier. Realizing the object is almost certainly a downed Predator ship, he immediately begins putting together a team to secretly enter Russia and investigate the site. To this end, he sends his subordinate, Smithers, to recruit NYPD Detective Schaefer, knowing his first-hand experience with the Predators will likely prove invaluable.

However, Schaefer flatly declines to become involved with Philips' operation. He instead heads out on an undercover drug bust, but the sting goes bad and the rest of his team is killed. Schaefer himself is only saved when Smithers and several of Philips' men burst in and kill the suspects, some of them in cold blood, before they knock Schaefer out with a tranquillizer. He awakes on a helicopter with Philips, finding he has been press-ganged into joining the mission.

As political tensions between the United States and Russia begin to rise over the mystery radiation readings in Siberia, Schaefer is introduced to Philips' team and their high-tech equipment, neither of which impress the grizzled detective. The team is inserted into Russia aboard a modified B-2 stealth bomber; upon reaching the pumping station near the crash site, they discover its occupants have been slaughtered by Predators and several mechanical components have disappeared. Before they can plan their next move, the team is surrounded by Russian reinforcements led by Ligachev, who after being debriefed in Moscow has been ordered to return and discover the cause of her unit's slaughter. Schaefer catches her attention by being the only American able to speak Russian and his stories of Predator visitation, so Ligacheva begins questioning him while the rest of the Americans are detained.

Back in the US, Schaefer's former partner Rasche, now serving as sheriff in a sleepy Oregon town, becomes concerned by Schaefer's apparent disappearance. Investigating, he learns of Smithers' involvement and forcefully interrogates the agent into revealing the clandestine mission to Russia and Schaefer's enforced participation. With US-Russian relations continuing to deteriorate and all-out war becoming a possibility, Rasche goes to the Russian ambassador and divulges his experiences and what he has learned, hoping to both save his former partner and prevent a disastrous conflict. Convinced by Rasche's testimony, the ambassador travels to Russia with Rasche to investigate.

At the pumping station, a rift erupts amongst Ligacheva's men when the Lieutenant refuses to assault the downed Predator ship; she is eventually removed of command by her superiors in Moscow and replaced by her ambitious subordinate Yashin. The American prisoners make an attempt at escaping their captors but are re-apprehended by when their high-tech, cold-resistant equipment begins failing in the extreme Siberian cold. Meanwhile, having learned more about the Predators from Schaefer and rapidly losing trust in the Russian army, Ligacheva elects to go to the Predator ship alone and destroy it as revenge for her massacred soldiers. Admiring her courage, Schaefer accompanies her.

They find the vessel lying in a deep ravine, but are attacked before they can reach it by Yashin and the other Russians, who now have orders to preserve the crash site so that it can be stripped of useful technology. The firefight is interrupted by Predator booby-traps and a Predator, which slaughters Yashin and his men before the latter is killed by Schaefer and Ligacheva. Continuing on, the heat from the crashed ship forces the pair to discard their cold weather gear before they locate it and head inside. They find the missing parts, revealing the Predators had been stealing human technology and used it to jerry rig their ship. Schafer and Liacheva plan to destroy it with a C4 charge, but before they can set the bomb they are attacked by more Predators, killing two before being forced back outside. They are immediately apprehended by Philips and the Americans, who have once again escaped their captors at the pumping station. While the remaining Predator watches the conflict, Philips orders Schaefer and Ligacheva killed when they refuse to cooperate, but they are saved by Rasche, who arrives with a much bigger force of Russians.

Ligacheva is ordered not to destroy the ship by her superiors, but when the now-repaired vessel begins to lift off she kicks the bomb into the open hatch; the craft is obliterated shortly before reaching orbit. Her commanding officer threatens her with dishonorable discharge and imprisonment for her actions, which she brushes off in her newfound defiance, but the Russian ambassador steps in to suggest the entire incident would be best buried. Schaefer, meanwhile, fondly suggests to a stunned Rasche that Ligacheva is the kind of woman they could use in the NYPD.

Reprint History[]

Predator: Cold War was first serialized and reprinted in the United Kingdom in 8 parts in Aliens magazine, Vol. 2 #1-8, from July 1992-February 1993.


Cover to Predator: Cold War trade paperback by Ray Lago.

The comic was later collected in a trade paperback released in May 1993 with a new painted cover by Ray Lago.

It was collected again as part of Predator Omnibus: Volume 1 in August 2007.

The complete comic was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on January 30, 2013, reusing Lago's cover art from the trade paperback release.

The series was collected again as part of the oversized hardcover Predator 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series trade paperback, alongside the related stories Predator: Concrete Jungle and Predator: Dark River. The collection was released in June 2017 (to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the film Predator).

The series was collected and released again as part of Predator: The Essential Comics Volume 1, released on December 12, 2018.

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[]

Cold War is the second in a trilogy of stories featuring Detective Shaefer, which began with Predator: Concrete Jungle and concluded with Predator: Dark River. These three comics are now referred to as the "core Dark Horse Predator graphic novels" by the publisher.[1]

Writer Mark Verheiden also penned the other two stories in the Schaefer trilogy. Considered a hugely influential figure in the Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comics lines, Verheiden also wrote Aliens: Outbreak, the first ever Aliens comic, along with several other core comic book stories in the Aliens and Predator lines. Aside from his contributions to those franchises, he has worked on the likes of Superman for DC Comics, and wrote the scripts for the feature films The Mask and Timecop, both of which are based on Dark Horse properties, the latter being a Verheiden creation. In recognition of his contributions to the Alien vs. Predator universe, the mercenary Mark Verheiden in the film Alien vs. Predator was named after the author.

Artist Ron Randall also contributed artwork to each of the three miniseries in Verheiden's Predator trilogy. For the original 1989 comic, he was assisted by Chris Warner, but Randall handled the two sequel series by himself.



Issue covers[]