Predator: Hunters III is an ongoing four-issue limited comic book series that is being published by Dark Horse Comics from February to May 2020. It is also being published simultaneously in the digital format via Dark Horse Digital. The story is written by Chris Warner, illustrated by Brian Thies, colored by Wes Dzioba, lettered by Michael Heisler, and edited by Randy Stradley and Judy Khuu, with cover art by Thies and Dzioba. Andy Brase is also providing variant cover art for the first issue.
The comic is one of the few Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comic books to serve as a direct sequel to earlier stories. Specifically, it is a continuation of Predator: Hunters II, while it also sees the return of Detective Schaefer from the original Predator series Predator: Concrete Jungle, and Lieutenant Ligachev from Predator: Cold War.
In the Predator comics line, Predator: Hunters III was preceded by Predator: Hunters II.
On Jaya Soames' private island, Raphael Herrera is standing on the beach recalling his first encounter with a Yautja, how he was the sole survivor and how he eventually overcame and killed the creature.
Indoors, Enoch Nakai expresses suspicion as to how Herrera had returned, claiming that he may have exchanged info with Project Stargazer about them for his freedom. Jaya addresses this suspicion to Herrera directly, though he himself does not understand why he was let go. Instead, he desires to focus on wiping out all remnants of Predator activity on Earth. In Belize, Central America, a lone Predator ambushes and slaughters a group of criminals.
Meanwhile, a young trio of cave divers, Kim, Tamara and Donny, venture into old Mayan limestone caverns to discover old ritual caves. The divers then find skulls placed on the stalagmites along with bags filled with heroin salvaged from traffickers. Suddenly, they are met with two Predators, one with a silver mask, the other brown. The Brown masked Predator subsequently impaled Donny in the chest after he brandishes a knife out of fear. Kim is then blasted through her chest by a Plasmacaster shot before she could use a rifle to defend herself and Tamara. Vulnerable, Tamara retreats into the waters, only to be followed underwater and grabbed by the silver-masked hunter. Tamara is ultimately strangled to death underwater. The Predator returns with her goggles, leading to something of a disagreement between the two Yautja, very likely due to the fact that Tamara was unarmed and Kim never used her weapon. They both draw their Wristblades and prepare to duel.
Jaya and her team arrive in Belize and reside themselves at a local bar. There, they meet up with fellow survivor of a Predator encounter John Schaefer, brother to Dutch Schaefer. John details that his brother hasnt been seen since his encounter with the Jungle Hunter. He has been attempting to trace his brother for years, with no success. He also claims that Predators are naturally attracted to hunting in Central and South America due to the heat. The group also encounter a fellow group of Predator Hunters, led by Russian commando Valentina Ligachev. Schaefer eventually concludes that he believes that a group of Predators are conducting hunts underneath the limestone caverns of Belize.
The group travel to the Mayan caverns and dive into the waters. After coming across Tamara's corpse in the water, the team presses on and eventually locates an air-pocket to an old cave, the Predators' base of operations. The group explore deeper and encounter ancient Mayan ruins, and conclude that they will ambush the creatures within the ruins.
Meanwhile Ligachev's group is investigating nearby on the surface, before the silver-masked Predator ambushes them. Having a history with Ligachev, John opts to return to the surface to help her, and the group decide to accompanying him. Scahefer is attacked by the Predator, but before he is killed, he shoves a knife deep into its arm, incapacitating it. The brown-masked Predator comes to his aid, and putting his arm around his shoulders, the two retreat to the top of the Mayan pyramid, with Raphael following them.
The two Predators reach the top. Brown activates a distress beacon whilst silver activates a Self-Destruct Device. The two enter another confrontation, resulting in the latter Predator being killed by the former. By the time Raphael reaches the top of the pyramid, he is met with a massive Mother Ship. A Predator clan emerges, with the clan leader possessing an ancient pendant of a Holy Cross that Herrera notices. They escort brown back to the ship, and takes the fresh corpse of other hunter.
With the mission over, Schaefer and the hunters relax at a bar. Jaya offers Schaefer to join the team, though he declines, citing that finding his brother takes priority. He takes his leave, but not before warning the others about Herrera being a "snitch". Herrera ultimately confesses that he was blackmailed by Stargazer to serve as a mole, or else he would be deported back to his home country and trialled for his previous affiliation with the cartel. He had no intention of obeying Stargazer, however, and states that he will repent through his service to the Hunters. Nakai offers a toast to Raphael - "here's to atonement".
The publication of the series was interrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, entering a hiatus after the first two issues went on sale. Following this, the rights to publish Predator comic books moved from Dark Horse Comics to Marvel Comics, further affecting the release of Predator: Hunters III. Ultimately, Dark Horse confirmed that while the series would be completed, the remaining single issues would not be published, and instead the series would conclude with its trade paperback release in November 2020.
#1: Raphael Herrera was a drug runner until the fateful night when his men were wiped out by an unearthly monster. Now, as part of the Predator Hunters team, Herrera's worst memory is reborn. Cartel soldiers are being wiped out in the jungles of Central America, and that means the Predators have returned!
#2: The Hunters team is in Belize, where they have an acrimonious meeting with the newly arrived Russian team that is after the same quarry. Fortunately, an unexpected player from Dark Horse's very first Predator series is there to prevent bloodshed.
Meanwhile, the Predators are busy racking up a body count in the jungle!
#3: The Hunters compete in a game of wits with the Russians to find — and kill — the Predators. As they follow the Predator trail deeper into the treacherous jungle, they make a shocking discovery — there are two Predators! The hunters may become the hunted...
#4: Violence and carnage erupt! The Hunters await the opportunity to ambush the Predators, but a companion's past may cost them the hunt and their lives!
- Hunters III was the last Predator comic to be published by Dark Horse Comics.
- Hunters III is one of only three Aliens, Predator, Aliens vs. Predator and Prometheus comics to use roman numerals in its title, the others being the short story Aliens vs. Predator II (although that comic's title was changed to the more conventional Aliens vs. Predator 2 after several installments) and its predecessor Predator: Hunters II.
- Hunters III marks the return of character John Schaefer, older brother to Alan "Dutch" Schaefer who made his debut in in Predator: Concrete Jungle.
- Valentina Ligachev also makes a return from the series Predator: Cold War.
- "AVPGalaxy - Dark Horse Comics – What’s Still Coming and What is Cancelled". Retrieved on 2020-08-26.