The Predator comic book line was a long-running series of comic books published by Dark Horse Comics, based on the Predator franchise. For 30 years, Dark Horse was the sole publisher of Predator comics, and the company produced a number of limited series, one-shots and short stories, starting with the comic Predator: Concrete Jungle (originally titled simply Predator) in June 1989.
Following the purchase of 20th Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company in 2019, the license to produce Predator comics moved to Marvel Comics (along with the Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator lines), thus bringing Dark Horse's involvement with the franchise to an end. As a result of the change in ownership, publication of the ongoing series Predator: Hunters III was affected, although the comic was ultimately completed as a trade paperback release, proving to be the final Predator release from Dark Horse.
During the time they owned the rights to produce Predator comics, Dark Horse published a total of 41 different Predator stories, as well as various collected editions, reprints and non-canon crossover comics that introduce the titular Predator species to other franchises.
- 1 Publication History
- 2 Common Themes
- 3 Dark Horse Predator Comics
- 4 Marvel Predator comics
- 5 Novel Adaptations
- 6 Cancelled Comics
- 7 External Links
- 8 References
- 9 Navigation
Origins and development
Dark Horse Comics launched its Predator comics line in 1989. Much as had been the case with the company's already-successful Aliens line, launched the previous year, the first Predator series that Dark Horse produced (originally titled simply Predator, but later renamed Predator: Concrete Jungle in collected form) was a continuation of the film on which the licence was based — in this case, it followed Detective Schaefer, brother of Dutch from Predator, as he investigated his sibling's mysterious disappearance whilst simultaneously dealing with a Yautja incursion in New York City. The story also featured the return of Major General Philips from the film, now leading a clandestine military organisation attempting to deal with the Yautja.
Again much like the Aliens line, the Predator line continued semi-regularly as a series of miniseries, one-shots and short stories, the majority of which featured original characters and storylines, focusing on widely varied encounters between humans and the Yautja throughout the course of human history. However, both Schaefer and Philips returned in two further adventures, and the three series featuring them came to be referred to as the "core Dark Horse Predator graphic novels" by the publisher.
In 1992, inspired by the success of the Aliens vs. Predator crossover from two years previous, Dark Horse teamed up with DC Comics and introduced the Predator to seminal comic book character Batman in the landmark series Batman versus Predator. The success of the comic led to an ongoing series of crossover comics that pitted various characters, both from within Dark Horse and from other publishers, against the Predators. Similar crossovers also emerged for both the Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator lines. Also in 1992, Dark Horse attempted to expand the Predator comics line to the United Kingdom market, first as part of Aliens magazine and later in the anthology magazine Total Carnage. However, the mid-1990s fall in comic book sales led to both magazines being cancelled in early 1994 and Dark Horse retreating to its traditional American base.
Hiatus, relaunch and going digital
Following Predator: Xenogenesis in 1999, the Predator line (along with Dark Horse's Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator lines) entered a deliberate ten-year hiatus. During this break, the only Predator comics published were Omnibus collections of the existing comic books.
The break in Predator comics finally came to an end in 2009, when Dark Horse relaunched the line with a new limited series titled Predator: Prey to the Heavens. Beginning in January 2013, Dark Horse began issuing its back catalogue of Predator comics — starting with the original series, Predator: Concrete Jungle — as digital downloads via its subsidiary Dark Horse Digital. More recent titles in the line were published simultaneously in both physical and digital formats.
Dark Horse's Predator line potentially proves somewhat more complicated to follow than the Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator lines, at least in its early days, in that it includes a number of serialized short story prequels that share their title with the main series into which they lead; thus there are actually two comics called Predator: Race War, two called Predator: Bad Blood etc. In most (but not all) cases, these serialized prequels were subsequently collected and reissued as a "bonus" issue, typically designated issue #0, of the relevant main series.
End of an era
In 2019, the Walt Disney Company purchased the film studio 20th Century Fox, and with it the rights to the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchises. As a result of the merger, Dark Horse lost the license to produce Predator comics, which instead moved to Disney-owned Marvel Comics. As a result of the change in ownership, the planned series Predator: The Original Screenplay was cancelled. Later issues of the limited series Predator: Hunters III, which was ongoing at the time, were also cancelled, althoguh the compelted story was eventually published as a trade paperback, thus representing the final Predator release from Dark Horse.
The Predator comic series, much like the originating Predator films, have tended to focus mostly on stories told from a human point of view, usually with lone or small numbers of Predators acting as mysterious antagonists, visiting the Earth and causing havoc and terror amongst their human prey. In contrast to the Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator comics, which predominantly take place away from Earth in the futuristic time period of the Alien films, the vast majority of Predator comics have been set on Earth in a contemporary or even historical setting; however, since the line's relaunch in 2009, this has proven less consistently true. The exact motives and culture of the Yautja are typically left mysterious in the comics, although these elements are explored more thoroughly in the Aliens vs. Predator spin-off comics.
Dark Horse Predator Comics
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (June 1989-Mar 1990) aka Predator
- Predator: God's Truth (Dec 1990) aka Predator
- Predator: Big Game (Mar-June 1991)
- Predator: Cold War (Sept-Dec 1991)
- Predator: The Bloody Sands of Time (Feb-Mar 1992)
- Predator: Rite of Passage (Aug-Sept 1992)
- Predator: Blood Feud (Nov 1992-Feb 1993)
- Predator: Race War (short story) (Nov 1992-Jan 1993)
- Predator: Race War (series) (Feb-Oct 1993)
- Predator: The Pride at Nghasa (May-Aug 1993)
- Predator: Bad Blood (short story) (Aug-Nov 1993)
- Predator: The Hunted City (Dec 1993-Feb 1994)
- Predator: Bad Blood (series) (Dec 1993-June 1994)
- Predator: Blood on Two-Witch Mesa (Apr-May 1994)
- Predator: Invaders from the Fourth Dimension (July 1994)
- Dark Horse Classics - Predator: Jungle Tales (Mar 1995)
- Predator: 1718 (July 1996)
- Predator: Dark River (July-Oct 1996)
- Predator: Strange Roux (Nov 1996)
- Predator: Kindred (Dec 1996-Mar 1997)
- Predator: No Beast So Fierce (Mar 1997)
- Predator: Hell & Hot Water (Apr-June 1997)
- Predator: Primal (July-Aug 1997)
- Predator: Bump in the Night (Aug 1997)
- Predator: Nemesis (Dec 1997-Jan 1998)
- Predator: Hell Come a Walkin' (Feb-Mar 1998)
- Predator: Captive (May 1998)
- Predator: Demon's Gold (Nov 1998)
- Predator: Homeworld (Mar-June 1999)
- Predator: Xenogenesis (Aug-Nov 1999)
- Free Comic Book Day: Aliens/Predator (May 2009)
- Predator: Prey to the Heavens (June 2009-Jan 2010) aka Predator
- Predators (series) (June 2010)
- Predators: Surviving Life (July 2010) aka Predators: Preserve the Game
- Predator: Fire and Stone (Oct 2014-Jan 2015)
- Predator: Life and Death (Mar-June 2016)
- Predator: Hunters (May-Sept 2017)
- Predator: Hunters II (Aug 2018-Jan 2019)
- Predator: Hunters III (Feb-Nov 2020)
- Predator Omnibus: Volume 1 (Aug 2007)
- Predator Omnibus: Volume 2 (Feb 2008)
- Predator Omnibus: Volume 3 (June 2008)
- Predator Omnibus: Volume 4 (Sept 2008)
- Predators (trade paperback) (Oct 2010)
- Predator 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series (June 2017)
- Aliens/Predator/Prometheus/AVP: Fire and Stone (Apr 2018)
- Prometheus/Aliens/AVP/Predator: The Complete Life and Death (Oct 2018)
- Predator: The Essential Comics Volume 1 (Dec 2018)
- See also: Crossover comics line
- Batman versus Predator (Dec 1991-Feb 1992)
- Predator versus Magnus, Robot Fighter (Nov 1992)
- Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch (Dec 1993-Mar 1994) aka Batman versus Predator II
- X: Comeback (Aug 1995) aka X #17
- Ghost: Trophy Ghost (Aug 1995) aka Ghost #5
- Motorhead #1 (Aug 1995)
- Agents of Law #6 (Sept 1995)
- X: Hell Night (Sept 1995) aka X #18
- Tarzan versus Predator: At the Earth's Core (Jan-June 1996)
- Predator versus Judge Dredd (Oct-Dec 1997) aka Judge Dredd vs. Predator
- Batman versus Predator III: Blood Ties (Dec 1997-Feb 1998) aka Batman versus Predator III
- Superman vs. Predator (May-July 2000)
- JLA versus Predator (Feb 2001)
- Archie vs. Predator (Apr-June 2015)
- Archie vs. Predator II (July-Nov 2019)
Marvel Predator comics
- Predator (comic) (Nov 2021)
Several of the comics in the Predator line have been adapted into novels:
- Predator: Concrete Jungle by Nathan Archer, an adaptation of the comic of the same name.
- Predator: Cold War by Nathan Archer, an adaptation of the comic of the same name.
- Predator: Big Game by Sandy Schofield, an adaptation of the comic of the same name.
Several Predator comics have been planned and possibly partially completed but remain unreleased.
- "Dark Horse Comics - Predator Omnibus Volume 1". Retrieved on 2015-05-18.