When a franchise relies on one plot device over and over it can get a little stale. This week Dark Horse Comics has mixed up the formula with PREDATOR: HUNTERS #1. Chris Warner has written a script that delves into the almost 30 year history that Dark Horse has had with the property. A privately funded team is being put together to finally switch the role of hunters and prey. The Predator species has been stalking humans in war zones for years and now the tables have finally turned. Enoch Nakai from 1991’s Predator: Big game and Jaya Soames, the descendant of Edward Soames, from 1997’s Predator: Nemesis are both featured members of this new force that finally starts on the same page as the reader. They know what the Predators are, they know how to find them, and finally there is a group of humans who enter the story knowing what they are up against.
As with the recent Aliens: Dead Orbit the Predator comics stand best when they stand alone. The plot is simple and straight forward which means more time for character and story and less time wasted on building background and contrived reasons for various groups to be fighting one another. I cannot stress how refreshing it is to get the team together and the plot moving by the end of issue one and have the humans already owning the advantage. The level playing field has me far more intrigued than another series of confused humans wasting three issues trying to figure out why people keep getting their heads chopped off. I am eagerly looking forward to the coming confrontation and how it plays out. There is also the tease of other major characters from Predator series past that could make an appearance and if it turns out to be Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch I might just squeal a little bit.
Francisco Ruiz Velasco’s art is kinetic and full of detail. Action panels feel like they are in motion and the calmer scenes are brimming with beautiful backgrounds. Also to note are some really cool Predator designs that take the classic formula and play with it a bit. PREDATOR: HUNTERS #1 was a fun read and as a long time fan of the movies and comics I am looking forward to where this one is going.