"Predator: Hunters #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Chris Warner
Illustrated by Francisco Ruiz Velasco
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 3rd, 2017
You'd think that after a few Predators land on earth and start killing folks, especially in a major American city, that there would be more of an uproar. Apparently the government has kept the alien existence under wraps, but that's not going to stop the people who managed to survive encounters with the creatures. For far too long, the Predators have been coming to this planet and hunting the toughest humans around. Now it's time for them to be on the receiving end of the hunt as a group of people take the fight to the Predator.
This premise for Predator: Hunters is pretty simple. The first issue takes the time to introduce each of the humans and explain why they want to go on the offensive. They've seen firsthand what these aliens are capable of, which means they saw family, friends, or colleagues get brutally murdered by the hands of a highly skilled warrior. Instead of going through PTSD or seeking tons of therapy, they're pissed off and ready to fight.
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The flashbacks for each character quickly get to the point. It's like an entire Predator movie crammed into a single page. You get the setting, the situation, and the horrific and bloody aftermath. Some of them are tied in to previous Predator comics as well, so longtime fans will find some nice connections here. This should not be seen as a deterrent if you haven't read the other books. I haven't either. Writer Chris Warner does a great job in introducing each character and outlining the relevant details about their past.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Predator comic without the title character. Despite the fact that these survivors are the protagonists, you need an impressive and terrifying monster for them to go up against. Artist Francisco Ruiz Velasco draws some frightening Predators. You get a variety of them due to the flashbacks, each just as scary as the last. I know we're supposed to root for the humans, but there is something so awesome about seeing one of these guys standing triumphant over a bunch of dead bodies with a skull, spinal column, or severed head clenched in its fist. Velasco delivers that shot repeatedly.
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Of all the Predators on display, the one in the opening pages is the real star. He's presumably the one the humans will be gunning for and if that's the case, they have their work cut out for them. This guy has seen some shit. He's clearly been on earth for some time as his traditional armor has been replaced with bones, teeth, and shells. This is a warrior through and through. While I'd never want to run into any of the Predators, I'd work extra hard to avoid this one. There's one panel where he's preparing for a roar of anger and Velasco shows a close-up of his face, scarred from numerous battles. His dark red, piercing eyes stare right into your soul.
Predator: Hunters is just getting started. The cast of characters has been introduced. The enemy has been identified. Now with all that out of the way, let's throw them all together and see who comes out alive.