"Predator: Hunters #2" 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 June 7th, 2017
After getting the team of Predator survivors together in the first issue, it's time to take the fight to the alien warrior. At least, that's what you'd think would happen. Instead, we get more info on the other members of the team and a whole lot of exposition. Unless the Predator can be beaten to death with a history lesson, this is going to be a very long battle.
Each of the members of the team have survived encounters with a Predator. They are scarred both physically and mentally. The event has changed their lives and definitely not for the better. In the scheme of things, this whole notion is a little flawed. Sure, the Predator is dangerous, but it wasn't this Predator that did all these horrific things to the team members. That would be like destroying your wife's car because someone rear-ended you on the highway. Just because a car was involved doesn't mean that all cars are evil, right?
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In any case, artist Francisco Ruiz Velasco does a phenomenal job of showing just how terrifying these creatures are. This is told without narration. Writer Chris Warner lets the images do the talking, whether that's the fear in Mandy Graves' face as she runs for her life or Ms. Soames' look of confidence standing atop a dead Predator. The former is nicely juxtaposed against her in the present day with an expression of utter determination. She will never allow herself to be put in such a helpless position ever again, even with the handicap the alien left her with.
Much of this issue is spent recapping and explaining the opening pages of the first issue where a handful of men ran away from a Predator on a tropical island. We then get a literal history of the island itself and a full rundown of how the group is going to get there. After introducing everyone in the last chapter, I was hoping we'd get to some actual action this time around. Instead, we get a few glimpses of the Predator, which look absolutely incredible, and a whole lot of talking. The introductions could have been done in half the time and we would have had much more room for the battle. As it stands, we don't get a whole lot of character development. We know that not all of these folks are going to make it out alive and we don't know enough about any of them at this point to care which ones.
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This is doubly unfortunate because the few times we see the Predator are easily the best parts of the book. It's a fierce and deadly creature capable of unimaginable levels of violence. Even with all of the technology and skills at the humans’ disposal, they are still up against a being bred for war. Velasco adds a crazed intensity to the design that really comes through in the eyes. This Predator has lived on this island for some time. This is his home and he's very good at hunting for both food and sport, growing accustomed to the area. It's like a caveman version of the alien, but with an advanced level of intelligence.
Predator: Hunters is still getting going so I'm reserving judgment until the action actually starts. Right now we have little more than a whole lot of background information. It's akin to reading the back of the DVD case for a brief synopsis of the characters and their mission. We haven't really seen anything yet. Judging by the first two issues, Velasco is going to deliver some insane battles. I just can't wait to see them.