Story: Chris Warner
Art: Brian Thies
Colors: Wes Dzioba
Letterer: Michael Heisler
What They Say:
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!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening issue of this particular series didn’t do much for me in general as it worked to tie us back to the first character in comics form to deal with the Predators but it worked some good action. Chris Warner is dealing with a property that has a weird continuity to it in that there are a number of survivors to the various encounters over the decades and I’m not quite sure it’s worth it. Okay, I don’t think it’s worth it because there aren’t any characters even after all this time I feel any affinity toward. That makes it hard with a book like this where so many are gathered together to go after the Predators because it’s a group of people I have no real connection or interest in, and half of that is because the Predator books, for whatever reason comes from the licensing side, doesn’t allow for any real backstory or personality to be built into the Predators.
So we get more than half the book focused here on the main team we’ve been following that Herrera has settled in with basically going to get drinks and dealing with Dutch’s brother, a former NYC cop, who feeds Jaya information. I do like the connection to Dutch from the main film but that really just makes me want a Dutch series to see what happened to him. There’s a lot of joshing going on and other manly manliness that doesn’t do much for any of the characters but we also get them encountering the other team that’s in the area that’s hunting up the Predators. That provides a little tension that at least feels warranted but there’s not much that really engages with the characters.
It’s the bookends of the book that works the best, quite honestly. The opening follows a trio of cave divers whose leader is taking them to see some neat stuff on the ancient Mayan temples that are past the underwater tunnels. It’s a good sequence visually but it ends up badly for the folks as they discover that the Predators have set up shop (and throne) under there and do not like being disturbed. The back of the book does something similar where the local drug runners are looking for their missing people and packages and discover the bodies hanging of those they’re after. That the Predators set it as a trap isn’t a surprise and while one guy survives – initially – it’s a solid sequence just for reinforcing the bloody way these creatures operate but with specific reasons in mind.
Though I may not feel invested in the story I can definitely appreciate the encounters with the Predators. Brian Thies does a solid job in working the action and the flow of the panels for it and I really liked what he did in the underwater sequence, especially with the colorist on that. I have no affection for any of the human characters here and they are basically just a bunch of meat popsicles that I’m expecting to get torn apart at some point. The Predator action is good but it still really requires that the licensor eases on the restrictions some and that likely won’t ever happen until it does in film/TV form first. So while it plays out well here, it’s mostly just more of the same as we’ve seen over the decades.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 18th, 2020