Predator #1 (2022)
Review by Paul Bowler.
The hunter becomes the hunted in Marvel’s long delayed Predator #1, written by Ed Brisson (Iron Fist, Ghost Rider), and with art by Kev Walker (Dr Strange, Doctor Aphra). Considering the immense legacy of the 1987 classic Predator film directed by John McTienan and the numerous Dark Horse Comics mini-series’ fans have enjoyed over the last thirty years, Disney’s absorption of the licensing agreement has now seen this long-delayed new Predator comics series finally become a reality. Writer Ed Brisson’s Predator #1 certainly has a tough act to follow with this new six-part story: Day of the Hunter. Right from the outset we are reintroduced to these extraterrestrial hunters and the sheer power of their advanced weaponry. However, what initially appears to be a smackdown between two raging Predators on a strange alien world is resolved through a surprise twist of fate that has seen the most formidable hunters in the galaxy becoming the prey. Set in the far future, the narrative is interspaced with flashbacks detailing how a young girl, Theta, witnessed the slaughter of her family during a survey mission on a newly discovered world. She grew up and vowed to hunt down the Predators, using their own armour, weapons and tactics against them… determined to hunt down the Predator that killed her mother in cold blood.
Now Theta stalks the galaxy in her parents same research vessel, with only its AI for company, and a thirst for revenge against the Predator that changed her life forever. When the native lifeforms on a planet she’s liberated from a Predator turn against her fearing she is actually one of the hunters themselves, Theta is forced to beat a hasty retreat back to her ship and escape into space.
Fortunately Theta salvaged information from the Predator’s vessel that yields some fresh leads on her target, but her ship is in a dire state, systems are breaking down and food supplies are running short. She has no option but to head for Port Medway, but being an outlaw from the authorities in what is technically a stolen ship now presents Theta with a whole new stack of problems to contend with.
Kev Walker’s art may be a tad conventional, but Walker brings a dynamic sense of motion and energy to the action sequences. The page layouts are straightforward and unfussy, which actually works well to highlight the narrative breaks as we follow Theta hunting in the present and confronting her Predator nemesis in the flashbacks. Colorist Frank D’Armata melds vidid tones and hues to accentuate every scene, and VC’s Clayton Cowles ever dependable lettering makes the exposition heavy sections less of a plod and more engrossing to read. After the initial battle between the Predator and Theta, the alien hunters presence is used sparingly. Its a good move as it helps build the suspense through means of the flashbacks, with the Predator using its high-tech camouflage to enable it to pick off the survey team one-by-one, before we finally get to see one up close and personal in all its glory.
The issue builds to a nerve jangling climax as Theta’s mission forces her to face her greatest fear, in both the past and the present. Its a heartrending moment, and one that will no doubt set the tone of this series moving forward. After such a long delay I wasn’t honestly expecting much from this new Marvel Comics Predator series, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good it actually turned out to be. Predator #1 gets off to a cracking good start, Ed Brisson and Kev Walker have ultimately proved to be an inspired creative team for this book, and there’s plenty that fans and newcomers alike will find to enjoy here in their bold new take on the Predator franchise.
Publisher Marvel Comics
Writer Ed Brisson / Artist Kev Walker
Colorist Frank D’Armata / Letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles
Main Cover Leinnil Francis Yu & Sunny Gho
About The Author
Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook