A Violent, Heartbreaking, And Unforgettable New Chapter: Reviewing ‘Predator’ #1

by Brendan M. Allen

After a hugely disappointing first crack at Alien, Marvel is having a go at the Predator franchise. I can already tell this is going to go much better for us.

The opening sequence of Predator #1 shows a brutal battle between two Yautja, which goes about how you’d expect, with the fallen hunter losing its head to the victor. Except, when the victor doffs its helmet, it’s not Yautja at all, but… human? 

From there, we pop back and forth between storyline present and flashback sequences that show who this human posing as a Yautja hunter is, and how she ended up on her current track.

I appreciate that writer Ed Brisson uses well crafted flashback sequences to give exposition. It doesn’t always work, but it does here. Without getting into spoiler territory, there are also some very well worn tropes in play (I do not mean to pry, but you don’t by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?). As is the case with Aliens and any other long standing franchise, a certain amount of retread comes with the territory. 

The important thing is how the creative team weaves the expected tropes into a fresh scenario, and so far Brisson has a firm grip on the situation. 

Kev Walker’s artwork works brilliantly, both within this story and the greater canon. One of the slicker tricks he pulls out is visually differentiating between the scenes in the current timeline and scenes that take place in the past.

With the exception of  that very first introductory action sequence, the past has thick borders, and wide, white gutters, while the storyline present features full bleed images that span the entire page. It’s subtle, but very effective in orienting the reader to the timelines, especially when the two periods occupy the same real estate on a single page.  

Walker also gets to introduce us to a whole new species, which needs to fill a dual role as cute, vulnerable little things and a valid threat to Theta’s safety. Think along the lines of the Blue Demons on Epsilon Gorniar II. 

Predator #1 keeps things relatively simple, but executes the concept cleanly. There aren’t a lot of fresh angles available for a 35 year old franchise, but I’ll be damned if this new team hasn’t found one. There’s a hell of a lot of potential here. 

Predator #1, published by Marvel Comics, from writer Ed Brisson, line artist Kev Walker, color artist Frank D’Armata, and letterer Clayton Cowles, is currently available at your local comics shop.

Summary

After the unmitigated disaster that was Marvel’s first attempt at Alien, I had reservations going into Predator #1. Not to worry, though. Just one chapter in, I can tell that the Predator franchise is in good hands.

Overall
9/10
9/10
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