Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Brian Thies
Colorist: Rain Beredo
If you’re talking about Predator, it’s very hard to get a conversation going with someone when inevitably it just boils down to a couple of guys yelling quotes from the 80s action classic at each other. Capturing the character’s magic in sequential sequels, spinoffs, video games and whatever else has been exceedingly hit or miss, but perhaps Dark Horse’s new four part series “Life and Death” can bring the killer instinct to the page.
With a front cover (featuring some beautiful art by David Palumbo) teasing at one such Predator seemingly tracking another familiar looking fallen ship, we’re itching for some Xenomorphs – or even the Engineers from Prometheus, what a face off that would be! – it’s enough of a tantalising taster to have us feverishly turning the pages.
We first meet the Rapid Response team who are a part of the United States Colonial Marine Corps, as they find themselves hovering above LV-797. Not to be cynical, but the guys seem to think that it’s an easy job ahead of them; “a standard compliance investigation” says the man calling the shots – oh, and he just so happens to be a representative of Weyland-Yutani. This can’t go wrong, can it?
After a wee bit of prolonged setup – which is ironically no stranger to fans of the Alien franchise director cuts – we’re planet bound. Remember, it’s a simple in and out; track down the scumbags who are carrying out “illegal prospecting” on the surface, that’s it. Because why would Weyland-Yutani lie to anyone?
So the team go to land on the planet, despite all the things that should be red flags against this mission… but then there’s that telltale shimmer, and a Predator is here to make things difficult.
The second half of this first issue flows alright, there just isn’t much to grab you until the Predator turns up again; you really are waiting around, with a bunch of expendable military grunts, wanting a bit of murder to liven up the panels. When it gets there, the murder certainly adds a bit of colour, but so far the itch hasn’t been scratched yet.
The first Predator kill is traditionally brutal, but let’s just hope that the next issue doesn’t insist on this snail’s pace, otherwise we have another disappointing Predator outing, and there’s only so many of those a heart can take.
2.5 out of 5 nerds