Dark Horse Comics 2017
Written by Chris Warner
Illustrated by Francisco Ruiz Velasco
Lettered by Michael Heisler
From time immemorial, the extraterrestrial creatures known as the Predators have come to Earth to hunt mankind’s mightiest warriors. But this is the year that a group of human survivors turn the tables on their hunters and the Predators become the prey!
Holy mackerel sweet mother of Pearl Bailey! I will say this much i’m not normally a huge fan of the Predator’s so that this one not only caught my attention but made me excited for the entire story to play is a big deal. The opening alone was worthy of any blockbuster film and that the guy was able to get away while holding some of the dreads well that’s mighty impressive. While I may not know why the Predator was wearing a tribal mask and not one of it’s own and where it learned to mimic human speech but i’m okay with that because the outcome was kind of terrifying.
Then there’s the main story and I’ll gladly say that it was as intriguing as the opening was. Nakai is an interesting man and one who you could see right off the bat not only had a chip on his shoulder but bit his tongue so as to just get on with whatever life was giving him. Kind of defeated and broken, full of not really despair but resignation for what his life has become. That’s some massively good storytelling and teamwork to portray all that.
Francisco really nails the interiors here. I mean from start to finish, top to bottom the attention to detail is utterly mesmerizingly fantastic! Faces and facial expressions reveal so much about each individual character that we meet whether they are a throwaway or mainstay. That jungle was both spooky and beautiful, the gas station like an oasis in the desert and overall the whole book just made my eyes swim and my heart beat. That he was so in synch with what Chris has in the writing so that they could convey so much more than you’d expect is above and beyond what we see nowadays.
Well Nakai is visited by a nice eclectic group who wish for him to join them. They seem to know an awful lot about him and aren’t shy about sharing that. Turns out they all have something in common. From varied backgrounds each one has their own story about the Predators and how they fit into their lives. I also like the way Chris uses history of the franchise to tie into this story. Each character’s story beautifully shows us the type of person they are and you’ll find that you will have favourites among them. Which is dangerous because those are the ones that tend to die first.
Dark Horse has certainly been living up the Dark in their name and it’s quickly become home for the Alien/Predator franchise alongside some of the best dark, twisted and supernatural stories on stands today. This book is right up in there in terms of quality that you’ll find and beats most anything else the big two have to offer!