When the future of the Alien franchise became nebulous following the announcement of 20th Century Fox’s impending sale to Disney, I reminded Dread Central readers that the universe launched by Ridley Scott in 1979 has seen new life in numerous comic books and graphic novels. These stories also feature some highly unlikely yet vastly compelling crossovers. Read about Xenomorphs clashing with the likes of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the link below.
Related Article: Superheroes You Never Realized Battled Xenomorphs
But Xenomorphs aren’t the only evil E.T.s reborn in ink. Since this June is “Predator Month” at Dread Central, and the marketing campaign for Shane Black’s The Predator is on the verge of kicking into high gear, it seemed like the perfect time to examine that franchise’s forays into comics as well.
The Predator hits US Theaters beginning September 14th; the film’s sizable ensemble cast includes Thomas Jane, Jake Busey, Trevante Rhodes, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, and Augusto Aguilera.
From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.
5 years after going toe-to-toe with a horde of Xenomorphs in 1995, Krypton’s Golden Boy battled a stranded Predator in a DC/Dark Horse Comics crossover written by David Michelinie and illustrated and inked by Alex Maleev. Superman vs Predator is a 3-issue series that ran from May thru July 2000.
Superman joins a S.T.A.R. Labs’ expedition to investigate a derelict spaceship uncovered in the dense jungles of Central America. The Man of Steel finds himself afflicted by an alien pathogen causing his powers to fluctuate and, in his weakened state, is taken prisoner by a mad scientist with a band of vicious mercenaries.
Superman escapes imprisonment and returns to the spaceship, looking for answers. Instead, he comes face to face with a Yautja (better known as a Predator to most horror fans). Chaos ensues as the hero, the alien, and the mercenaries collide. If the Predator doesn’t decimate humanity, a lunatic’s plan to infect the world with an extraterrestrial virus just might.
Years before fending off a pack of Xenomorphs on the streets of Gotham City, Batman crossed paths with a Predator. Collaborating with DC, Batman versus Predator is actually Dark Horse Comic’s very first Alien/Predator/Alien vs Predator crossover with another property. Written by Dave Gibbons and illustrated by Andy Kubert, the tremendous success of Batman versus Predator (which ran from December 1991 thru February 1992) led to additional rematches.
Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch ran from December 1993 thru March 1994, and Batman versus Predator III: Blood Ties ran from December 1997 thru February 1998. Eventually, the Caped Crusader draws the ire of a young, hot-shot Yautja who becomes obsessed with destroying Gotham’s savior. It isn’t until Batman discovers new technology that allows him to see through a Predator’s cloaking device that he gets an upper hand; also, teaming up with the Huntress allows him to deal the intergalactic bounty hunter a fatal blow.
Judge Dredd “is the Law” in Mega-One City, but Predators only obey the law of the hunt. Ideologies and futuristic weaponry collide in Predator vs Judge Dredd, a 3-issue Dark Horse/Fleetway Comics collaboration written by John Wagner and illustrated and inked by Enrique Alcatena.
Running from October thru December 1997, the Yautja threat to Mega-One culminates in a one-on-one battle royale where Dredd’s survival is in no way guaranteed. His life depends on an alliance with Psi-Judge Schaefer, a descendant of 20th Century detective Alan Schaefer—whose brother “Dutch” knew a thing or two about fighting Predators.
“When they hunted his friends like wild animals, when they savaged his sacred land of Pellucidar, these outsiders… these Predators… started a fight. But when they ravaged Jane, they started a war!”
From January thru June 1996, Dark Horse went solo on a crossover that saw the Lord of Greystoke journey to the center of the Earth to save the primordial paradise known as Pellucidar from a band of relentless extraterrestrial bounty hunters. Tarzan versus Predator: At the Earth’s Core was written by Walter Simonson, illustrated and inked by Lee Weeks.
Though hardly your typical crossover, this mash-up gives the Predator mythology literary resonance fans of the franchise are likely to find intriguing.
Archie vs Predator
The final entry on this retrospective is absolutely the most bizarre. And if you think this one pulls its punches for a younger audience, you may be shocked at the mayhem unleashed.
A Predator spent a stint in Riverdale for a 4-issue crossover that ran from April thru July 2015. Written by Alex de Campi and illustrated by Fernando Ruiz, Archie vs. Predator kicks off in Costa Rica, where the gang is enjoying Spring Break. Soon, however, “ party games and beach games are replaced by the Most Dangerous Game!” A ticked-off Yautja then chases Archie and crew back home, where things don’t turn out well for the titular teen. Have a gander:
With The Predator certain to push the franchise back into the limelight, we can only guess at what unlikely yet inspired mashups creative minds will bring us next.