13th Feb2020

‘Predator: Hunters III #1′ Review (Dark Horse Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Chris Warner | Art by Brian Thies | Published by Dark Horse Comics

predator-hunters-3-1-cover

Dark Horse Comics must thank their lucky stars every year that they managed to get their mitts on the Predator franchise many moons ago, as it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Going way back to 1989, Predator: Concrete Jungle was released, and I was there to pick it up. I loved Predator back in the day, still do actually, and this was a way to get my fix another way. It was a decent book, and here we are thirty years later, Dark Horse still have the rights and have produced many, many books along the way. A lot of very good writers and artists have had a bash at the characters down the years, but one of the creators on that first 1989 book was Chris Warner. Guess who’s back for this one?

Chris Warner has pretty good chops when it comes to the franchise books. He’s worked extensively on Terminator, Aliens, and of course, Predator. I guess he’s what you would call a safe pair of hands when it comes to interplanetary alien hunters. Before we jump in, you can’t help but have noticed the III after the word Hunters. Yep, there have been two books before this one in this series of minis, but have no fear, I have not read those either so I’m sure it’ll all make sense. If it doesn’t, you’ll be the first to know. From the promo blurb, it seems to revolve around jungles, drug runners, and soldiers. and Predators. I think we’ll pick this one up easy enough.

We kick off with a flashback from Raphael Herrera, a former drug runner who had a rather messy encounter with a Predator back in the day. He survived it though, so there’s that. His fellow drug runners, however, didn’t, and he’s seemingly been recruited into the Hunters team, who I am guessing seek out Predators wherever they show up. The other members of the team don’t seem too keen on him it seems, and he is a little conflicted. Conflicted by the fact he knows he did bad things, but that God allowed him to live while his friends were slaughtered. He even survived being captured by a Predator, which almost never happens. He now thinks God must have a purpose for him, but why choose a ‘bad’ person like him? Clearly Warner wants us to bond a bit with Herrera, as he looks set to carry the narrative load, with a whole lot of internal monologuing.

The team pitch up in Belize, Central America, where it soon becomes apparent they are not the only interested people out there. One sweaty jungle trek later, we have humans ambushing humans, then a Predator ambushing humans. Guts flying everywhere, decapitated heads, arrows through throats…no Queensbury rules here. It’s as down and dirty as you would expect, and when the dust is settled, only one person is left standing. Well, I say person… I think it is fair to say this was short and sweet. It had barely got going before it was over. A little bit of talking, a little bit of fighting. What there was, was executed very well. Warner does nice character work with Herrera, though everyone else is a bit bland, and the art team do some nice action sequences. I did find myself though counting just how many story pages there were, as I just didn’t believe I had got a full issue’s worth. 20 pages it was, but quite a few large panels here and there show that the script was probably a little light.

On balance, a decent enough first issue, enough in there to get me back next month. After such a light world building issue this time round though, I expect a little more depth next time round. They teased there’s more to come, so we’ll hold them to that (I really hope they have to get to the chopper at some point too. It’s practically the law with Predator stories).

***½  3.5/5

Predator: Hunters III #1 is out now from Dark Horse Comics.

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