When Disney bought Fox and acquired all of their franchises, it was exciting to realise that the Alien and Predator movies might finally get back on track. Though Alien hasn’t moved ahead in live action, there’s at least a TV series in development which is in good hands and sounds incredibly promising.

Predator, however, has seen arguably its strongest entry yet and definitely – without any difficulty – the strongest it’s been since the 1987 original, with the release of Dan Trachtenberg’s superb Prey last week.

Of course, Marvel have moved ahead with their Alien comics (to varying levels of success), but until now we’ve seen nothing of Predator (some behind the scenes rights issues were to blame for the delays here). It seems like great timing that just as everyone is discovering just how good Predator can be (thanks to Prey), that we get the launch of Marvel’s new Predator series just a few days later.

Theta is the child of parents working for a corporation in the mid-21st century; on a seemingly routine planetary excursion, tragedy and horror strikes without warning in the form of a Yautja (aka Predator) attack. Blaming herself, Theta vows to track down the hunter responsible for the massacre – no matter what, or how long, it may take.

I was concerned, especially in the immediate aftermath of the inventive and satisfying Prey, that Marvel’s Predator comic would fall back into all too familiar patterns and feel a little dull by comparison. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it takes the same sort of twist – that is, questioning the he concept of who the real predator is – as Prey, but instead of a historical prequel, it’s set in the future, far from Earth.

It’s interesting that the events of all previous Predator movies are listed in a timeline, though of course given when this was actually written, the Predator encounter from Prey doesn’t appear here.

It’s actually a really good story, told with a great opening action sequence and with well realised, incredibly dramatic flashbacks throughout. Theta’s determination and motivation are definitely believably cemented over the course of this first issue; her quest to find a specific Yautja turning up some interesting little nuggets of Predator lore.

Ed Brisson does a great job on writing duties then, but Kev Walker’s art is also on point. Nicely stylised and filled with shockingly graphic, gory moments, the story’s told with excellent clarity from a visual standpoint too.

Dark Horse had the rights to the Predator comics for around thirty years and released some stellar stories over the decades since their slightly unadventurous first series (though it did have ups and downs, as you’d expect over that length of time). I was concerned that Marvel wouldn’t live up to the stories we’ve already had, but I needn’t have been concerned; on the strength of this first issue alone, it looks like we’re in for a brilliantly written, nicely illustrated ride.

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