Monday, October 20, 2008

Bears vs. Predator

I have a review of Dark Horse’s Predator Omnibus Volume 4 in this week’s Best Shots @ Newsarama, along with a review of Jesse Reklaw’s Slow Wave collection, The Night of Your Life.

While I think that’s the longest I’ve ever written about Predator comics, I realize it might not have been as helpful to consumers as it could have been, especially since the thing that defines Predator comics at this point in time—almost 20 years since Dark Horse’s first Predator miniseries, and after crossovers with everyone from Batman and Superman on down to Magnus Robot Fighter, The Darkness and Witchblade—is where and when the Predator fights are set, and who they’re against.

Nowadays, Predator comics are all about the high concept twist on the original alien-hunts-the-most-dangerous-prey-of-all set-up.

So I’ve developed this handy little guide to all of the stories contained within Predator Omnibus Vol. 4, which highlights the relevant information.

It’s worth noting two things in general about the collection. First, there are an awful lot of grizzly bears in it—North America’s one-time apex predators appear in three different stories. Second, while some of these stories are pretty fun and most have their moments, none quite rise to the level of John McTiernan’s 1987 masterpiece Predator.

But perhaps it’s unfair to judge any of these stories against the original film version. After all, Predator is one of the greatest achievements of Western culture; most works of art also fail to reach the high standards it has set.



Anyway:


Predator: Primal

By: Kevin J. Anderson, Scott Kolins and John Lowe

High concept: Predator decides to hunt the actual most dangerous game (that isn't a killer whale)...a pissed-off mother grizzly bear

Predator fights: A grizzly bear!!!

Bears: 3

Part that's almost cool enough to be in the movie: Every part in which Predator fights the grizzly bear, which is most of it.


Predator: Nemesis

By: Gordon Rennie and Colin MacNeil

High concept: Predator in Victorian England, shortly after the Jack the Ripper murders

Predator/s fight/s: Captain Edward Soames, special recruit of Mycroft Holmes and the Diogenes Club

Bears: 0

Part that's almost cool enough to be in the movie: Nothing in this story is that cool


Predator: Homeworld

By: James Vance, Kate Worley and Toby Cypress

High concept: Old, by-the-book Predator comes to earth to crack down on some young, upstart Predators; told through witnesses to the action being debriefed by shadowy, Men In Black, governmental types.

Predators fight: Civilians, sheriffs, a bison, each other, another grizzly bear

Fun fact: Do you know where the Predator species originally evolved from? Do you really know? A theory is offered herein.

Bears: 1

Part that's almost cool enough to be in the movie: Predator fights a bison using only his bare hands; flips it over his head; makes peace with it.


Predator: Xenogenesis

By: Ian Edginton, Mel Rubi and Andrew Pepoy

High concept: Predator in the future, fighting a covert Predator-Buster unit

Predator fights: Terrorist/pirates, a U.S. black ops team, the above-mentioned Predator-Buster unit and an immortal samurai warrior

Bears: 0

Fun fact: Predator are apparently really long-lived. Like, they can live to be 1,000. And if a human eats a Predator's heart, that human will also live for at least 1,000 years. It's basic science, really

Part that's almost cool enough to be in the movie: Nothing in this story is that cool


Predator: Hell Come A-Walkin'

By: Nancy Collins and Dean Ormston

High concept: Predator in the Civil War

Predator fights: Union soldiers, rag tag Confederate rebels, a cannon ball

Bears: 1

Part that's almost cool enough to be in the movie: Predator gets impaled by an American flag


Predator: Captive

By: Gordon Rennie and Dean Ormston

High concept: A scientist has a captive Predator he is studying in a heavily-guarded, remote desert base, outfitted as a sort of zoo-like habitat

Predator fights: Some guards

Bears: 0

Part that's almost cool enough to be in the movie:Nothing in this story is that cool


Predator: Demon’s Gold

By: Ron Marz and Claudio Castellini

High concept: Predator in South American jungles during World War II

Predator fights: Nazis

Bears: 0

Part that's almost cool enough to be in the movie: Predator rips a still-screaming Nazi captain’s head clean off his body, with the spine still attached

3 comments:

mordicai said...

A strong criteria set.

Sea_of_Green said...

Hey, Caleb -- Slightly off topic here, but I wanted to let you know that, based on your review, I got a copy of Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime for my baby daughter, Mighty Mite (who likes books and likes to make monster noises). She LOVES it! Thanks for reviewing that book -- it's a hoot! :-D

Caleb said...

S.O.G.,

Cool. It is indeed a hoot.