Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CBR Predator OMNIBUS Vol. 4

 

And finally, the last one!

Want more Alien/Predator-related reviews? Check the following!!

Comic title: Predator OMNIBUS: Volume 4
Art by Various
Written by Various

Published by Dark Horse Comics
From 2008
Lineup Alien/Predator Series
Format: Omnibus-sized Trade Paperback collecting Predator : Primal #1-2, Predator: Nemesis #1-2, Predator: Homeworld #1-4, Predator: Xenogenesis #1-4, Predator: Hell Come a Walkin' #1-2, Predator: Captive one-shot, and "Predator: Demon's Gold" (from DHP #137).

They've been coming on our planet hunt humans for centuries.

Who am I talking about? The Predators of course!

These alien hunters have been using mankind for their own perverse games, all through our history. But not unnoticed, leaving marks of their hunt for ages.

This is the final omnibus, collecting the rest of Dark Horse's classic Predator run. It collects all the last post-'97 comics.


The book opens with "Primal", a story written by Kevin J. Anderson and drawn by Scott Kolins. It's about a Pred that has been hunting for trophies in the wild, in the middle of park in Alaska. Ensues a formidable combat between the Predator and a mother grizzly bear. A though forest ranger tries to make sense of that. Oh, and a forest fire gets started. Anderson is a pretty decent writer, he mostly worked on Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. The art is great, detailed and colorful.

Next we have "Nemesis". A miniseries written by Gordon Rennie and drawn by Colin MacNeil. This second feature sees a Predator hunting in old colonial India and then the Victorian-era England. Captain Soames is investigating a series of bizarre murders. The trail leads back to a mysterious creature back from his past, while he was younger living in India. It's a murder-mystery story with a Predator twist. The time of Jack the Ripper really suit the Predator. There's a subtle enough Sherlock Holmes reference. Easily one of the best stories here, the art looks absolutely fantastic, gorgeous and the mood is dark and really fit the tone of the story.

"Homeworld" is a story by James Vance and Kate Worley illustrated by Toby Cypress. In this highly stylized look into the Predators, we follow scientist Maya Bergstrom and photgrapher George Maxwell who come across a Predator. Good things is he isn't here to hunt down humans. Bad thing, turns out he's after several Bad Blood Predators running free in a park. He is after them to bring them down, since they have broken the Predator's moral codes. Some government guys hold Maya and George for interrogation while they tale a story full of contradictions and monsters out of this world. It's a fun original story that gets to speculate on the Predator's origins and the reason behind their hunt on Earth. There's also some little connections to Predator 2's task force. The story is very engaging. And Cypress art, as unique as it is, give this tale a very creepy look. Almost like an horror story. Another favorite of mine.

"Xenogenesis" was actually part of an on-going crossover simply called Xenogenesis amongst the Aliens, AVP and Predator comic book lines. It's written by Ian Edginton with art by Mel Rubi. People are well aware of the Predators, the creatures have not gone unnoticed over the years. In fact humans have been studying the alien hunters and researching their tech to understand their secrets. A strike team is formed to face their incoming theat, once and for all. At their head, Subotai, an immortal Japanese samurai who has been fighting Preds for centuries (what?!). Xenogenesis ended up being the last Alien/Predator story for over a decade, this storyline generally gathered negative reviews, and for a reason! The voluntary "fusion" look (an art style mixing some manga influence) just doesn't work with Predator, it makes the art looks like such a stereotypical 90s comic book. Just so they could try selling their franchises to younger readers. I only liked the humans using stolen tech from Predators (see the game Concrete Jungle for a much better use of that idea). It's probably the weakest feature of the bunch.


Next is "Hell Come a Walkin'", another miniseries. This one written by Nancy Collins with art from Dean Ormston. It takes in 1863, in the middle of the American Civil War. We find several Union and Confederate soldiers forced to band together against a Predator. Is a threat of a common enemy reason enough to stop the bloodshed amongst brothers? This one's is another great example of what you can play with in a Predator story! A perfect original setting, great characters. Ormston's drawings are absolutely gorgeous, they remind me of Mike Mignola's. Great use of shadows to create the mood. And one kickass Predator to boot, a real killer for a change!

"Captive" is a one shot, this one also written by Gordon Rennie (who did Nemesis above) and also illustrated by Dean Ormston from the previous story. It's about this eccentric billionaire Tyler Stern who wants a Predator for a trophy of his own. Thanks to some very powerful friends, he's able to get one! A live one at that! His interest for the alien creature turns into a real obsession and.. you guess where this is going? Who is the real captive?  The idea of people getting their hands on an actual Predator has been mused upon several times in past stories (including Predator 2) but this the only time someone actually managed to do so. Another great moody story, fast paced with interesting characters. Very original. For only two dozen pages or so!

Finally we have "Demon's Gold", another short story to close up the book. Written by Ron Marz and drawn by Claudio Castellini. Featuring nazis and a Predator, need I say more? The story is about a Nazi unit in South America during WW2, after a secret gold cache. Guess who's guarding the gold? A very short story. What is funny is that many ideas here would found their way in the movie AVP. An Incan temple with a Predator the native used to call a God, the Pred using a shuriken blade-y weapon. It's another black and white story like we've seen in the other omnibuses. Well detailed. With a lot going on in so little pages.

And that is it for this volume! They showcase a lot of original ideas Dark Horse was using by the end of the original Predator comic book series.

Expanding the mythos and adding whole new ideas to the franchise!


Overall, it's a very good book.

Well worth your time for any fans of the series or not.

This is my favorite omnibus, since it collects some of the best material. It really shows the type of scenarios the Predator series can allow.

It's a much better volume of the series. Except for Xenogenesis, the only weak link in here.

Recommended for any scifi fan and comic book reader!

I give it:
3 / 3 Aaylas!

2 comments:

  1. I love me some pred. Good shit, bro.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, dude!

      These old omnibus are pretty fun!

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