Alien vs. Predator: Civilized Beasts is a graphic novel that was published by Dark Horse Books in April 2008. It was written by Mike Kennedy, illustrated by Roger Robinson, colored by Charlie Kirchoff, lettered by Michael David Thomas and edited by Chris Warner, with cover art by Robinson.
The comic is one of the few Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comic books to serve as a direct sequel to an earlier story. Specifically, it continues the story from Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt, picking up where the comic left off and revealing the fate of the characters that survived that story.
Civilized Beasts was originally scheduled for release in December 2007, in anticipation of the release of the second Alien vs. Predator film, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, later that same month. However, due to a series of unexplained delays by Dark Horse Comics, it was not actually published until 2008.
The new world was an unspoiled frontier perfect for colonization, a virtual paradise of boundless beauty and limitless resources, untouched by human hands... but not untouched, as the unsuspecting colonists soon discovered. Now marooned on a planet infested with the deadliest Alien species ever encountered, the colonists learn firsthand the Law of the Jungle: adapt or become extinct. And a little helping hand couldn't hurt, inexplicably provided by the selfsame Predators who destroyed the colonists' ship and made them prisoners in paradise. Are these extraterrestrial hunters actually showing sympathy for the humans' plight, or do they have something even more monstrous in mind?
While the comic has never been collected, it was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on October 24, 2012.
Behind the Scenes
Civilized Beasts is one of few stories in the Alien, Predator and Alien vs. Predator franchise to be set in the 24th century advanced time period of Alien Resurrection. Other examples include the comic's predecessor, Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt, the novel Aliens: Original Sin, and the non-canon crossover comic Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator. Several recent novels have been set even further into humanity's future, starting with the book Alien: Sea of Sorrows.
Though clearly and indirectly stated a number of times that Civilized Beasts' events take place around the same time as Alien Resurrection, the time placement of the story is further confirmed by the fact that the characters' costumes are drawn to imitate those worn by the characters in Resurrection, particularly the style of the scientists' garb, which is identical to that of the film.
Since Civilized Beasts is a spin-off from the film Alien vs. Predator, both it and its predecessor use the same form of the franchise name for their title, thereby becoming two of only four Aliens vs. Predator comics in history to use the singular "Alien" in their title. The others are the reprint comic Alien vs. Predator: Whoever Wins...We Lose and the one-shot Alien vs. Predator: Sand Trap, both of which were exclusive to various DVD home video releases. All four were released during the 2000s and all four were in some way tied to the first Alien vs. Predator movie.
The Big Deletion
- Main article: The Big Deletion
Civilized Beasts expands upon the concept of The Big Deletion, first introduced in Thrill of the Hunt in an attempt to explain the inconsistencies between the existing Aliens and Aliens vs. Predator comics and the film Alien Resurrection — specifically, why the characters in Resurrection apparently have no recollection of previous encounters with the Xenomorph species after the events of Alien3, in particular their wholesale invasion of Earth as seen in Aliens: Outbreak.