The story was a direct sequel to 2004's original AVP film comics spin-off Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt, and scripted and illustrated by the same creative team of writer Mike Kennedy and artist Roger Robinson. The trade paperback was colored by Charlie Kirchoff, lettered by Michael D. Thomas and featured a cover by Robinson. It was edited by Chris Warner.
The story literally picks up where Thrill of the Hunt left off, answering the question of what happened to the characters after the end of the first story, and fleshes out a bit more about the history of the cataclysmic AVP universe event of "The Big Deletion" which takes place between the known A, P, & AVP timeline and the events of Alien Resurrection.
In the AVP comics line, Alien vs. Predator: Civilized Beasts was followed by the limited release DVD-exclusives Alien vs. Predator: Sand Trap (2007) and Alien vs. Predator: Dead Space (2008). The next regular AVP comic to appear was at the relaunch of the AVP line with Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War (2010).
Following the events of 2004's Thrill of the Hunt, Alien vs. Predator 2: Civilized Beasts again teams fan-favorite writer Mike Kennedy (Lone Wolf 2100) and artist Roger Robinson (Gotham Nights) in an action-packed battle royale to determine the heavyweight championship of the galaxy!' Just in time for the anticipated release of the film Alien vs. Predator 2, coming December 2007!
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?
Behind the ScenesEdit
Since Thrill of the Hunt was originally a spin-off from the film "Alien vs. Predator", it and its sequel, Civilized Beasts, would use the same spelling for their name, becoming two of only four AVP comics in history to use the singular word "Alien" in their title (the other two were the later AVP-movie DVD release spin-off comics AVP: Sand Trap and AVP: Dead Space, also written by Kennedy). The four AVP-movie spin-off comics serve to form their own sideline of AVP comics, which actually constitute the only Alien, Predator or AVP comics produced by Dark Horse in the 2000s.
In all other comics usages the plural form "Aliens" has been used and the title of the series has been Aliens vs. Predator since its inception in 1989. With the release of the AVP Omnibus editions in 2008 and the new series AVP: Three World War in 2009, Dark Horse would again return to "Aliens vs. Predator" as the accepted form of the name used in all AVP products.
The Big DeletionEdit
The two-part story of Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt and Civilized Beasts do a good job (the best and only effort yet, anyway) to bridge the gaps and explain the inconsistencies between the existing Aliens and AVP comics and the film Alien Resurrection. The main inconsistency between them being that General Perez mentions that to his knowledge Ripley essentially wiped out the species with the events of Alien 3, whereas in the comics, the Earth itself would go on to become infested and ravaged by the Aliens, which would take close to a generation to recover from.
The principal way in which the inconsistencies are retconned in Thrill of the Hunt is by the introduction of "The Big Deletion": a galaxy-wide computer virus event which, it is explained, wiped out most of the human colonies and much of the electronically stored information about humanities past.
Simply mentioned as a background event which occurred some time ago in Thrill of the Hunt, the nature of The Big Deletion and its ramifications on human society are further explained a bit in the sequel story Civilized Beasts. There it is revealed the human-imitation android synthetics were the primary means of the virus' spread and that humanity has therefore outlawed and marginalized synthetics since.
Though clearly and indirectly stated a number of times that, like Resurrection, the story's events take place roughly two hundred years after the events of the first three Aliens films, the time placement of the trade paperbacks is further confirmed by the fact that characters' costumes are drawn to imitate those worn by the characters in Resurrection, particularly the style of scientists garb, which is identical to that of the film.