Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt was the official tradepaperback comic book spin-off of the film Alien vs. Predator, published by Dark Horse Comics. The story was scripted by Mike Kennedy, pencilled by Roger Robinson and Dustin Weaver, inked by James Pascoe and Randy Emberlin, and colored by Grafiksismik. It featured a cover by David Michael Beck and was edited by Chris Warner.
An entirely new story that used certain elements from the AVP film--namely, the Xenomorph-filled Predator training temples--Thrill of the Hunt was meant to bridge the continuities between the AVP film and the pre-existing AVP comics line up to that time, and to tie up certain inconsistencies between the Aliens and AVP comics lines and the Alien film series due to things mentioned in the fourth film, Alien Resurrection. And the story takes place in the same future time-period as Alien Resurrection.
In the AVP comics line, Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt was followed by the DVD-promo reprint issue Alien vs. Predator: Whoever Wins...We Lose (2005), and then by a direct sequel (which continued the story and was meant to coincide with the release of the second AVP-film Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem in 2007), Alien vs. Predator: Civilized Beasts (2006).
In the farthest reaches of space, a creature terrified us. Acid blood. Armored skin. Razor-sharp teeth. No mercy. In the depths of a rain forest, another creature hunted us. Perfect camouflage. Fearsome weapons. Brutal methods. No conscience. In 2004, these monsters clashed on Earth in the greatest battle the universe has ever known. But far in the future, long after a technological catastrophe that started a second Dark Age, all memory of these two species has been forgotten. And when Mankind again reaches for the stars, we will discover that, truly, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Once again, Man is caught in the middle of a deadly struggle.
Based on this summer’s major-motion picture from 20th Century Fox, Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt carries the themes and story elements from the film into new territories of action and terror, crafted by Mike Kennedy and illustrator Roger Robinson (Azrael, Batman: Gotham Nights), all in a value-priced original graphic novel. Cover painting by Society of Illustrators award-winner David Michael Beck.
Behind the ScenesEdit
A bit confusingly promoted with the sentence "based on this summer's major motion picture", Thrill of the Hunt is in no way an adaptation of the AVP film, but instead incorporates elements from the film into the AVP comics universe. It also does 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 tradepaperbacks 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.