Aliens vs. Predator: Eternal, originally titled Aliens versus Predator: Eternal, is a four-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from June-September 1998. It was written by Ian Edginton, illustrated and inked by Alex Maleev, colored by Perry McNamee and Dan Jackson, lettered by Clem Robins and edited by Philip Amara, Ian Stude and Ben Abernathy, with cover art by Glenn Fabry.
Set in the near future of the 21st Century Tokyo, the series revolves around a 700+ year old man who uses Predator technology and flesh from a crashed ship to extend his life and fortune, a reporter investigating him, and a mercenary employed by him to draw out Predators.
#1: In an opulent city of the future, a mysterious techno-baron controls the fate of the world. But, even with his vast riches and power, the black-clad figure known as Nor cannot stop the hand of death. Or can he? His thoughts are consumed by his latest discovery: a crash-landed Predator ship. It's his belief that Predators hold the key to eternal life. But even if he stands before the answers he seeks, is he willing to go through the Predators' deadly Alien cargo to get it?
#2: Becka McBride is a talented reporter. Her one flaw? She doesn't know when to quit. And when Aliens appear in a Hong Kong-style city, it's a safe bet that her flaw may prove fatal. On field assignment in Africa, she was reporting on a political uprising. But her journalistic sense uncovered a strange trail of clues. Like a moth to a flame, Becka can't resist breaking the story of a lifetime. No more than Predators can resist hunting the galaxy's deadliest killing machines.
#3: Aliens loose in the Tokyo subways of the future is bad news. But when these monstrous beasts are pursued by Predators, the fiercest hunters in the galaxy, bad quickly becomes worse. One of the people caught in the middle is Becka Shaw, devil-may-care journalist and all-around trouble magnet. The other is Gideon Suhn Lee, a mysterious techno-billionaire who won't let anything stand between him and the secrets to immortality that the Predators hold. When Becca and Gideon clash, it might be the Aliens and Predators that run for cover!
#4: Journalist Becka McBride and mystery man Gideon Lee finally come face to face - though not in the way you'd expect. But there's still the matter of Aliens running around the sewers and subways. As Lee, Becka, and hired mercenary Cabot prepare for a final hunt, they know a band of Predators is waiting in the shadows to take on whoever is left standing.
The series received its current title, Aliens vs. Predator: Eternal, when it was collected as part of Aliens vs. Predator Omnibus: Volume 1 in June 2007.
Behind the Scenes
The character of Gideon Suhn Lee was originally referred to as "Nor, techno-baron with a dark past", who "won't let anything stand between him and the secrets to immortality that the Predators hold", in materials connected to the initial comic book release of the series. The name was apparently changed to Gideon Suh Lee somewhere in the development process. Similarly, Becka McBride was at first referred to as "Becca Shaw".
Eternal is one of a number of Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator stories written by United Kingdom-based writer Ian Edginton, and makes mention of elements that later appeared in Predator: Xenogenesis, also written by Edginton (though the references are slightly contradictory). His first work in the universe was the well-received Aliens: Rogue.
Interior artist Alex Maleev, who has also worked on a number of other AVP-universe stories, including Aliens vs. Predator: Old Secrets, which he wrote and illustrated, worked for years as the artist on Marvel Comics' Daredevil series in the 2000s.
Cover artist Glenn Fabry came to prominence in the 1990s as the cover artist for the popular series Preacher for Vertigo comics.
Timeline issues and contradictions
Eternal features several continuity contradictions with other Aliens/Predator/Aliens vs. Predator comic book stories. Perhaps most obviously, Gideon Suhn Lee mentions the myth/story of an immortal warrior named Subotai who first gained extended life by eating the flesh of the Predators. Subotai is a main character in Predator: Xenogenesis (also written by Edginton). However, Lee mentions that Subotai died after 200 years, while in Predator: Xenogensis, Subotai states that he has been alive far longer than that. Xenogenesis also appears to take place after the events of Eternal — the city of London is featured in Eternal and Becka McBride is shown with a copy of the London Times, whereas in Xenogenesis, it is mentioned that London has been submerged due to global warming and that Birmingham is now the capital of England. The reference to Subotai therefore only makes sense if one assumes that Lee is simply unaware that Subotai is still alive at the time of Eternal.
- Aliens versus Predator: Eternal, as it was originally titled, would be the last Aliens vs. Predator comic to use the expanded form of the franchise title, with the full "versus" conjunction. All subsequent comics would use the more common, shortened "vs." instead.
- Major Cabot is twice referred to as "Major Cambot" and once as "Major Talbot", likely a mistake.