The Aliens vs. Predator comic book line, also known as Aliens versus Predator and Alien vs. Predator, and commonly abbreviated as AVP, is a long-running series of comic books published by Dark Horse Comics that brings together the titlular creatures from the popular 20th Century Fox science-fiction film franchises Alien and Predator. The comic series is in fact where the entire Alien vs. Predator franchise originated, being the medium that originally brought the two species together. The line has included a number of limited series, one-shots and short stories, starting with the original Aliens vs. Predator story in Dark Horse Presents #36 in February 1990.
The concept of a crossover between the Alien and Predator creatures originated from a meeting between executives at Dark Horse Comics to discuss a potential crossover event with DC Comics. According to publisher and Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson, editor Chris Warner was the person who first proposed the idea, suggesting that a crossover between two of their own properties may be more straightforward as it would keep the new comic "in-house" rather than involving DC.
Warner's suggestion soon led to a three-issue short story that was published in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents #34-36, from November 1989-January 1990; the final of these issues was the first media to feature the title "Aliens vs. Predator", atop the first-ever Aliens vs. Predator cover art. This story subsequently acted as a prequel, and the series was launched proper with a four-issue limited series published in 1990 and written by Randy Stradley. This was followed by various other limited series, one shots, original trade paperbacks and short stories.
The series has also spawned a side-series of AVP cross-overs with other popular comic book characters from Dark Horse and other companies — four to date — such as Batman, Superman, the Terminator and various Image comics characters. Much as with other earlier Alien and Predator cross-overs with outside characters, these stories are not thought to exist in the same continuity as the rest of the AVP line.
The success of the first AVP comics mini-series resulted in 13 other miniseries or stories between 1990 and 2000. Following Aliens vs. Predator: Xenogenesis in 2009, the series (along with Dark Horse's Aliens and Predator lines) entered a ten-year hiatus. However, unlike the Aliens and Predator comics, several new Aliens vs. Predator titles were published during this time — two original trade paperbacks (an Alien vs. Predator movie spin-off in 2004 and its sequel in 2006) and three AVP DVD-set promo mini-comics (in 2005, 2007 and 2008). Dark Horse also published two Omnibus collections of the existing comic books. The quasi-hiatus finally came to an end in 2009, when Dark Horse Comics relaunched its Aliens vs. Predator line with the new series Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War.
Set mostly in the future, the AVP comics introduce the idea of the Predator race — refered to as the "Hunters" — capturing Xenomorphs, seeding planets with them, and hunting the resultant creatures for sport. These activities often spiral disastrously out of control, typically with human characters caught in the middle of the battle between the two species. The stories also introduce the main AVP comics' protagonist — or, at least, the character who has appeared in the most stories, including the original and current AVP series and novels — Machiko Noguchi, a human female who is eventually adopted into a Hunter clan.
The Aliens vs. Predator stories were the first to start fleshing out detailed information about the Predator culture, which was only hinted at the in the feature films, and the nature of their interactions with the Aliens. The AVP line has also referenced and used characters and plot elements from Dark Horse's individual Aliens and Predator comics, establishing that all three lines exist in the same general continuity.
A side note is that while in the comics the Predators are only ever referred to as Hunters, the accompanying official novelizations of the Machiko Noguchi comics were the first place to use the species name "Yautja", which has since become popular amongst fans.
Influence on the Alien vs. Predator FilmsEdit
The story from the original Aliens vs. Predator comic was the basis for Peter Briggs' script for a proposed feature film based on the franchise, although this idea was ultimately discarded. However, several years later the concept of a movie featuring Aliens and Predators was returned to, now with Paul W. S. Anderson at the helm. Notably, some elements from the comic series — specifically the apparatus used to imprison the Alien Queen, and the idea a Predator joining forces with a strong human female character — were used in Alien vs. Predator. The concept of the Predalien, which first originated in an AVP comic (Aliens vs. Predator: Duel), was also utilized in the 2007 sequel, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem.
Aliens vs. Predator ComicsEdit
- Aliens vs. Predator (short story) (Nov 1989-Feb 1990)
- Aliens vs. Predator (series 1) (July-Dec 1990)
- Aliens vs. Predator II (Jan 1992-Feb 1993) aka Aliens vs. Predator 2
- Aliens/Predator: Deadliest of the Species (July 1993-Aug 1995) aka Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species
- Aliens vs. Predator: Blood Time (Sept 1994)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Duel (March-April 1995)
- Aliens versus Predator: War (May-Aug 1995)
- Aliens versus Predator: Booty (Jan 1996)
- Dark Horse Classics - Aliens versus Predator (Feb-July 1997)
- Aliens versus Predator: Eternal (June-Sept 1998)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Annual #1 (July 1999)
- Aliens vs. Predator: The Web (Sept-Oct 1999)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Xenogenesis (Dec 1999-March 2000) aka Aliens vs. Predator: Genocide
- Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt (Sept 2004)
- Alien vs. Predator: Whoever Wins...We Lose (Nov 2005)
- Alien vs. Predator: Sand Trap (Oct 2007)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Dead Space (March 2008)
- Alien vs. Predator: Civilized Beasts (April 2008) aka Alien vs. Predator 2: Civilized Beasts
- Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War (Jan-Sept 2010)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Special Collector's Edition (Feb 2010)
- Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone (Oct 2014-Jan 2015)
- Witchblade/Aliens/Darkness/Predator: Overkill (Nov-Dec 1999)
- Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator (April-July 2000)
- Witchblade/Aliens/Darkness/Predator: Mindhunter (Dec 2000-Feb 2001)
- Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predator (Jan-Feb 2007)
Several of the comics in the Aliens vs. Predator line have been adapted into novels:
- Aliens vs. Predator: Prey by Steve Perry, an adaptation of Aliens vs. Predator (series 1)
- Aliens vs. Predator: War by S. D. Perry, an adaptation of the comic of the same name.
- Dark Horse Comics
- Aliens (comic series) — An overview of Dark Horse's Aliens comics.
- Predator (comic series) — An overview of Dark Horse's Predator comics.
- Dark Horse Presents — An overview of the Dark Horse Presents anthology series.
- Dark Horse Comics (comic series) — An overview of the Dark Horse Comics anthology series.