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 comic in November 1989.
The concept of a crossover between the Alien and Predator creatures originated with a three-issue story published in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents, #34-36, from November 1989-January 1990; the final of these issues was the first to feature the title "Aliens vs. Predator" atop the first-ever Aliens vs. Predator cover art being. 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 tradepaperbacks 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 (July-Dec 1990)
- Aliens/Predator: Deadliest of the Species (July 1993-Aug 1995)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Blood Time (Sept 1994)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Duel (March–April 1995)
- Aliens vs. Predator: War (May-Aug 1995)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Booty (Jan 1996)
- Dark Horse Classics - Aliens versus Predator (1997)
- Aliens vs. 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)
- Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt (Sept 2004)
- Alien vs. Predator: Whoever Wins...We Lose (2005)
- Alien vs. Predator: Civilized Beasts (Dec 2006)
- Alien vs. Predator: Sand Trap (Oct 2007)
- Alien vs. Predator: Dead Space (March 2008)
- Aliens/Predator Free Comic Book Day Split Issue (May 2009)
- 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 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 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.
Proper Series NameEdit
The current and proper form of the name of the fully spelled out AVP comics franchise is "Aliens vs. Predator." This was the original name and it is again the current name used by Dark Horse Comics. Though other forms of the name, also trademarked by Dark Horse, are occasionally used. Points to consider when thinking about the title situation are as follows:
- Plurality: While the name of the franchise has taken 4 forms over its history (Aliens vs. Predator, Aliens versus Predator, Aliens/Predator, and Alien vs. Predator), overwhelmingly the name of the franchise itself and the name of almost all of its individual titles have used the plural "Aliens" instead of "Alien". The only exception was the 2004 comic book "Alien vs. Predator: Thrill of the Hunt", its 2006 sequel "Alien vs. Predator 2: Civilized Beasts," and three promotional mini-comics distributed with the AVP movie DVD releaes. The reason these five titles used the singular is because Thrill of the Hunt was released as a direct spin-off of the first AVP film, which used the singular (Alien vs. Predator) in its title, and Civilized Beast continued to use it because it was Volume 2 of the story from Thrill of the Hunt. And the promo-mini-comics were similar spin-offs included with the movie's DVD release. Otherwise, every other AVP comic ever made in history has used the plural. In 2008 when Dark Horse released Omnibus editions of the series it was again using the plural, as is the current AVP comics series, Three World War. The reason the plural was originally used is that the AVP line was the bringing together of Dark Horse Comics' "Aliens" license with their "Predator" licence. There had already been a comic based on Ridley Scott's "Alien" by another company, and Dark Horse's comics were a spin-off of the James Cameron film "Aliens" and literally continued its story, using the same logo. Also multiple aliens were featured in the story instead just a single alien. Hence: "Aliens" not "Alien".
- vs: The history of using "vs.", "versus", or "/" can also easily be charted. The original and current usage is "vs." From 1991-1998 "versus" became standard. And twice a "/" has been used. History: The name on the covers of the original miniseries in 1989-90 was simply "Aliens vs. Predator." The title was revised for the miniseries' collected edition in 1991 to "Aliens versus Predator", and this was the form that would be mostly regular used on the comic books from 1991-1998. Conversationally and in print "versus" would be substituted with "vs." from time to time. But the actual comic book covers clearly used "versus." There were only three exceptions to this. 1993's "Aliens/Predator: Deadliest of the Species" used a "/". 1995's "Alien vs. Predator: Duel" again used "vs." And the 1996 trade paperback edition of the story "Aliens versus Predator: War" was released as "Aliens/Predator: War". The last AVP comic to use the fully spelled out "versus" was "Aliens versus Predator: Eternal" in 1998 and its tpb in 1999. But by 1999 all AVP comics were using "vs" once again. This has been standard since. Also the two AVP omnibus editions released in 2007, recollecting and reprinting all the previous AVP material formally revised the titles of all the comics under the title "Aliens vs. Predator."