|Aliens vs. Predator|
|Written by||Randy Stradley|
|Illustrated by|| Phill Norwood|
|Inked by|| Karl Story|
|Lettered by||Pat Brosseau|
|Colored by||Monika Livingston (#1, #2-4)|
|Cover(s) by|| Phill Norwood (#1-3)|
Mike Mignola (#0)
Dave Dorman (#4)
|Edited by||Diana Schutz|
|Publisher||Dark Horse Comics|
|Release date(s)||June-Dec 1990|
|Preceded by||Aliens vs. Predator (1989 short story)|
|Followed by||Aliens vs. Predator (1991 short story)|
Aliens vs. Predator, also known as Aliens versus Predator, is a five-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from June-December 1990. The contents of the second issue (actually issue #0) were originally published in three installments in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents #34-36, from November 1989-January 1990, under the title as three prologue stories taking place immediately prior to the events of the series. The story was written by Randy Stradley, illustrated by Phill Norwood and Chris Warner, inked by Karl Story, Robert Campanella and Norwood, lettered by Pat Brosseau, colored by Monika Livingston and edited by Diana Schutz, with cover art by Norwood, Dave Dorman and Mike Mignola. The comic was later adapted as the novel Aliens vs. Predator: Prey by Steve Perry and Stephani Perry.
The main character of Machiko Noguchi would go on to appear in the comics Aliens versus Predator: War and Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War, forming something of a trilogy. Characters and references to events from the first series would also appear in Aliens vs. Predator: Duel and Aliens vs. Predator: Blood Time.
#1: Continuing the story begun in the pages of Dark Horse Presents #34-#36, this is it — Dark Horse Comics' most ambitious project to date! The inhabitants of the colony planet Ryushi are peaceful ranchers — men and women who lead simple lives. But their lives are tragically shattered as they become part of a "coming of age" ceremony for that race of deadly alien hunters — the Predators. However, the Predators' prey are not the human inhabitants of Ryushi, but rather something far more dangerous — Aliens!
#0: Originally published in three installments in Dark Horse Presents, this edition collects the blockbuster "prequel" tale written by Randy Stradley and illustrated by Phillip Norwood. This storyline takes place prior to events contained in the Aliens vs. Predator four-issue, full-color series.
#2: The quiet settlement on the planet Ryushi is turned into a battleground as the Predators clash with the vastly superior numbers of the Alien horde — with the few remaining humans caught in the middle fighting both sides! However, when it becomes apparent that the Aliens are winning, the humans and the Aliens are faced with a tough choice: trust each other — or die!
#3: All hell breaks loose as the warring Predators begin their attack on the Alien brood — with the planet's inhabitants caught right in the middle! Machiko has a plan to roust all the invaders, but what can she do alone, with only a gun at her side?
#4: Action is the key word for this final issue of comicdom's best-selling direct-sale comic book series! Machiko's only allies against the ever-increasing Alien horde are a lone Predator and a man on the brink of death!
An enormous transport, the Lector is faring trough the stars. Captain Tom Strandberg and co-pilot Scott Conover are talking about the morality of exploiting other planets by human corporations, it turns into a discussion about how boring and pointless life is thanks to technology and survival of the fittest. As the talk continues, a Yautja called Broken Tusk prepares for a fight about hunting ground rights with a rival Predator called Top-Knot, and scenes of a captive Xenomorph Queen outsmarting ship security by slipping an Ovomorph (egg) in the shipment intended for the hunt.
The Yautja send eggs to three different planets and the planet chosen by Broken Tusk is left to last, one of the jungle planets appear to be Bunda. Top Knot successfully hunts the Xenomorphs in the marsh covered planet and is ready for more.
The pod with the eggs arrives at Ryushi at dusk and is detected by long range radar by Prosperity Wells operations center by Weaver, but is tagged as a meteor. Upon arrival, the pod starts to deliver the eggs. Meanwhile Administrator Hiroki Shimura is instructing fellow administrator and replacement Machiko Noguchi about how important must be for her make some friends among the colonists, which are hostiles to Noguchi, specially a stubborn rancher called Ackland, who constantly teases Machiko about payment.
At nightfall, the Lector arrives at Ryushi and Ackland’s worker Jame Roth find dead Facehugger in Beriki canyon, where his rhynth were. Roth is told by Ackland to give the Facehuggers to Kesar Revna, the town's biologist and doctor, but the doctor is not told the exact location where to find the Facehuggers.
A party is held in the town for the arrival of the Lector and their first rhynth export shipment to Earth. Machiko gains some points with the ranchers by gaining some raise in their payments, much to Ackland surprise. Meanwhile Dr. Revna is investigating the place where Roth told him she found the Facehuggers and instead, he found the Predator shuttle and is killed by accident, knocking out Broken Tusk in the process. The young Predators, now without a guide are on the loose and very angry.
At dawn, Machiko and Hiroki send pilots Ashley Ikeda and David Spanner to Iwa Gorge in search of the doctor, instead they find the destroyed ship and an unconscious Broken Tusk. They take him back to the colony as the young predators observe. The predators start attacking a ranch, leaving only a boy who escapes to the main settlement. The boy arrives and positively identifies Broken Tusk as one of the attackers.
In the Lector, a Hive is established by the infected rhynths, killing the crew and cocooning Conover and Strandberg. The town is put into alert and barricades are built for a Predator attack, but are useless. Machiko, surprised that the Lector is still on the ground and there is no communication, goes in person to check escorted by Mason. Aliens attack, killing Mason and trapping Machiko, but she's saved by a Yautja, who also start they attack.
Hiroki, Riley, Johnson and others are killed by the Predators as Machiko and Weaver watch through security cameras. Machiko has a plan and goes out of the operations center, she advises Dr. Miriam Revna, Kesar's wife to stay inside and locked and questions her about the relation between Aliens and Predators, just moments before a Predator tries to kill Miriam, but are saved by Broken Tusk. Machiko and Miriam take the copter and start her plan: Release all the locked rhynth to create a big stampede, which is the signal for the colonists to evacuate the town the opposite side. Machiko tries to save Broken Tusk from the communication antenna, but a Xenomorph causes the copter to crash, killing Miriam. As Scott and Tom, who are now free from the hive, help Machiko, Broken Tusk holds Miriam’s body in respect.
Now trapped inside operations, Machiko, Tom, Scott and Broken Tusk learn that Chigusa Coporation wants the aliens for study and as Tom is killed by a chestburster, Scott realizes he’s gonna die and give them the code for crash the orbital cargo into Prosperity Wells. Machiko then gives Scott a mercy killing.
Machiko and Broken Tusk drive right into the Lector and as Broken Tusk keeps at bay the aliens, Machiko enter the code and both runs for the escape pod. The alien Queen attacks and Broken Tusk is mortally wounded, Machiko close the pod’s door, beheading the queen and both escapes as the cargo crashes and destroys Prosperity Wells.
With his last strength, Broken Tusk marks Machiko with his clan’s symbol. The colonists are rescued and moved to another system. Machiko stays at Ryushi, waiting. Two years later, the Predators return and are surprised by Machiko. Top-Knot, Broken Tusk rival, recognizes the marking and greets Machiko into the hunt.
The series was first serialized and reprinted in the United Kingdom in 8 parts in Aliens magazine, Vol. 1 #4-11, from May-December 1991.
The entire series, along with its epilogue story, was later collected in trade paperback form in December 1991 as Alien versus Predator. This release was edited by Randy Stradley and Jerry Prosser, and featured a new wrap-around painted cover by Phill Norwood. The previously black and white issue #0 was also colored by Monika Livingston to match the rest of the series. The trade paperback was released again as a limited edition 1,000-print hardcover in December 1992.
The full series was reprinted in a six-issue format under the title Dark Horse Classics - Aliens versus Predator from February-July 1997, this time recolored by Chris Chalenor and In-Color, re-edited by David Land, and featuring new covers by artist Michael Dubisch.
Aliens vs. Predator was again collected as part of Aliens vs. Predator Omnibus: Volume 1 in June 2007.
The comic and its story formed the basis of Peter Briggs' script for a potential feature film based on the Aliens vs. Predator series, written in the early 1990s. However, the film was not developed at the time, and when a feature film based on the franchise did finally enter production (2004's Alien vs. Predator), the plot and characters had little basis in the original comic series.
Even so, some minor elements from the miniseries — specifically the apparatus for the imprisonment of the Alien Queen, the concept of Predator's hunting Aliens for sport and rites of passage, the teaming of a lead female human protagonist with the lead predator, and the use of Alien-body parts to make specific weapons — were carried over into Paul W. S. Anderson's film.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Numerous sources, including Dark Horse founder/publisher Mike Richardson, state that the initial idea for an Aliens vs. Predator crossover comic book came from Chris Warner during a meeting discussing a potential crossover involving DC Comics, as a sort of "Wolfman meets Frankenstein" style monster meet-up. Warner, who has worked on numerous Aliens/Predator/AVP projects, would go on to serve in his current position as editor of all three comics lines for Dark Horse.
The contents of issue #0 were originally published in three installments in the company's monthly anthology series Dark Horse Presents #34-#36 a few months before the release of the miniseries. These three issues included separate parts of a "prequel" storyline taking place immediately prior to events in the Aliens vs. Predator four-issue series, aboard the Predator clanship featured at the start of the story. The stories were entitled simply "Aliens", "Predator", and the third "Aliens vs. Predator" (in Dark Horse Presents #36), the first time that the title Aliens vs. Predator was used on any official media and which is thus considered the first piece of AVP media ever released. Dark Horse Presents #36 was published with two separate covers, one by AVP creator Chris Warner and a painted version by artist Dave Dorman.
The tooth-and-claw match up of what were hailed as "Fox's two greatest horror properties" was considered Dark Horse Comics' most ambitious project to date, and when this comic first appeared, it debuted as the best-selling comic to ever be published by an alternative publisher. It was also hailed by the company as comicdom's best-selling direct-sale comic book series.
In June 1991, the company released a limited edition Aliens vs. Predator lithograph of artist Dave Dorman's stunning painting (which originally appeared as the cover to Aliens vs. Predator #4 — only the sixth ever cover illustration he did for the company), featuring the series' unlikely partners — Machiko and Broken Tusk — ready for action as the menacing tails of a hundred Xenomorphs close in for the kill. The exclusive lithograph was limited to 1,500 copies, each signed and numbered by Dorman. Reaction to the illustration was very positive and Dorman would go on to illustrate the graphic novella Aliens: Tribes for Dark Horse.
In 1997 this first violent clash between the ultimate horror and the ultimate hunter was re-released in a six-issue format as part of the Dark Horse Classics line of titles, to celebrate the company's ten year anniversary, and in order to introduce an all-new audience to the franchise.
Much of the information in the story was expanded upon in the 1999 novelization by Steve Perry and Stephani Perry, titled Aliens vs. Predator: Prey. This included giving a proper name to the Predator species — which in the comics is referred to simply as the "hunter" species. In the novelization they are referred to as the "Yautja", and Broken Tusk's Predator-language name is also revealed as well as further information on his backstory. Timeline wise, the events of the first miniseries appear to take place before the Xenomorph infestation of the Earth as seen in the first Aliens comic series. The follow-up comic book series, Aliens vs. Predator: Duel subsequently makes mention of the events from the film Aliens as having already happened.