This article is about the original 1989-1990 AVP comic book series. For the 2004 AVP film, see here.Aliens vs. Predator (for a time reprinted as Aliens versus Predator) was the original five-issue limited comic book series that kicked off the entire AVP franchise. The series was published by Dark Horse Comics from June–December 1990 numbering issue #0-4. The contents of issue #0 were originally published in three installments in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents #34-36 from Nov. 1989-Jan. 1990, as three prologue stories taking place immediately prior to the events of the series.
The series was written by Randy Stradley and drawn by artists Phill Norwood & Chris Warner, with inks by Karl Story, Robert Campanella & Norwood, colors by Monika Livingston, and lettering by Pat Brosseau. It was edited by Diana Schutz, and cover art was provided by Norwood, Dave Dorman & Mike Mignola. The prequel issues of Dark Horse Presents featured covers by artist Chris Warner with issue #36 being the first-ever issue to feature the actual title "Aliens vs. Predator" on the cover atop the first-ever Aliens vs. Predator cover image of both famed movie monsters fighting each other. It was also released with a painted variant cover by Dave Dorman.
The entire first series was first collected in trade paperback form in Dec. 1991 as Aliens vs. Predator, edited by Stradley & Jerry Prosser, with a new wrap-around painted cover by Norwood. Printings of the TPB were also made using the new form "Alien versus Predator" (which would become the new standard form of the name for AVP comics until 1999). The trade paperback was again released as a limited edition 1,000-print hardcover in Dec. 1992. The full series was then again reprinted in a six-issue format under the title Dark Horse Classics - Aliens versus Predator from February–July 1997, here recolored by Chris Chalenor & In-Color, re-edited by David Land, and featuring new covers by artist Michael Dubisch. Aliens vs. Predator's finally re-release was when it was collected alongside other AVP comics stories as part of Aliens vs. Predator Omnibus: Volume 1 in June 2007.The first AVP series was also adapted into a novelization in 1994 as Aliens vs. Predator: Prey by father-daughter novelist team Steve and Stephani Perry, as was its 1995 comics follow up Aliens vs. Predator: War which continued the story, making up two thirds of the AVP novel trilogy. (A third original novel, Aliens vs. Predator: Hunter's Planet, completed the trilogy.) The story was also the basis for the first drafts of an originally proposed Aliens vs. Predator film, but another script was eventually chosen for the final 2004 film. Some minor elements of 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 used in the film.
A number of AVP comics followed, though, and characters and references to the events from the first mini-series would eventually appear in the stories AVP: Duel, AVP: Blood Time, and AVP: War. In 2010, Dark Horse Comics relaunched the AVP line after a ten year hiatus with the new series Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War, further continuing the adventures of original series heroine Machiko Noguchi. As such, AVP series 1, AVP: War and AVP: Three World War now form a trilogy of miniseries starring Noguchi.
In the AVP comics line, the first AVP series was most immediately followed by Aliens/Predator: Deadliest of the Species in 1993.
Plot (Warning: Spoilers)Edit
Official description of individual issues from original release and re-release as Dark Horse Classics - Aliens vs. Predator:When the race of Predators tire of hunting easy prey, they capture an Alien Queen and force her to produce enough eggs to turn an abandoned planet into a controlled-population Alien game preserve. However, another Alien Queen accidently winds up on the planet and a group of Predators finds themselves turned from hunter to hunted in the midst of a planet fully inhabited by Aliens! It's a non-stop, fast-paced thriller!
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!
In a land covered primarily with sand and dirt, the searing heat of Ryushi's nineteen-hour day causes most of the native creatures to burrow for shelter. It's not anybody's idea of a vacation spot—but the Predators aren't looking for a vacation. And the Aliens aren't looking to be disturbed...
Things are a bit rough on the planet Ryushi and that's not just because of the heat. The ranchers of Prosperity Wells have found the dried-up husk of something spider-like, but bigger, and with a tail. Something dangerous. Something... Alien.
"Let sleeping dogs lie," Momma always said. But she also said, "Be kind to animals." So what do you do if you think the "sleeping dog" is injured? The ranchers at Prosperity Wells opt for the latter. Too bad for them the "animal" isn't a dog—it's a Predator. And they're about to learn Momma's third little axiom: "No good deed goes unpunished."
It's a classic case of "bait and switch." The ranchers at Prosperity Wells are preparing for an invasion of Predators, and are instead set upon by an infestation of Aliens—that's the "switch." And the "bait". . . ? That'd be the ranchers themselves.
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?
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!
They're on the ranch, in the compound . . . they've even infiltrated the hospital. Everywhere you turn, Aliens and Predators—the ultimate horror and the ultimate hunters—are fighting tooth and claw. And it's up to Machiko to stop them.
Action is the key word for the final issue of the series! Machiko's only allies against the ever-increasing Alien horde are a lone Predator and a man on the brink of death!
Full Synopsis (Warning: Spoilers)Edit
The first Aliens vs. Predator series centers on Ryushi, a recently-colonized planet, and Machiko Noguchi, the Chigusa Corporation's administrator there. The settlers on Ryushi raise cattle-like animals called rhynth for export to other solar systems, and at the time of the story are in the process of assembling a shipment of the native livestock.
Unbeknownst to the colonists, Ryushi is a traditional hunting ground of the Predators, and they are returning for their initiation rites. On board the Predator ship, the prey are prepared : an Alien queen lays eggs for delivery to Ryushi. Confounding the Predator's safeguards, this queen manages to slip an egg containing the seed of another queen into the shipment.
On reaching Ryushi, the eggs hatch and infect Rhynths. Led by a Predator elder, "Broken Tusk", the Predators arrive expecting to encounter Aliens. However, they soon run into the settlers and, after Broken Tusk is incapacitated, change their plans and hunt them instead.
Meanwhile, the infected Rhynth have been loaded aboard a cargo transporter and, with a queen among their number, an Alien colony quickly takes hold. The Predator assault continues to the settler colony itself, and the surviving settlers find themselves pitched between the Aliens and Predators. Broken Tusk, now recovered due to the intervention of a human doctor, sides with Machiko, and together with the cargo ship's crew they arrange for the transporter's massive orbiter to crash into Ryushi and destroy the colony and the Aliens.
In the ensuing fight, Broken Tusk is mortally wounded, but, admiring the courage of his human comrade, "bloods" Machiko with the mark of his clan. The story concludes with Machiko the sole inhabitant of Ryushi, the surviving settlers having been evacuated from the planet. She awaits, and is rewarded with, the return of the Predators and another hunt. One of Broken Tusk's former Predator rivals greets her and, recognizing Broken Tusk's clan symbol, accepts Machiko into the hunt.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Numerous sources, including Dark Horse founder/publisher Mike Richardson on the 2004 AVP film's "making of" featurette, state that the initial idea for AVP came from original series co-artist Chris Warner during a story meeting, 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 comprising 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 DHP #36), which is the first time that title was used on any comics release and which is thus considered the first Aliens vs. Predator comic ever published. The issue was released under two separate covers, one by AVP creator, artist 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 comicdome'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 Aliens 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: Tribesfor 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 from the story was expanded upon in the 1999 novelization by Steve Perry, including giving a name for the Predator species—which in the comics is referred to 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 Alien infestation of the Earth as seen in Aliens: Book 1. The follow-up comic book series AVP: Duel then makes mention of the events from the film Aliens having already happened.
- Aliens vs. Predator (Comics Series)
- Aliens vs. Predator (franchise)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Prey (novelization)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Blood Time (tie-in)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Duel (tie-in)
- Aliens vs. Predator: War (comic sequel)
- Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War (sequel)