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Aliens vs. Predator (comics line)

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Avp1comic

Cover to Aliens vs. Predator #1 by Phill Norwood.

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 comics line 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.

Since the line's inception, Dark Horse has published a total of 24 different Aliens vs. Predator stories, as well as various collected editions, reprints and non-canon crossover comics.

OverviewEdit

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.[1]

Warner's suggestion soon led to a three-part short story that was published in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents, Vol. 1 #34-36, from November 1989-January 1990; the final of these issues, Dark Horse Presents #36, was the first official media to feature the title "Aliens vs. Predator", atop the first-ever piece of Aliens vs. Predator cover artwork. The three-part story subsequently acted as a prequel, and the line was launched proper with a four-issue limited series published in 1990 and written by Randy Stradley. The comic proved to be both hugely popular and influential, and launched a crossover trend in comics that has seen countless other franchises brought together in a similar fashion for special stories.

The original Aliens vs. Predator comic was followed by various other limited series, one shots, original trade paperbacks and short stories. In 1992, Dark Horse attempted to spread the line to the United Kingdom market, first as part of Aliens magazine and later in the anthology magazine Total Carnage. However, the global fall in comic book sales over the mid-1990s caused both magazines to be cancelled in early 1994.

Following Aliens vs. Predator: Xenogenesis in 1999, the series (along with Dark Horse's Aliens and Predator lines) entered a ten-year hiatus. However, unlike the Aliens and Predator lines, several new Aliens vs. Predator titles were published during this time — two original one-shots (the Alien vs. Predator movie spin-off Thrill of the Hunt in 2004 and its sequel Civilized Beasts in 2006) and three promo mini-comics included elusively with various DVD purchases (in 2005, 2007 and 2008). Dark Horse also published two Omnibus collections of the existing AVP 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. Beginning in January 2013, Dark Horse began issuing its back catalogue of Aliens vs. Predator comics — starting with the original 1990 series — as digital downloads via its subsidiary Dark Horse Digital, while more recent titles in the line have been published simultaneously in physical and digital formats.

Common themesEdit

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 of The Hunt: Alien vs. Predator, a script for a proposed feature film based on the franchise written by Peter Briggs, but the project was ultimately abandoned. However, several years later 20th Century Fox resurrected the concept of a movie featuring Aliens and Predators, 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: Space Marines comicsEdit

See also: Aliens: Space Marines

Omnibus editionsEdit

See also: Omnibus

Crossover comicsEdit

See also: Crossover comics line

Novel AdaptationsEdit

Several of the comics in the Aliens vs. Predator line have been adapted into novels:

Non-Dark Horse ComicsEdit

As well as the numerous comics published by Dark Horse, a small number of Predator comics have also been released by other publishers. As Dark Horse had no involvement with these comics, they are not considered a part of the company's Predator line and have never been collected in any form with the Dark Horse releases.

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Paul W. S. Anderson, John Davis, Richard Bridgeland, Tom Woodruff, Jr.The Making of AVP (2004), 20th Century Fox [DVD].

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