Predator: Life and Death is a four-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from March-June 2016. It was also published simultaneously in the digital format via Dark Horse Digital. The story was written by Dan Abnett, illustrated and inked by Brian Albert Thies, colored by Rain Beredo, lettered by Michael Heisler and edited by Randy Stradley, with cover art by David Palumbo. Sachin Teng, Doug Wheatley and Chris Warner also provided variant covers for the first issue.
Predator: Life and Death formed the Predator component of Dark Horse's franchise-crossing Life and Death event in 2016/2017, and was released in conjunction with Prometheus: Life and Death, Aliens: Life and Death and Alien vs. Predator: Life and Death. The four series all form one continuous story and all were written by Abnett.
#1: Colonial Marines on the planet Tartarus battle extraterrestrial hunters over the possession of a mysterious horseshoe-shaped spaceship of unknown origin. The Weyland-Yutani rep wants the ship, and the marine captain wants to protect her crew. But neither objective is likely when a band of Predators attacks!
#2: Colonial Marines hunt the Predators, and the Predators lead the marines into an ambush! But on the jungle world of Tartarus, everyone has their eyes on the ultimate prize: an otherworldly spacecraft ripe for the taking!
#3: The Colonial Marines discover the corporate claim jumpers they're protecting have been hiding what they know about the massive, horseshoe-shaped alien spaceship. Meanwhile, the Predators go on the offensive!
#4: The battle between the Colonial Marines and the Predators opens on two fronts as the humans attempt to split the enemy's force and take possession of the mysterious horseshoe-shaped alien spaceship! Getting their hands on the alien technology will be a huge victory for the humans... or will it?
The combat ship Hasdrubal was approaching the planet LV-797, nicknamed Tartarus. Tartarus is scheduled for terraforming under Weyland-Yutani, but the company is worried about the possibility of rival companies (specifically Seegson) asset-stripping the planet; consequently, the Hasdrubal and it's 31 USCM crew have been assigned to prosecute any illegal prospectors. Captain Paget is overseeing the operation with Wey-Yu representative Lorimer also present as supervisor.
Two marine dropships detach from the Hasdrubal and land on Tartarus, with several squads splitting up. Sergeant Roth's squad is met with a Seegson excavation site and finds a lone survivor named Laurence Goode, who warns the marines that they never should have come to the planet.
The marines regroup at the excavation site, with Loode explaining that he was part of the excavation team ready to asset-strip until "they" killed every single other member of the team. Paget orders Sergeant Roth's squad to perform an active search pattern for any other asset-strippers. Roth splits the squad up and sends Rucker and numerous others to sweep a perimeter. Meanwhile Lorimer argues with Paget about wishing to "acquire" the Engineer vessel, whilst Paget wants to take it slow, knowing that three marines have gone missing for two hours now. Paget later warns Sergeant Roth about the three marines and tells him to be on high-alert.
As the other group of marines become ambushed by the two Predators, leaving only Rucker alive, two more survivors of the excavation team emerge to and greet Paget, Melville and Captain Humble. Rucker manages to kill the Hive Wars Predator before numerous Yautja emerge and surround Rucker. Sergeant Roth and his squad manage to catch up and save Rucker, sending the Yautja into a retreat.
Back at the site, Lorimer suggests that the Engineer vessel belongs to the Predators, but this is dismissed. Melville explains that the hunters seem to be treating the ship as an artifact, and that they are protecting it from invaders, wishing to recover it's secrets for themselves. Paget assumes that the Predators slaughtered Melvines' crew "just for showing an interest" in the ship. Lorimer encourages Paget to seize the vessel, reminding her of her "legally mandated responsibility" under the company.
Paget decides to send Sergeant Roth and his team into one of their dropships to fly over to the Engineer ship and secure the interior whilst Paget's team approaches the vessel by foot, attempting to sweep the forest using M314 Motion Trackers to flush out the hunters. However, the Cracked Tusk Predator ambushes the dropship and manages to crash it, whilst Paget's team is ambushed by a group of hunters. As the dropship crashes near the quarters of the Engineer vessel, the marines manage to wound the Cracked Tusk Predator and it flees. Roth's squad enters the interior of the vessel and eventually come across the cockpit, containing a sarcophagus-like object. Singer suggests that he would be able to get the ship operational and have the ship leave Tartarus and abandon the Predators.
The Cracked Tusk Predator, unbeknownst to the other marines, was observing them withing the derelict and called for the Predators who were battling Paget's crew to retreat back to the vessel to stop them from lifting it. The Cracked Tusk Predator ambushes the squad a second time but is finally managed to be killed by Humble by shooting it with a Pulse rifle after it's Wristblades get stuck by accidentally lunging it into the sarcophagus. Singer manages to get the ship operational and plans to send it to the nearest USCM facility, Ganymede station.
Sergeant Roth scorns Humble for using a firearm, Humble reassures him that he "killed the big monster", as the being inside the sarcophagus begins to awaken.
- Captain Paget
- Sergeant Roth
- Laurence Goode
- Hive Wars Predator
- Cracked Tusk Predator
Predator: Life and Death was collected and released as a trade paperback on October 19, 2016. The collected edition reused David Palumbo's cover artwork for issue 1.
The series will be collected again, along with the other Life and Death stories, in Aliens/Predator/Prometheus/AVP: The Complete Life and Death in September 2018.
Behind the Scenes
Predator: Life and Death was one of the comics selected to be a part of Dark Horse Comics' 30th anniversary variant cover program — issue 1 received a special Dark Horse Presents-styled variant cover by Chris Warner, based on Warner's cover for DHP #35 (which featured part two of the first ever three-part Aliens vs. Predator short story).
- ↑ "Dark Horse Comics - Dark Horse Comics Debuts Yearlong 30th Anniversary Variant Program". Retrieved on 2016-01-29.