|This article is about the comic book series. For the short story prequel, see Predator: Race War (short story).|
Predator: Race War is a five-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from February-October 1993. The contents of the third issue (actually issue #0) were originally published in three installments in the anthology series Dark Horse Presents, Vol. 1 #67-69, from November 1992-January 1993, as a prologue story taking place immediately prior to the events of the series. The story was written by Andrew Vachss and Randy Stradley, illustrated Jordan Raskin and Lauchland Pelle, inked by Rick Bryant, colored by Matt Hollingsworth and Pamela Rambo, lettered by Clem Robins and edited by Jerry Prosser, with cover art by Dave Dorman and Raskin. The story chronicles a Predator attack on a state penitentiary.
In the Predator comics line, Predator: Race War (series) was preceded by Predator: Blood Feud, published concurrently with Predator: The Pride at Nghasa and Predator: Bad Blood (short story), and was followed by Predator: The Hunted City and Predator: Bad Blood (series).
#1: The Predator hunts the most dangerous game... man. Now the Predator moves to the most dangerous hunting ground on the planet... the Paloverde State Penitentiary in Arizona. Tension is high in the prison as a convicted serial killer arrives, followed by a Predator bent on killing him and the man chasing them both... Cross. Predator: Race War #1 picks up the action after the three-issue prologue in Dark Horse Presents.
#2: Where do you hide from a killer, locked in a prison cell? Tensions rise at the Paloverde State Penitentiary as the Predator claims his first victim. Cross gets his assignment to go undercover in the prison and find what he doesn't even believe in.
#0: The story begins here with a serial killer, a Predator, and the man hired to find the truth — Cross. Presenting the three-part prologue from Dark Horse Presents #67, #68, and #69 in color for the first time, Predator: Race War #0 takes the reader to the heart of the action!
#3: Cross is closing in on the Predator inside Paloverde State Penetentiary, but what he finds is even more than he bargained for! Action behind bars in the penultimate chapter of the hardest-hitting Predator series yet!
#4: Predator fans, pick up this issue or spend a night in the box! Cross and the other prisoners of Paloverde State Penitentiary come face to face with the creature who hunts them. Break out your riot gear, this is the big one!
The Task Force
The Task Force that hunts the Predator in this series is presumably a CIA team or some other covert branch of government intelligence, and are possibly members of the OWLF shown in the film Predator 2.
The Task Force reports to what they refer to as “Control”, and has recruited members under false or incomplete pretenses from various sectors.
Members of the Task Force are shown to work out of a station in Tucson, Arizona and out of a mobile operations van in Chicago, IL.
The members of the team are:
Leader of the unit. Has recruited his people after each of them experienced a Predator incident, but does not tell them they are hunting aliens.
Of his own experience with the killers, Blondie tells team-member Tiger, before breaking the truth to her, that he and his team have hunted the killers across a number of incidents, always arriving too late. "At first we thought it was some lunatic environmentalists, only they killed even the dogs, he says." He says his team's last encounter with them was in South America. Blondie later admits to knowing the Predators are aliens and of their habits. He says that they haven't been able to capture one alive and that others always come for the body. As they do again at the penetentiary.
By story's end, Blondie swears to take a more personal hand in the hunt next time.
(Based on his appearance, dress and temperament, "Blondie" may have been intended or implied to be either Special Agent Claude Loudermilk, from Predator: Bad Blood, or Special Agent Peter Keyes, from Predator 2.)
A Government research scientist with prior knowledge of the Predators. In a flashback, Wanda is shown in a lab where she has a Predator helmet and is studying it using various technological means. She already knows about the aliens, and her interest in them is said to be more cold and scientific than the others.
A well-known, respected and feared underworld vigilante/mercenary, Cross is recruited by the team to infiltrate the penetentiary and take down the Predator due to having survived a previous encounter with the beasts. Though he did not realize what he was dealing with at the time. Blondie relates that the Task Force has knowledge that Cross inadvertently took out a Predator was orchestrating the descrution of two Chicago gangbosses years earlier.
During the story, Cross realizes he has had a run-in with the Predators even prior to that, in Angola, Africa some years earlier. Cross was working as a mercenary in the nation when his unit's sweeper team was all killed, skinned and strung up, Predator-style. He says they had assumed at the time that it was done by rogue mixed-tribe African fighters known as Simbas. Now he learns different. Cross organizes the race-warring prisoners in the penetentiary to unite and take down the Predator stalking them.
A Native American, Blondie says that Fal is considered the greatest tracker on the face of the Earth. In a flashback it is shown that Predators killed and crucified some friends of his in the past. He says his grudge with the beasts is "personal."
Tiger is described as a modern day "warrior" in her own right. In flashbacks it is shown that while Tiger was working with an urban police force Tiger's girlfriend Kate was a vigilante who used to hunt sexual predators in the city, and so was killed by a Predator. Tiger swears revenge and is recruited by the Task Force with the lure of finding Kate's killer. She is increasingly disgruntled with Blondie's leadership. Blondie also makes snide comments about her lesbianism. Tiger poses as Cross' wife after he is sent into the penetentiary to smuggle intel in and out of the prison.
A military man and demolitions expert, Percy is shown encountering a Predator during his time in an urban war zone while firing a bazooka. By the end of the story he is considering quitting the Task Force.
The series, along with its prologue story from issue 0, was collected as a trade paperback in August 1995, featuring a new cover by Ray Lago. The series was collected again as part of Predator Omnibus: Volume 2 in February 2008.
Behind the Scenes
Race War was preceded by a prequel short story, also called Predator: Race War, published in Dark Horse Presents, Vol. 1 #67-69. Several other Predator and Aliens vs. Predator series were preceded by similar namesake prequels.
Predator: Race War suffered from a mid-series shift in creative team during production resulting in a disjointed story and artwork.