Predator: Prey to the Heavens, originally titled Predator, is a four-issue limited comic book series that was first published by Dark Horse Comics from June 2009-January 2010. It was written by John Arcudi, illustrated by Javier Saltares, inked by Saltares and Walden Wong, colored by Wes Dzioba and Walden Wong, lettered by Nate Piekos and edited by Chris Warner and Samantha Robertson, with cover art by Raymond Swanland. The comic follows the Graham Directive Security mercenary/defense contractor group and their battle with both traditional and Killer clan Predators in Africa. The series was preceded by the short-story prequel Predator (2009 short story), produced by the same creative team, and did itself serve as a prequel to the six-issue series Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War.
Marking the 20th anniversary of the release of Predator: Concrete Jungle, the first Predator comic, and released in anticipation of the 2010 film Predators, Predator: Prey to the Heavens was the first original Predator comic to be released since Predator: Xenogenesis a decade earlier.
In the Predator comics line, Predator: Prey to the Heavens was preceded by Predator (2009 short story), and was followed by Predators.
#1: The world's attention is focused painfully on a brutal third world Civil War, a merciless sectarian conflict sparing neither soldier nor civilian, grandmother nor child. But amidst the terror and carnage, where great nations and powerful interests jockey for position and advantage, another blood feud rages in the shadows, one no more humane but decidedly less human. Two warring tribes from the stars have chosen Earth's killing fields as their arena, with each clan sworn to eradicate the other... and all who stand between them. Each is the other's prey, each the other's Predator.
#2: Where there is armed conflict, there is money to be made. And in the midst of a third-world civil war, the military contractors of Graham Directive Security have sold their skills to shield their corporate clients from the sectarian violence tearing a country apart. But the GDS guns-for-hire soon discover that they are in the midst of not one, but two civil wars, one of extraterrestrial origin. And while the brutality and ruthlessness of mankind is well documented, it is nothing compared to the heartless savagery exhibited by the star-spawned Predators, especially when warring clans of the alien terrors are each sworn to wipe the other from existence.
#3: While the guns-for-hire of Graham Directive Security knew they were entering a third-world war zone when they signed on, they never bargained for stumbling into the middle of an interplanetary blood feud. After barely surviving a brutal firefight with a squad of Predator soldiers, Thorpe and Major Briggs hightail it to the GDS compound only to find their base under siege by the offworld marauders. Thorpe and his crew haven't got a prayer of survival — that is, they wouldn't if they didn't have the most unlikely ally in the universe.
#4: Think that a third-world civil war is messy? How about an off-world civil war? Caught in the middle of a blood feud between rival Predator clans in an east African war zone, private military contractor Thorpe barely makes it back to base with his hide intact after a pitched firefight with a squad of extraterrestrial marauders. But clean sheets and hot chow will provide cold comfort once the alien killers and their lethal technology track Thorpe down, and he has precious little time to marshal the Graham Directive Security crew for a desperate defense. They might have had a chance had they not lost their most potent ally, a lone rival Predator warrior, but now Thorpe and the GDS soldiers are out of options and out of time as they prepare to make their stand — their last stand.
After its initial publication under the original title Predator, the series received its current title, Predator: Prey to the Heavens, when it was collected as a trade paperback released in April 2010. This edition included the prologue story and reused the Swanland cover artwork from issue 2.
Predator: Prey to the Heavens was released digitally through Dark Horse Digital on October 12, 2012; the four individual issues were made available separately, or as a bundle.
Behind the Scenes
John Arcudi is a veteran writer of Aliens and Predator comics, having also worked on Predator: God's Truth, Predator: Big Game, Aliens: Reapers, Aliens: Genocide, Aliens: Alien, Aliens: Stronghold and Aliens: Alchemy. He was also the original writer on Dark Horse Comics' The Mask, which was turned into a theatrical film of the same name starring Jim Carrey.
In 2008, Arcudi was tapped by editor Chris Warner to be lead writer for the series that would relaunch the Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comic book lines for Dark Horse Comics. Though Arcudi did write the resultant Aliens: More Than Human and Predator: Prey to the Heavens miniseries in 2009, he was unable to write the follow-on Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War and was replaced by the writer of the original Aliens vs. Predator series, Dark Horse vice-president Randy Stradley.
Editor Chris Warner was actually the first person to come up with the idea of the Aliens vs. Predator crossover at Dark Horse during story meetings in the late 1980s. He was also the artist on Predator: Concrete Jungle, the first Predator miniseries, and one of the artists on the original Aliens vs. Predator series in 1990.
There was an effort made with the relaunch of the Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comics to strongly establish a joint continuity between the lines and between the new series and all previous Dark Horse releases from the franchises — with the possible exception of the previous Predator comics, to which minimal referencing was made. To that extent, a prequel to the 2009 Predator miniseries was featured in Free Comic Book Day: Aliens/Predator, while the series itself served as a build-up to Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War, which again features protagonist Thorpe from the 2009 Predator series as a main character. The lead character from Dark Horse's 2009 Aliens miniseries also appeared in Three World War, thus firmly establishing the connection between all three franchises, at least in comic book form.
- AVP Zone - Official AVP comics page at the Dark Horse Comics website.
- Issue 1 - Online preview of the first few pages of the first issue at the Dark Horse Comics website.
- Issue 2 - Online preview of issue 2 at the Dark Horse Comics website.
- Issue 3 - Online preview of issue 3 at the Dark Horse Comics website.
- Issue 4 - Online preview of issue 4 at the Dark Horse Comics website.
- Making of a Comic - Online behind-the-scenes feature showing the making of the comic book series the Dark Horse website.