Predator: Life and Death #1 Review

Posted March 3, 2016 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written by: Dan Abnett

Art by: Brian Albert Thies and Rain Beredo

Publisher: Dark Horse

One of my favorite comic events of 2014/2015 was the Dark Horse Fire and Stone shared universe, a story that combined Aliens, Predator, Aliens vs Predator, and Prometheus all into one, big mess of goo and mystery. And blood. There was lots of blood. The whole package wasn’t perfect, but it was damn fun and I found at least something worthwhile in each of the 17 issues.

Well, Dark Horse are doing it again. Round two is Life and Death, another shared universe with my favorite scifi monsters of all time. I’m quite excited!

Issue #1 kicks off with the predators, which happened to be my favorite parts of Fire and Stone, and doesn’t disappoint. Not ten minutes into landing on LV747 and already people are dying from plasma fire and wrist blades. It’s going to be one of those stories.

However, that ten minutes is also the last four or so pages of the comic itself. The first twenty are character and plot introductions. The downside is it’s all pretty standard stuff and we know what the mystery will be far in advance; the upside is the writing is all really good, and I already like our cast of characters.

We have another strong female lead in Captain Paget, a foul-mouthed marine named Jhalil (he’s already my favorite because he likes to swear (yes I’m immature)), a seasoned Weyland Yutani civilian who will no doubt be in over his head, and a hot-headed marine woman named Freebody.

Do any of these characters break the mold? No. Does that bother me? No.

When it comes to these four Fox franchises, it’s the Predator one that I expect machismo, violence, and a little bit of cheese on top for flavor. This first issue delivers exactly that, though with less cheese and more good writing. That’s cool too though! Better, I imagine.

On the art front, the comic looks great. There are some wonderful panels of wildlife and the various spaceships involved, and there are even some cool hover vehicles in the latter half of the comic. I love their designs. When it comes to that good ol’ ultra violence, Brian Albert Thies and Rain Beredo deliver there as well. There’s something just wonderful about heads exploding from plasma fire.

To recap then: We have a strong first issue in a new shared universe ala Fire and Stone. The writing is good, the characters, while trope-heavy, are entertaining, and the artwork is pleasing to the eye.

There are 16 more issues in this story, meaning 2016 is going to be a good year.

About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.