The Predator Universe is Expanding Its Hunting Ground – And That’s a Good Thing

In most Predator films and comics, the titular alien’s conflicts have been primarily with humans. However, it is implied that the universe is like a game safari for them, and their attacks are not limited to just the species on Earth. But aside from some rare exceptions, we have not seen how they interact with other alien races. There are endless storyline possibilities that could be explored by examining how these deadly hunters quarrel with other intergalactic prey.

There is a hint of these tantalizing possibilities in the first issue of Predator #1 (by Ed Brisson, Kev Walker, Frank D’armata, and VC’s Clayton Cowle), which takes place in the year 2056. Theta is a human hunter traveling through space looking for the Predator that killed her parents when she was young. With the help of advanced technology, she has slayed many Predators but none of them matched the description of the one who killed her family.

Theta traverses six planets searching for him and in the process encounters another alien race that a Predator had earlier attacked. Although they’re friendly at first, their trauma is triggered by Theta, who is wearing a helmet she took from a dead Predator. They shoot their weapons at her and chase her back to her ship. Through this brief encounter, she observes the profound effect the Predators have had on all the species they have attacked.

It has been mentioned many times that the Predators use the galaxy as their personal hunting ground. Aside from having exotic skulls in their trophy rooms aboard their spacecraft, their history with other extraterrestrials has been mostly neglected until now. Filmmakers and comic writers prefer to focus on their Earthly presence and use that to explore how human ingenuity can overcome these advanced aliens. This makes sense because audiences can better relate to human protagonists, and it’s interesting to see how the Predators interact with familiar settings, such as swampy jungles or decaying urban landscapes.

All that said, there is one other confirmed extraterrestrial race that the Predators have battled — the Xenomorphs. They’re a savage species made famous in the Alien films. Beginning in the 1990s, Dark Horse (who held the rights to Predator before Marvel) published the series Aliens vs Predator, and the two deadly species would eventually lock mandibles on the big screen in the 2004 Aliens vs Predator film and its 2007 follow-up, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. While critical reception of the comics has been fairly positive, the films have been lambasted as cynical cash cows that diminished both franchises.

Now, 15 years later, the Predator franchise may finally be redeemed. As the current Marvel series stars an adventurer who travels from planet to planet, there will hopefully be further opportunities for Theta to encounter other extraterrestrial races. Through her interactions with them, the reader can also observe what impact the Predators have had on them. This will “humanize” this universe and in turn, make it more relatable. At least more relatable than the films’ silly concepts. The possibilities are endless. With several more issues left in the miniseries, there is no doubt that they’re still terrorizing the cosmos.

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