Marvel's Predator (Volume 1) - Predator: Day of the Hunter

Started by Nightmare Asylum, Mar 18, 2021, 06:30:03 PM

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Marvel's Predator (Volume 1) - Predator: Day of the Hunter (Read 40,842 times)

Hadji Murad

Hadji Murad

#195
Quote from: SiL on Aug 09, 2022, 01:52:35 AM
QuoteAlien may have established itself by raping a man, but it's explicitly a monster related to female fears.
It was written by two dudes about what they thought would be scary to happen to them. The rape aspect was taken from certain wasps and how they reproduce.

Ripley's sex is completely irrelevant in Alien and that's one of its enduring strengths.

Contemporary reports said the women in the audience had less trouble with the chest bursting than the guys did.

Tolstoy wrote Anna Karenina, does that have no connection to women and their lives?

The gender of the authors has nothing to do with the overall impact of the art. If it's true, it's true. Stories sit at the intersection between thought and feeling, more so than any art form. Film conveys this through imagery. Alien is a hyper-sexualised phallic image that hits on fears deeply connected to what women actually experience - in other words, what Ripley as a woman will experience. Men can appreciate and enjoy these stories, and find elements of them scary, but it's different for women. Ripley, by nature of being a woman, and what is unique to women and their experience of life, has a relationship with this space rapist more than a man can. The creature is an externalisation of a horror within her soul as a woman.

Ripley's sex isn't just relevant to Alien, it's essential. And that is its enduring strength.

If you change her out for a man this is all lost from the movies. Motherhood issues are lost from Aliens. Rape and abortion don't hit the same in Alien 3.

QuoteWomen are rarely the victims in the movies and the audience is largely male.

The protagonist of the story is a woman. Her relationship with the villain is the one that matters.

The audience being male has to do with it being sci-fi.

QuotePrey absolutely lampoons Toxic masculinity - by confronting it with a woman that the super macho don't take seriously, because she's not a super macho man. It's perfectly thematically in line with the franchise.

The difference is it doesn't have a manly man beat the manly Predator and maintain the manly status quo at the end. It actually strips the whole thing bare and upends it completely by the end, and can only achieve this level of depth by going against the grain.

This is a misreading of the film. Predator isn't about maintaining the manly status quo. It's about the exact opposite of that.

At the start Dutch is arriving in the helicopter as a manly cigar-smoking caricature, dominating people in arm wrestles, insulting their masculinity for having desk jobs, and being referred to as "the best" (at killing people). The message is clear: this is the most macho tough guy around. The king of the hill who has ascended to the top through violence and strength.

But where does it get him?

The Predator is better at killing. Better armed. Stronger. And more macho than him in every way. All Dutch's men (who have a similarly cartoony masculinity to him) get slaughtered, and the creature beats him in every conceivable way. Beats him in cat n mouse. It even beats him in hand-to-hand combat.

How does Dutch win then? Through his manly status? No, through intelligence, presence of mind, and dumb luck.

The creature is the logical end point of everything Dutch is conveyed as at the start of the film - a hyper-macho tough guy whose dominance is derived from its killing ability. Hell, its entire sense of worth/identity seems to be derived from its ability to dominate men in combat.

The film is saying that if you behave this way... you are a monster. And therefore this kind of masculinity is monstrous and undesirable. Dutch is looking in the mirror, and it ain't pretty (what the hell are you... what the hell are you?).

McTiernan is shitting all over the kind of dumb, simple-minded masculinity that was rampant in the 80s, and that YouTube and Alt-right idiots praise Predator for showcasing. The joke is on them.

It's no coincidence that the final shot of Dutch is the exact opposite of the one he's introduced in. The visual storytelling couldn't be more clear. He's beaten, battered, destroyed. His identity/idea of a man has been shown for what it is (monstrous). It's not unrealistic to infer this man is no longer the kind of guy who'll continue to go around dominating his buddies in arm wrestles. He's clearly no longer the best... so what is he?

The film is rightly saying that men must think beyond masculine stereotypes and use their brains instead. Because as long as we don't, we will be monsters. This underlying relationship between the Predator and masculinity is one of the reasons the film resonates where the others don't.

Dutch's gender is completely relevant in Predator and that's one of its enduring strengths.

The sequels missed this. Harrigan beats up the Predator in a macho fight. Brody beats up the Predator in a macho fight. They missed the point completely. It's just a dick-measuring contest for men with fragile masculinity.

Prey doesn't hit on this either. There's no relationship between the Predator's masculinity and the masculinity of the hero. He's just another character who underestimates her and oppresses her. She outright tells this audience this. Which is fine, and works for the film. But again, something is lost.

QuoteYou're putting the cart before the horse, starting with the notion that the creatures are more effective at terrorising one sex or the other thematically and working backwards. Just because it works well thematically one way doesn't mean it can't work well thematically the other.

No, not at all. I'm starting with the themes inherent to the creatures and their initial impression and working from there. Predator is in a film that creates an impression of toxic masculinity and its antidote. Alien is in a film that creates an impression of female sexual fears brought to life.

I also never said it can't work the other way. It can. For the last time, Predators can fight women. Aliens can fight men. It works both ways... it just doesn't think it works as well for either when you do.

The fears/sins of the protagonist should be connected to the nature of the monster. Certainly when those elements are related to the character's sex and/or gender.

SiL

Quote from: Hadji Murad on Aug 09, 2022, 03:23:58 AMRape and abortion don't hit the same in Alien 3.
Alien3 was also lumped in with the AIDs panic interpretation of horror movies -- a bunch of bald men running around worried about a sexually transmitted monster?

You don't get that with a woman.

Which is the point. You lose something, gain something.

QuoteThere's no relationship between the Predator's masculinity and the masculinity of the hero. He's just another character who underestimates her and oppresses her
Another man underestimating and oppressing. It's about the conflict of that masculinity with something alien to it, rather than two versions of it butting heads.

Yes, you lose the macho vs macho -- you gain something else entirely.

The only point you've made is that you prefer the themes expressed one way vs another, not that they're inherently better or more worthy of exploration. And that's what I'm getting at. You can prefer it one way all you like, but it's a fool's errand to say it's how it should be.

Hadji Murad

Hadji Murad

#197
Quote from: SiL on Aug 09, 2022, 03:37:10 AM
Quote from: Hadji Murad on Aug 09, 2022, 03:23:58 AMRape and abortion don't hit the same in Alien 3.
Alien3 was also lumped in with the AIDs panic interpretation of horror movies -- a bunch of bald men running around worried about a sexually transmitted monster?

You don't get that with a woman.

Which is the point. You lose something, gain something.

QuoteThere's no relationship between the Predator's masculinity and the masculinity of the hero. He's just another character who underestimates her and oppresses her
Another man underestimating and oppressing. It's about the conflict of that masculinity with something alien to it, rather than two versions of it butting heads.

Yes, you lose the macho vs macho -- you gain something else entirely.

The only point you've made is that you prefer the themes expressed one way vs another, not that they're inherently better or more worthy of exploration. And that's what I'm getting at. You can prefer it one way all you like, but it's a fool's errand to say it's how it should be.

I guess I'm not communicating myself well enough. I don't want macho vs macho. I want macho explored and revealed as hollow. Which is what the Predator is apt at doing. He should be the BEST at doing it. I want him to be. There are many different ways you could do this and maintain Predator's connection to masculinity throughout. Given how intensely masculine the creature is, it makes sense its better to do this.

Sure you gain something from Prey - but then you've got a hyper-masculine alien hunter with a weaker connection to its protagonist. Doesn't work as well for me, even though the film itself and the point its trying to make is solid.

As for Alien 3. Sure you gain the Aids interpretation. But again, it's a penis rape monster that forces you to bear its evil children. It has a stronger connection to women who face this biological fear. Exploring that is better, for my money.

Just because you can go down a narrative avenue and gain something from it, doesn't mean it's the right one to go down. 

I don't think it's a fools errand to prefer narratives that go all in on their themes and ideas. I think it constricts the narrative potential sure, but that's a good thing. You can stretch these properties too thin. Just look at Star Wars.

If you don't agree, fair enough. I appreciate the differing ideas.

SiL

QuoteBut again, it's a penis rape monster that forces you to bear its evil children. It has a stronger connection to women who face this biological fear. Exploring that is better, for my money.
It's a sexually transmitted penis rape monster running around an all-male prison, known for both penis rape and sexually transmitted diseases. That's a strong connection whether you personally like it or not.

QuoteJust because you can go down a narrative avenue and gain something from it, doesn't mean it's the right one to go down.
Why else do you go down any narrative avenue? Surely whether you gain something from it is the only meaningful test. If you gain something from it, it is worth exploring. There's nothing worse than going down a narrative avenue for nothing other than spectacle.

QuoteI don't think it's a fools errand to prefer narratives that go all in on their themes and ideas.
I didn't say it was. I said it's a fools errand to say that some themes are inherently better than others to explore.

Hadji Murad

Quote from: SiL on Aug 09, 2022, 03:55:37 AM
QuoteBut again, it's a penis rape monster that forces you to bear its evil children. It has a stronger connection to women who face this biological fear. Exploring that is better, for my money.
It's a sexually transmitted penis rape monster running around an all-male prison, known for both penis rape and sexually transmitted diseases. That's a strong connection whether you personally like it or not.

For sure, it is a strong connection I agree. I just don't personally find it as strong as a woman in a prison filled with rapist and a rape monster that has biologically violated her.

QuoteI didn't say it was. I said it's a fools errand to say that some themes are inherently better than others to explore.

Fair enough. I think some themes are inherently better to explore than others with the context of these monsters. Ripley is subject to her biology and fears inherent to that - Alien reflects that inner state of hers. Dutch is a perpetrator of toxic masculinity and is subject to the horror is seeing the true face of that - Predator reflects that inner state of his. I'd like them to keep reflecting that inner reality of the character, rather than just be an external threat with a lesser connection to the protag.

It seems that we both want the same thing - narratively resonant Alien / Predator stories. I'm just more extreme about it, rightly or wrongly.

Agent Aztlan

First issue and I see a timeline error?
Predators takes place in 2024 not 2010. 2010 is the release date of the movie.
So, either Marvel made a mistake or Predator: Hunting Grounds isn't canon anymore (the game taking place in 2025 and Isabelle saying she has been stranded on the Game Preserve Planet for a year)?

Otherwise, I found this first issue very basic in story, and quiet unrealistic for a human to kill
Spoiler
a dozen of
[close]
Preds
Spoiler
in hand-to-hand combat without tricks
[close]
.

Kradan

That sounds ... disturbing

BlueMarsalis79

f**k it, Marvel's a separate continuity.

TilotnyWorshiper28

TilotnyWorshiper28

#203
Spoiler
They had these issues done for a while so I think the timeline error isn't a big deal can be fixed for the trade paperback .   I did think making her have that many kills off the bat is unrealistic .
[close]

The Rogue Alien

I don't know how to feel about the setting,
Spoiler
I don't mind taking Predator further into the future but while reading the comic I felt like I was reading the set up of an AvP story. Humanity star hopping around within the next 30ish years feels like a bit of a stretch to me and the other alien race Theta finds felt like something out of Star Wars. Given that it's in the not so distant future I would have preferred a story set on earth with plasma based weaponry or human developed cloaking tech to bring the sci-fi feel.
[close]
Maybe because I've only read the Concrete Jungle and Predator 2 comics I went in expecting a more traditional predator storyline, but I'm interested in seeing how this comic wraps up.

The variant cover with the predator captured in night vision butchering soldiers is glorious though. That cover is the fantasy of every Predator main in the Hunting Grounds game!

Mr.Turok

Quote from: Agent Aztlan on Aug 10, 2022, 04:01:58 PMFirst issue and I see a timeline error?
Predators takes place in 2024 not 2010. 2010 is the release date of the movie.
So, either Marvel made a mistake or Predator: Hunting Grounds isn't canon anymore (the game taking place in 2025 and Isabelle saying she has been stranded on the Game Preserve Planet for a year)?

Otherwise, I found this first issue very basic in story, and quiet unrealistic for a human to kill
Spoiler
a dozen of
[close]
Preds
Spoiler
in hand-to-hand combat without tricks
[close]
.

It's never said that its hand to hand, just that she slain that many. How is the question but I'd guess that she eventually learned how to do so within time.

Agent Aztlan

Sorry,
Spoiler
not 12, but more than 16. And for the first 5-6 Preds, she was not prepared... Of course, hundreds years old skilled warrior Predators are so easy to kill
[close]
.

Also, I like the fact that Marvel did its first Predator hero a skinny androgynous teenage girl with her parents working for a company with a pyramid-eye logo.

Engineer

I just read issue 1 of predator.
I hated it.
I had high hopes marvel would knock this one out of the park, but instead i think they missed the mark.
Oh well, at least "Prey" freakin rules!!

Corporal Hicks

Corporal Hicks

#208
Quote from: Agent Aztlan on Aug 10, 2022, 04:01:58 PMSo, either Marvel made a mistake or Predator: Hunting Grounds isn't canon anymore (the game taking place in 2025 and Isabelle saying she has been stranded on the Game Preserve Planet for a year)?

It's more like Marvel isn't taking the other properties into account. I know they certainly didn't with Alien to start with and have only just started trying to join up.


Quote from: Agent Aztlan on Aug 11, 2022, 11:23:50 AMSorry,
Spoiler
not 12, but more than 16. And for the first 5-6 Preds, she was not prepared... Of course, hundreds years old skilled warrior Predators are so easy to kill
[close]
.

Also, I like the fact that Marvel did its first Predator hero a skinny androgynous teenage girl with her parents working for a company with a pyramid-eye logo.

Considering it's been 15 since her first incident, she's in her 20s at the very least.


I thought it was a nice solid opener. I'm intrigued by Theta, and I like the idea of plotting out the Predator hunting routes to attempt to ambush them. However, I do think Marvel is doing a DC Movies here and jumping to a point they haven't really worked to.

Spoiler
We open on our lead taking down a Predator - one of many over her backstory.

We know Predators can die. It's the entire premise of Hunters (and to be fair I do like this being a spiritual successor) but Hunters was a culmination of several standalone series with established characters. It feels a little like Marvel jumped the gun and went straight for showing the Predators on the backfoot which doesn't feel earned.

It does seem structured around flashbacks for background so I imagine we'll learn more about Theta's journey as the story progresses so I'll have to see how I feel about that once I know more about her character. A series with the Predator Theta is hunting is introduced and established might have been a better start.
[close]

I do agree the timeline seems a little too close to the present. Something towards the end of the century - during the Alien prequel era - would have felt more appropriate, I think.

I'm really enjoying Kev Walker and Frank D'Armata's work on the artwork in this! It's fantastic to see some actual art and the style works well, I think!

Agent Aztlan

Agent Aztlan

#209
Quote from: Corporal Hicks on Aug 12, 2022, 07:20:29 AMIt's more like Marvel isn't taking the other properties into account. I know they certainly didn't with Alien to start with and have only just started trying to join up.

I find it not professionnal at all for Marvel (or Nicole Spiegel?), after so many years of acquiring these franchises, to fail with dates or lore.
I mean, you begin something new with big properties, you try to listen a minimum to guys who created/solidified the foundations of the franchises to see where you're going next: Titan Books (or Illfonic and Cold Iron Studios) is doing it with 20th Century Fox, writers and fans.

For now, Marvel is doing the same thing as Disney with Star Wars (except for Rogue One and Mandalorian), Marvel Studios with MCU Phase 4+ and Amazon with LotR:RoP: they try to make a lot of money, imposing a weird agenda to viewers, and not listening to the fans or lore basis.

Hopefully, the movie Prey escaped to this, and I am grateful of the director, actors and the movie team for their great work.

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