We have the AvP Omnibus and the Aliens one, now it’s time for the Predator one. Now usually I’ll write these omnibus reviews as one big page with mini-reviews for each comic in it. I don’t think I’ll be able to do this for the Predator Omnibus because what I have to say stands for pretty much every comic in the omnibus. So…let’s get on with it shall we?
Like in the two omnibuses before it, the first three comics of this one are made up of one arc following a small group of characters. In this case the bulk is made up by Concrete Jungle, Cold War and Dark River. These three comics follow Schaeffer, the brother of Dutch from Predator. In Concrete Jungle, Schaeffer has his first encounter with a predator* after a mass gang slaughter. As the predator seems to stalk and watch Schaeffer, it causes him to flee the country and find a connection between this alien hunter and the army. As things boil up, the comic ends in a final mini-war in the middle of New York.
Cold War brings the predators – and Schaeffer – to Russia. When a crashed predator ship draws the attention of the US Army, it becomes a race to get into Russia before the locals realise just what has happened. Of course, things go tits up. Both Russians and Americans end up in a race to the predators before they can fix their ship. Next up is Dark River, the third and final story that follows Schaeffer. He’s tricked into heading down to South America to deal with a rogue predator who seems to be killing without any notion of sport. This angry predator ends up being the one Schaeffer almost killed in Concrete Jungle.
Next up is a short called Rite of Passage. It’s a tiny comic with absolutely no dialogue whatsoever. It basically tells the story of a tribesman who goes off to do his manhood ritual. He comes back to find his village has been destroyed by another hunter, of the extraterrestrial kind. The rest of the comic is a fight between the two hunters. This is followed by The Pride at Nghasa. This is one of those comics that show just how awesome Predator comics can be story wise. It’s set in 1936 in Africa and a predator has been spooking the locals and the troops of the British Empire down there. So they call in a hunter of their own to take on this “devil”.
The Bloody Sands of Time is up next. And quite frankly, it’s one of the stars of the omnibus but it’s also one of the reasons I think Predator is better suited to novel life. It shows just how strong Predator stories can be. In all honesty, the interesting part of Sands is actually the back-story which deals with a Predator having fun in World War One. I’ll let you read Mr Weyland’s review of the comic for more info on the story. But if any comic is crying out to be novelized, this is one of them.
And bringing up the rear is Blood Feud. And I can easily say that it is the worst Predator comic I have ever read. Which admittedly, outside this omnibus, isn’t many. However, that doesn’t stop Blood Feud from being painfully boring, badly written and hideous to look at. Some of the ideas in it are good but the writer just isn’t capable of putting them to any use. It’s basically about a blind man who figures out he was a samurai in a past live and beat the brother of the predator currently hunting him down. I know, it doesn’t sound all that but doesn’t the idea of a Japanese army going up against a predator army sound fanboyishly good?
The Predator comics are the perfect example of story Science-Fiction. You know the type, where the story takes precedence over everything else. That’s how I’d describe all the comics in the Predator Omnibus. They have fantastic and interesting stories but just can’t hold it up when it comes to the artwork. It’s as simple as that. For the most part, the artwork is just average. Rite of Passage and Pride at Nghasa boast the best artwork the omnibus has to offer, while Blood Feud and Bloody Sands of Time try to gouge your eyes with ugliness.
I think the main problem surrounding the artwork is it’s too muddy. The Predators themselves have been drawn as if they’ve been rolling around in mud. I know the Predator 2 predator had brown armour and equipment but variety would be much appreciated. That said, Dark River does stand out amongst these comics. It’s somewhat different to the look of the rest of the comics. It’s fantastically drawn and coloured. A rose among thorns. I only wish every other Predator comic was as nice. Don’t get me wrong, there are some nice ones out there – Hell and Hot Water – but for this omnibus it’s all story, no visuals. From Hicks here at AvPGalaxy, I award the Predator Omnibus Volume 1 a 3 out of 5 stars.