Predator Series Spans Decades, Better Than The Movies

By Michileen Martin | Updated

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Marvel Comics may be the answer if you’re a Predator fan hungry for your next fix. Marvel has been having lots of fun with Disney’s ownership of the the Predator franchise, including with crossovers like Predator Vs. Wolverine and the upcoming Predator Vs. Black Panther. At the same time, writer Ed Brisson has been unveiling the story of the vengeful Theta and her quest to kill all Predators. The tale already spans decades.

Predator 2022

marvel predator

With 2022’s Predator Marvel turns the predators into prey.

In Marvel’s Predator #1–in a scene set in 2041–the young, curious Theta is on an alien planet where she witnesses her parents murdered in front of her by one of the eponymous alien hunters.

The sole survivor of the hunt, Theta escapes aboard the AI-driven ship Sandpiper. Rather than go home, she embarks on a quest for vengeance.

Fifteen years later, Marvel’s Predator finds a battle-hardened Theta in armor she captured from one of her predator victims. At first she seeks revenge on the specific alien who killed her parents, but by the end of the series she’s dedicated to killing them all.

Predator 2023

marvel predator

When it was time for the second series, Marvel inexplicably abandoned their love of subtitles and again named it simply Predator.

In Marvel’s 2023 Predator–like in 2010’s Predators–we find a group of men and women deposited on an alien hunting preserve. But instead of them all being only from different parts of Earth, they’re also from different parts of time. Some are from the mid-21st century, some are from the 20th.

By the end of the first issue, Theta arrives with her new friend Paolo as the only hope anyone on the hunting preserve has of survival.

Predator: The Last Hunt

marvel predator

Predator: The Last Hunt continues Theta’s story six years after the events of Marvel’s second Predator series, when Theta and Paolo discover an abandoned predator cargo ship on the planet Mabou.

Rather than normal, sane cargo like food or weapons, the ship was transporting stasis pods filled with sleeping prey to be released on alien hunting preserves.

Theta and Paolo link up with the survivors. Her quest for vengeance turns to one of salvation when she decides her priority needs to be freeing any more prisoners of the predators.

Return Of An Old Friend

One nice little surprise Marvel delivered with Predator: The Last Hunt is that it canonically connected its new series with Dark Horse’s comics (spanning from 1989-2020) with the return of a character who was the hero of many–though not all–of those series.

Predator: The Last Hunt #1 ends with the reveal of John Schaeffer—brother of Dutch Schaeffer (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in the first film)—as one of the humans on the abandoned Predator cargo ship.

John Schaeffer first appeared in the 1989 Dark Horse comic Predator, fought the hunters in Siberia in 1991’s Predator: Cold War, and would continue to show up sporadically in Dark Horse’s comics. In Dark Horse’s Predator continuity–and now in Marvel’s–Dutch disappears after the events of 1987’s Predator, and John goes on a long quest to find out what happened to him.

Are They Really Better Than The Movies?

Are Marvel’s Predator comics really better than the movies? It depends on which movie we’re talking about.

Better than Predator or Prey? That would be a stretch.

Better than Predators? On one hand, no–Predators is an underrated and overlooked gem. On the other hand, yes–because at least Marvel’s Predator comics have continued to get follow-ups, while Predators ends on a cliffhanger and after over a decade, there’s no sequel in sight.

Marvel’s Predator comics better than The Predator? Or Predator 2? Yes. Absolutely. Major surgery with months of painful recovery is better than Predator 2. It’s not a hard win.

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