The Predator makes its debut at Marvel Comics in Predator #1 by Ed Brisson, Kev Walker, and Frank D’Armata. Taking readers into the near future and alien worlds, Predator takes its time building out its lead character rather than jumping straight into a gore fest – but that’s not to say it skimps on the action.
The book begins in the year 2056, on an alien world where two Predators clash in silence. Kev Walker’s art shines in the combat, capturing the visceral ferocity that made for great clashes between Black Panther and Namor as well as Captain America and Iron Man during Jonathan Hickman’s tenure on New Avengers and Avengers. This opening clash also reveals a secret: one of these hunters is not an alien at all.
The issue then flashes back to a young girl, Theta, who is revealed to be the issue’s protagonist. To say more about the plot would be to spoil it, but suffice to say that Predator succeeds by making this character interesting as Ed Brisson’s script cuts back and forth between past and present filling out just why this woman has the gear of the alien species.
While the plot here isn’t particularly novel — there are tropes plenty of readers will recognize and may even be wary of — the execution here is high. Kev Walker’s line art is solid, especially with the characters. Frank D’Armata gives the book a cold tone with washed out colors that add a grunginess that works well for Theta’s story.
The deliberate pacing to the story is a plus as well. With the shorter format of comics, there’s the temptation to get straight to the action, which works against the sense of dread and suspense that Predator relies on. Thankfully, Predator #1 takes its time, fleshing out its lead and its world rather than jumping straight into the hunt.
With newfound attention to the franchise thanks to the stellar film, Prey, Marvel’s Predator #1 proves to be a great start for the new series at maybe the best time to debut. Ed Brisson, Kev Walker, and Frank D’Armata create an engaging protagonist and premise that will appeal to newcomers and old-school fans alike.
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