A derivative script is saved by some stellar artwork and a couple interesting ideas in Marvel's 2nd attempt at a series about the galaxies most terrifying big game hunters.

Review: PREDATOR #1 – New Year, New Hunt

From writer Ed Brisson (Ghost Rider, Batman Inc.) and artist Netho Diaz comes Marvel Comics’ send series following the galaxy’s most terrifying hunters in Predator #1. Featuring inks by Belardino Brabo and Victor Nava, colors from Erick Arcinega, and lettering by Clayton Cowles, this new series is propped up by some solid art but brought down by an all-too familiar premise.

“FEAR IS REBORN! On a planet far from Earth, eight strangers find themselves in a deadly game. But this time, the Predators aren’t the only ones on the hunt. Someone has the Yautja in their sites – and they’ve been searching for this game preserve for a long time. Ed Brisson and Netho Diaz kicks off an explosive new series that will turn everything you thought you knew about Predators on its head!”

Writing & Plot

Accomplished comics writer Ed Brisson makes a couple of unusual choices with his script for Predator #1. In his defense, he makes this new series an actual direct follow-up to last year’s Predator mini-series, much like how in the Dark Horse era most of the separate comics were actually linked into one large story. Also, from page one this certainly feels like a Predator story. We quite literally hit the ground running with some good old-fashioned bullet-flinging and spine-tearing. However, while it’s impossible to escape the tropes and habits of prior Predator stories from every medium, this one sticks a little too close to one of the franchise’s prior films. A group of killers the world over are suddenly dropped onto a jungle planet with no memory of how they got there, and are immediately hunted down by the masked aliens. While every Predator comic has had its obvious references to the films, just blatantly re-using the plot of one – in this case 2010’s Predators – feels cheap. Granted, Brisson throws some interesting wrinkles in the story, it still stays too close to that film for too long. The other strange choice here is using the 2018 film The Predator – the one film we’re all trying to forget – as essential backstory. Yes, the prior series does the same thing which also becomes a key element in this new chapter, but using such a hilariously flawed film as plot fodder is an odd idea. Fortunately, the issue does pick up in the last couple pages with the potential for some genuinely interesting developments. Hopefully, Brisson is able to make some magic out of a pile of oddities – this is comics, after all.


Art Direction

Predator #1’s strongest feature is its visual storytelling, thanks to the efforts of Netho Diaz’s pencils and Belardino Brabo & Victor Nava’s inks. The art team here throws the reader into this alien jungle with excellent environmental detail, great character animation, and strong sequential pacing. While the cast aren’t really memorable as characters (not a huge deal, they’re mostly trophy fodder), they are each drawn with a distinct look that matches their varied backgrounds as different kinds of soldiers. Without spoiling one of the major plot points, several of the fighters here have a distinct descriptor that adds even more of a sci-fi twist to this alien-filled comic. Diaz’s designs look the part without ever feeling completely out of place. His take on the Predators themselves is familiar in all the right ways, with a touch of his own to make at least one of the hunters memorable. One of them has a missing eyepiece in his mask with the scar to match, making for some pretty badass closeup shots. Brabo and Nava’s inks make the jungle dark and oppressive, and perfect the detail in every panel. They work in tandem with Eric Arcinega’s dense color art to make a stellar visual experience that stands tall with other great looking Predator comics. The deep jungle greens and flashes of thickly-toned blood spatter make for a proper Predator reading experience right out of the original 1987 film. Finally, Clayton Cowles’ letters make for great punctuation in every sequence. His dialogue balloons are easy to read and capture character tone well, but his SFX work is what really shines. Every action sequence is peppered with cleverly placed FX lettering that never overtakes the panels, but still make an impact on the page. Overall, this new entry in the Predator universe has some solid visual work that brings readers right back into the hunt.


Predator #1 is a puzzling first issue that has some definite potential. Ed Brisson’s script relies too heavily on prior films for too long before dipping into the most interesting new plot elements. The visuals from Netho Diaz, Belardino Brabo, Victor Nava, and Erick Arcinega are very solid and sit high among modern Predator comics. While there are some problems with this first chapter, it’s got enough intrigue and momentum in its story to warrant reading what’s coming next. If you’re a Predator fan, be sure to grab this issue from your local comic shop today!

Justin Munday
Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.
A derivative script is saved by some stellar artwork and a couple interesting ideas in Marvel's 2nd attempt at a series about the galaxies most terrifying big game hunters. Review: PREDATOR #1 - New Year, New Hunt