Comic Review 130 // Predator Omnibus 04

We've made it! After three subpar omnibuses, we are finally on the final tales. I got to be honest this has been a real drag. I love Movie Predators and novel Predators but Dark Horse Comics has really dampened my mood for them. How did they get so many stories wrong? The amount of dead Predators has left me wondering how they ever manage to kill a xenomorph.

But let us dive into this final Omnibus, eyes and heart open in the hopes for a better finish.

Across the centuries, humanity's capacity for violence has marked time as surely as the movement of the stars. And from those very stars have come an invisible participant in our history, the extraterrestrial Predator, who has used Mankind's own penchant for murder and mayhem as a shadow to cover its own bloody tracks, as a hunting blind from which to take down its human prey. But the Predator has not passed through the ages unnoticed, and despite the alien killer's strength, cunning, and advanced technology, there are few things more certain than how far men are willing to go when it's time for a little payback!

Predator Omnibus Volume 4 concludes the complete presentation of these never-before-collected classic Dark Horse Predator tales.

* This volume collects Predator: Primal #1-2, Predator: Nemesis #1-2, Predator: Homeworld #1-4, Predator: Xenogenesis #1-4, Predator: Hell Come a Walkin' #1-2, Predator: Captive one-shot, and "Predator: Demon's Gold" (from DHP #137)

Let's get going!

Primal: Set in Alaska during a hot summer a pair of Park Rangers end up on the wrong side of a Predator that is hunting bears. During one combat the stupidly clumsy Predator miss fires his gun starting a Forest fire that starts to tear through the surrounding area. This story is above average and watching a Bear kick a Predators ass is pretty fun.

Nemesis: Before diving into the story the artwork is a huge step up from everything before. This is due to it being done by the talented Colin MacNeil. The story itself is rather good. Set in Victorian England, an ex-army veteran is hired by a secret society to track down a killer in London. During his investigations, he realizes he has faced this killer before in the Jungles of India. As the hunter becomes hunted the foggy streets of London become extra creepy. This was one of the strongest stories in the full series. The Predator is only defeated after the mud of the Thames sucks him under and the secret society, fearing all-out war with Predators instead dumps the alien ship in the ocean rather than explore the craft for personal gains. This seems like the most realistic scenario to actually happen.

Truly a good start so far.

Homeworld: Urgh. Just like that, it flips back to being crap. The artwork on this one is painful and the story itself is too human-centred. It follows the retelling of two civilians, the first a naturalist and the second a combat photographer. Between them they experience an ancient and veteran Predator, tracking and hunting down three younger Predators who have gone kill-crazy. Left under impressed and disappointed by this one.

Xenogenesis: Nope, nope, nope. We are ending poorly it would seem. Set far in the future mankind has created a task force designed to react to Predators coming to Earth. Unfortunately for them, they make themselves prime targets for the hunt. The idea behind this is clever but then it is hugely let down by two issues:

1) An almost immortal character, who continues to live long after he should be, by consuming the hearts of the Predators he kills.

2) The art style is hugely influenced by Manga and it really does not work.

I can see why this was almost the death knell for the franchise and that it didn't recover for almost 10 years!

Hell Come a Walkin': What happens when you throw a Predator into the American Civil War? Well lucky for us the story gets answered in this comic. A solid story, well-drawn, showing how only when united can mankind stand up to the Predator threat. It was also fun to have Jesse James in this before he heads off to become the infamous outlaw.

Captive: A billionaire has managed to capture himself a real-life Predator, but who is truly in danger? A fun tale of cat and mouse did the Predator actually get caught or was it all an act in an attempt to experience a great danger during its hunting trip. Solid story and nice artwork once again. Not a bad story.

Demon's Gold: The final tale. It's a strange one to finish on, set during World War Two, we join a treasure-hunting group of Nazis as they seek out a legendary treasure. Lucky for everyone involved they get slaughtered by a Predator, leaving one survivor a young child from a local village. This is a classic predator action strip. Lots of gore, action and nazi killing, can't go wrong with that.

This is the end, I can say with confidence that we ended with a solid omnibus. But that isn't saying much when compared to the series as a whole. This had two really poor stories at the midway point, but once past that it was smooth sailing. Stand out tales for me; Nemesis and Hell Come a Walkin'. I hope you enjoyed the rundown and if you disagree with anything I have said please do let me know in the comments below.

I think I will be diving into some different comics for a bit, but I hope to dive into Aliens vs Predators very soon. Until then thank you for reading and use some of these links to help support the blog.

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Hard to find Omnibus 4

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