War Ensemble For Predator: Life and Death

Following on the critically acclaimed Fire and Stone, Dark Horse Comics returns to the sci-fi horror worlds of Alien, Predator, and Prometheus with Dan Abnett and Brian Theis' epic Predator: Life and Death #1 (JAN160126)!  Drawing in the Xenomorphs from Aliens and the Engineers from Prometheus before all is said and done, this new series looks to be brutal with a capital “B.” In this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, writer Dan Abnett gives us a glimpse into the coming chaos!

Predator: Life and Death #1 (JAN160126) is in comic shops March 2.

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PREVIEWSworld: What’s the background story for Predator: Life and Death #1 (JAN160126)? At ground zero, what are the facts for why a band of Colonial Marines have ventured abroad?

Dan Abnett:  The Marines are on a ‘police action’ tour, inspecting planets claimed by The Company to make sure no other parties are prospecting, looting, developing etc. W-Y is particularly worried about reports of illegal prospecting on a planet they have ear-marked for colony-building.  The Marines go in to take a look. And high-jinks ensue.

PREVIEWSworld: Can you give us a breakdown of the characters in this story? Who’s got the thickest skull? Who knows what he’s doing? Who’s the warm body that’s merely taking up breathing space?

Dan Abnett:  I’m trying to play the marines as a credible, capable team of experienced soldiers. They’ve just been through a busy tour, and seen action, so they’re not rookies. The Captain, Paget, is smart, fair and seasoned, and not easily shaken, and she’s got a fine second-in-command in the form of the tough and clever Sergeant Roth. There’s also Freebody - she’s a hothead, but a very capable smartgun trooper, and DeLaria - she’s a very cool, collected section leader. They’ve all got the swagger, but they’ve got the skills to back it up. There are no ‘warm bodies’… I guess that means that when the action starts, the casualties are going to matter. No one’s going to get dead because they do something dumb. They’re going to get dead because they’re up against something deadly. I want these to be rounded human characters, people we care about rather than ‘red shirts’. 

PREVIEWSworld: The solicitation text for this book says that “Life and Death” begins a new chapter in the Predator mythos as it’s a story involving Predators, Aliens, and the Engineers from Prometheus. What’s this new chemistry supposed to show everyone? What conclusion should people draw?

Dan Abnett:  I guess it’s trying to fit the various iconic elements into one situation that makes sense, and makes the most of all of them… without destroying the deep mysteries. I’m pretty pleased with the way it fits together in terms of plot, logic and reveal, and everyone - marines, Predators, Aliens and Engineers - get their ‘moments’. It’s like an epic movie where the tone - and threat - shifts as each new element enters the picture.

PREVIEWSworld: Are there any previous storylines or history the readers should know before reading “Life and Death”? Or is this story pretty much self-contained? A self-driving car?

Dan Abnett: It’s a self-contained story, in as much as I’m explaining everything you need to know. New readers can jump right in. But I guess you’ll get an extra kick if you know the various movies well, and there’s extra depth to be had if you’ve also read Dark Horse’s previous cross-franchise event, “Fire and Stone.” And why wouldn’t you? It’s available in handy trade editions, and a big collection, and it’s great.

PREVIEWSworld: If you were to sit at your computer and rant on social media about your favorite geek moment for this story, what scene would you pick?

Dan Abnett: Well… the creepy build up… or the scenes of Marines doing what they do best… or the first reveal of the Big Bad… or the awesome wreck they find on the planet… or… or…

Heck, it’s Colonial Marines in action against The Predator. It’s going to ROCK. Just watch those M41A pulse rifle ammo counters flash down to zero as the firefights get going.

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