Aliens vs. Predator Omnibus Volume 1

Writer / Artist
Aliens vs. Predator Omnibus Volume 1
Aliens versus Predator Omni bus Volume 1 review

This first Aliens versus Predator Omnibus supplies three longer serialisations that first saw paperback publication during the 1990s as Aliens vs. Predator, War and Eternal, separated by several short stories, not previously available in book form. The connection point between the two is their being either written or drawn by someone also working on the longer material. They account for just under 25% of the page count.

Randy Stradley is responsible for writing 75%, beginning with the original crossover, still a thriller after all these years. It introduces the concept of the Predators being responsible for spreading the Aliens around the galaxy, as they’re the only species that can offer them any kind of hunting challenge. It’s by some distance the best on offer here, featuring excellent art from Philip Norwood and Chris Warner. It introduces Machiko Noguchi, seen between the Alien and the Predator on Norwood’s sample art, who’d take a leading role in the less successful sequel. That’s partly the case due to Warner being the only one of a succession of artists to bring out the best of a plot beginning with Machiko hunting alongside Predators.

Ian Edginton and Alex Maleev provide the final long inclusion, in which a businessman has prolonged his life by centuries via a fortunate encounter with a Predator craft that’s also provided the reverse engineered technology at the heart of his fortune. Battles between Aliens and Predators beneath the sewers run parallel to the experiences of an investigative journalist. It ties together well and Maleev delivers great monsters (sample spread). Both creators supply a subsequent story.

‘The Web’ by Edginton closes the collection. It has a motley scavenging crew dropped into a new form of hell. It lacks the intrigue of ‘Eternal’, and offers little more than some decorative artwork. Both Derek Thompson and Brian O’Connell are credited without distinguishing the artist providing the detailed patterns and the more ordinary action art. Maleev’s ‘Old Secrets’ has some clunky writing accompanying solid art on a story that wouldn’t been out of place in Hellboy.

The best of Stradley’s two extra strips is the brief ‘Blood Time’, giving Norwood another chance to deliver Aliens and Predators spectacularly having at each other in the context of the callous Predator society. ‘Duel’ is considerably longer, but not as interesting, partly for the more ordinary, although competent art of Javier Saltares and partly for the plot being too familiar. A bunch of space marines land on Ryushi, the scene of the first Aliens vs. Predator battle, and while the circumstances might be new and surprising to them, they won’t be to readers. Having someone to care for could have produced a better story, but the marines are standard one-note tough guys.

While ‘Eternal’ has viable moments, you’d be better off investing in the 30th anniversary hardcover of the original Aliens vs. Predator, which contains the best of what’s here.