Comfort Food Comics vs Aliens vs Predator is an ongoing series where I examine every Alien, Predator and Alien vs Predator comic and rank them.
Predator: Concrete Jungle
So, What Is It?
Predator: Concrete Jungle is a 1989 four issue miniseries by Mark Verheiden, pencilled by Chris Warner and Ron Randall, inked by Sam de la Rosa, Randy Emberlin, Warner and Randall, colored by Chris Chalenor, lettered by J. David Jackson and Jim Massara.
This is the first standalone Predator series by a young Dark Horse Comics. Essentially it’s a rough draft for a Predator 2 as the movie sequel had not come out yet. Our main character is New York City detective John Schaeffer, the brother of Dutch from the original movie. He and his partner, Detective Rasche are embroiled in a gang war and investigating a series of brutal murders. It’s the future and it’s the hottest summer in recorded history for the Big Apple. This brings the Predators to the city to hunt and one soon faces Schaeffer in combat. Schaeffer gets tagged and beaten but not killed. Licking his wounds, he then learns more about the disappearance of his bro and how it’s linked to this alien. He goes to South America where the first film was and fights the Predator that’s tracking him. He kills it which sets off a chain reaction of a whole bunch of pissed Predators attacking New York City as Schaeffer makes his way back there. Together with a pack of wild gang members, Schaeffer and Rasche wage all out war with multiple Predators and their ships. The fight finally ends when the heat breaks and rain starts to fall, breaking the Predators out of their battle lust while they depart.
Is It Good?
Only in a so bad it’s good way. This is like a SYFY original ripoff of Predators. Almost like a bootleg Predator sequel called “Hunters” or something. It’s so over the top. All that being said, it’s a really wild cheesefest that you can laugh at and enjoy. It’s never a slog to get through. It’s fun
The general idea that in the future, global warming has expanded the Predator’s hunting ground to major metropolitan cities is genius. Having the Predator attack armed criminal gangs is also really smart. Pivoting from Dutch and the first movie’s characters is a good move. The action movie “tough guy” lines and jokes are so pitch perfect. The Predators are drawn very, very cool here. You do get some cool fights with the Predators
What Doesn’t Work?
A LOT! This thing is very clearly written before the Predator species’ whole code of honor and customs were developed. The Predators are all killed way too easily. The use of more than one is a big mistake. We don;t get enough time with the Predator. The pacing of this thing is all over the place. We didn’t need to go to South America and learn so much about the drug trade and drug lords of this world. We should’ve stayed in NYC the whole thing. John Schaeffer is a walking talking pastiche of action movie protagonists that just mutters stereotypical action lines. He also has some intense plot armor on throughout this. He’s too similar to Dutch and just ends up being a worse character for it. The Predator does nothing to bring out the best in him or make the character very interesting. A lot of this doesn’t make much sense. A whole fleet of Predators in their spaceships hovering over, then attacking New York is WAY too much to just throw in the end part of the story. An alien invasion in the middle of New York should be so much of a bigger deal. Not much development of the Predator lore. If anything, it harms the character of the aliens. An extremely silly deus ex machina ending. The art continuously shifts and changes as the creative team changes.
So, Will I Like It?
You’ll like this series if you enjoyed Predator or Predator 2. Predator 2 straight up took this comic and just made a better movie from the bones of this plot. You’ll like it if you’re a fan of 80’s or 90’s made for VHS or basic cable action movies. It’s corny and silly and funny and never bores you.
Where Does It Rank?
As this is the first article, it takes the top spot. It won’t hold it for long.
- Predator: Concrete Jungle