Sunday, August 29, 2010

CBR Predator: Concrete Jungle


It's time for more Predator stuff!

Today's review, the comic book that inspired the name for that Predator game!

Comic title: Predator: Concrete Jungle
Art by Chris Warner & Ron Randall
Written by Mark Verheiden

Published by Dark Horse Comics
From 1990
Lineup Predator
Format: Trade paperback collecting Predator #1-4

Just after starting making comics about the Alien franchise in '88, 20th Century Fox launched a Predator line as well under the same publisher, Dark Horse.

It wasn't to adapt the movie, but to expand the franchise, to create a whole new original universe, which is in my eyes a better move, more creative in the end.

Concrete Jungle was the first story-arc that was created from '89 to 1990. It set the bar for future Predator comics as well as developed new concepts that would be kept in the movies later on...

Schaefer's brother is about to have one helluva week...

The story opens this time in New York City.
Detective Schaefer and his partner Detective Rasche are caught between turf wars between gang lords...
The city is havin' sort of a crisis, shoot-outs, war, high criminality... and a very hot summer time!

That is when our story's Predator decide to pick on the locals.

You probably guessed it, the story (which was in fact created before the movie) has a very familiar set-up.
Predator 2 might be an original sequel but does recycle lots of elements from this comic book!
As many as it almost seems like a comic book adaptation rather than the "original" sequel you thought it was!
But don't think the two follow the same path.
Predator 2 might share many similar aspects, Concrete Jungle doesn't share as much elements..for only the first of the 3 acts takes place in the city amongst gang wars...

This time around, the mano-a-mano fight takes place in the middle of the story...

The story follows this newly introduced brother to Schwarzennegger's character in the first Predator movie.
Schaefer follows the gangs... and meets his very first Predator in NYC in the first issue!
The fight it out...and Schaefer gets "tagged".

Is this monster connected to his brother disappearance?
What's the link with this mysterious conspiration and government guys?
What's General Phillips hidding from him about these creatures?

Schaefer tracks down the monster to South America, Columbia, where he ends face to face with it as well as a drug lord...
Big classic mano-a-mano combat against the alien...
Schaefer is now in possession of a Pred helmet..goes back to Big Apple...and...

It's an invasion!!

The final act brings the character back to the streets of NY...
And a Predator invasion!!

You see, Concrete Jungle isn't the same kind of story as the ones seen on theatres..
It's a lot more epic on a scale-aspect, more scifi-ysh and, even if written before P2, bridges the gap between those two kind of movies.
The first part of the movie, very much like Predator 2, tries to bring new elements and a new setting to the franchise. (unlike the movie, it's not in LA but New York)
The second part goes back to the jungle, much familiar, and has the big confrontation take place in the middle of the story...
The final act rather than trying to redo more "one on one" combats against the Predator or something of the same scope, goes wider, wilder and ends the story in a much climatic final.

The writing, as with most Dark Horse comics, is pretty consistent, well done.
Not incredible, but it works for this kind of movie/tv-to-comic adaptation.
The art is pretty nice, the new Predators are similar to the movie ones, yet kinda unique as well.
Only the color is sort of "moody". Like red-ysh in crisis, dangerous situations, yellow-ysh for dialogues, etc...


Overall, it's a great Predator entry in the franchise!

It would even work as a movie (I like to count it as the real 3rd movie, with the other Concrete Jungle game as the next one and Predators as the 5th "big Predator story").
It predates (arf :P) the 2nd movie, offers the same basis, yet could easily work in the franchise after that installment.

I really dig this comic.
Sure, there might have been better Predator comics later on, but this one set the bar and the foundations of future Predator works.
It introduced many aspects such as their "civilisation" aspect (a whole specie of alien hunters, which we only thought there was only one in P1), new weapons, their spaceships, and many more!
The story also partially uses the fact that the government knows about these monsters, which is one of the main plots of Predator 2.

Anyway, if you like the monster, the movies or are interested in checkin' some good ol' scifi comics from the 90s, you might wanna try Concrete Jungle!

I give it:
  2 / 3 Aaylas!

2 comments:

  1. There should be more Mano-a-mano fights between men and aliens. Don't get any more badass than then!

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  2. Specially normal (yet badass) humans against aliens!
    Not like those silly Superheroes vs monsters comics...

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