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Comic Book vs. Movie – Aliens vs. Predator

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I had a wonderful time participating in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Reverse Readathon on August 7th and 8th. I had the opportunity to read a lot of great books, and I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you during the past couple of weeks. If you missed out on any of my earlier Reverse Readathon reviews, and you would like to get caught up, you can find them in the Readathon category here on The Unapologetic Bookworm.

The final book that I completed during the Reverse Readathon was Aliens vs. Predator, a comic book series created by Randy Stradley, Phill Norwood, and Chris Warner.

Aliens vs. Predator takes place on a planet called Ryushi, which is home to a ranching community. Unfortunately for the humans living on Ryushi, the planet is also a hunting ground for a group of Predators, who have seeded the planet’s surface with Xenomorph eggs, intending to hunt the full-grown aliens. The humans find themselves caught between the two species, and must fight to survive.

I really enjoyed Aliens vs. Predator. I do have to say that having watched Alien and most of the movies in the Predator franchise, I was not surprised by the outcome of the story. But even though I saw the ending coming, I really enjoyed the journey. I found the characters and plot interesting, but was actually more engaged by the artwork itself.

The art of Aliens vs. Predator is fantastic! The illustrators put a lot of thought and effort into their designs, they clearly knew both movie franchises very well, and they did a great job of representing both of these classic Sci-Fi/horror genre creatures.

The 30th Anniversary edition of Aliens vs. Predator is in full-color, and I found the illustrators’ choice of colors unique. The backgrounds and colors they chose to use really made the Xenomorphs pop, whereas the movies tend to keep them more in the shadows. I liked the comic book approach because the detail work on these aliens is incredible, and it’s nice to be able to see that detail more clearly.

AVP: Alien vs. Predator was created more than 10 years after the release of the comic books. The movie follows a group of people exploring an ancient pyramid buried in the ice on an island near Antarctica. Unbeknownst to the humans, the pyramid they are exploring contains a Xenomorph queen, who begins to lay eggs after their arrival. They are joined by a group of Predators, who have come to the pyramid in order to participate in a ritual hunt. The explorers soon find themselves in the crossfire between both species, and come to the realization that the survival of the planet depends on the Predators’ ability to defeat the Xenomorphs and their queen.

While the comic books and movie do share the same premise (Predators hunting Xenomorphs), their plots and characters are very different. According to information I’ve gleaned from the Fandom website, there actually was a script created in 1991 that had a lot more in common with the original comic book plot. However, that particular project did not come to fruition.

Even though the 2004 movie is not a faithful adaptation of the comic books, if you think of them as simply being part of the same universe, I think you’ll be satisfied with both.

Personally, while I enjoyed reading the original comic books, I have to confess that I actually liked the 2004 movie better due to its plot. I really liked the fact that the movie was set on Earth, and it seemed to work well with the idea of Predators using our planet as a hunting ground (as they do in other movies). That choice on the part of the writers grounded the story in reality for me, and it made the stakes a bit higher.

Unlike the other movies in the Predator franchise, AVP: Alien vs. Predator was released with a PG-13 rating. Because of this, I found that the level of violence and gore that was present in the movie was pretty on par with the violence contained in the comic books.

If you are a fan of either the Alien or Predator franchises, I think that both the comic book series and the movie will be well worth your time. If you enjoy the movie, there is a sequel which was released a few years later, called Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. It takes place immediately after the events of the first movie. Fair warning, Requiem definitely earns its R-rating.

Out of curiosity, which species do you find more terrifying: Xenomorphs, or Predators? If you’d like to cast your vote, you can respond by commenting on this post, or you can respond to my poll on Twitter @UnapologBkworm.

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