The Aliens Versus Predator universe is coming to Marvel next year, and that opens the door for several dream matches. To celebrate, today’s blog looks back on the franchises’ famous crossovers.
Dear Kevin Feige,
Give us Wolverine versus the Predator.
With both the Aliens and Predator franchises getting a Marvel makeover in 2021, there is no doubt that the xenomorphs and the Yautja will battle Marvel’s elite. During their time with Dark Horse Comics, the publisher added to both Aliens and Predator lore, but it’s most popular stories came from the crossovers.
From superheroes to cyborgs and even a comedy title, Dark Horse pit its favorite intergalactic characters against pretty much everything. Here are six standouts from the Dark Horse era.
Well before there was a Marvel Studios and much less an MCU, 1989’s Predator 2 introduced fans to a Fox shared universe. In the closing moments of the film, viewers were given a glimpse onboard a Yautja spaceship. Then Predator 2 blew minds around the world when, among the trophies hanging on the wall, there was a xenomorph skull.
Dark Horse picked up the idea and ran with it, producing numerous AVP series over the years. (Yes, there were two AVP movies, but let’s try to forget those, shall we?) It all started with Dark Horse Presents #36.
This comic proved that, with the right creative team behind it, even the most unlikely of scenarios can work.
Of all the Aliens and Predator crossovers to read, this should be at the top of your list. With Marvel getting its shot at fans’ dream fights, Batman versus Predator sets the bar very high. Will Marvel find a way to top this classic? That is a tall order. Crossovers between publishers don’t normally work, so our expectations are generally low. BVP defied the trend and is a legitimately good story, ranking among the best crossovers of any kind.
Considering Dark Horse held the publishing rights to all three characters, it was only natural for these three to be put together in Aliens vs. Predator vs. The Terminator. With Terminator comics making a slight rebound thanks to Transformers vs. Terminator, it is a good time to revisit this limited free-for-all. Does that mean this is a legendary story that will spawn its own movies? That is a big no, but fans of the sci-fi franchises will be entertained all the same.
This was the crossover that shouldn’t have worked, yet it did. Fans of the irreverent fell in love at first sight with the first limited series. Archie vs. Predator was so popular that it spawned a sequel, though there is no rekindling that original affair.
Where Batman’s encounter with the Predator is a legendary mash-up, the Dark Knight’s first meeting with the xenomorphs does not reach its predecessor’s level. Still, fans of classic horror comics will want to check Batman/Aliens out simply for Bernie Wrightson’s artwork, which is always stellar.
Like Wolverine versus the Predator, this matchup simply makes sense. DC’s intergalactic police officer has encountered practically every alien in the universe. Naturally, there had to come a time when at least one member of the GL corps would run across a xenomorph. It would happen in Green Lantern Versus Aliens.
THE NEXT BIG CROSSOVER
Both Aliens and Predator’s comic book legacies will be their crossovers. Whether it’s intertwining the AVP universe or their inter-promotional battles, what has given the comics a life away from the movies are the crossovers. The possibilities in the “House of Ideas” is vast, especially when you consider the odds of Star Wars versus Aliens/Predator or, better yet, Conan versus Aliens/Predator.
While there is fertile ground for new matchups in the Marvel Universe, what I hope is that, like all those Dark Horse crossovers, each fight is a standalone story, and Aliens and Predator, even under the Marvel banner, get to keep their universe separate. If not, we’ll have a Predator in the Avengers since, well, everyone else in the MU is an Avenger.