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Monday, 28 May 2018

We Hunt Some Predators With Chris Warner

This coming summer, Dark Horse Comics is bringing the Predator back to newsstands.

Predator: Hunters II will continue the story that began in last summer's stellar miniseries, and sees the team in disarray following their last run in with the Predators - just as another Yautja pops up ready to raise hell in war-torn Afghanistan.

We recently caught up with Dark Horse Comics Senior Editor and Predator veteran Chris Warner, and he was more than willing to chat up this new and exciting miniseries that once again, pits some of the deadliest predators on earth against the deadliest predators in the galaxy!

Check out the full interview posted below...

Infinite Earths: "Can you tell us a little bit about the story behind Predator: Hunters II?"

Chris Warner: "When we left our team of hunters at the end of the first series, they had taken quite a beating in the isolated Amelia Islands. They had accomplished their goal but paid a heavy price for success. The second series begins not long after, with the team licking their wounds, mourning their losses, and seeing much of their crew abandoning the project. This leaves even the most hardcore zealots of the team wondering if the mission they so believed in is really worth the costs when faced with a new Predator sighting in war-torn Afghanistan and a short-handed operation with little time to prepare and far less than ideal resources."

Infinite Earths: "How will this new book differ from last year's Predator: Hunters book?"

Chris Warner: "For one, we have a different artist. The very talented Francisco Ruiz Velasco is back to his work in film, and the also very talented Agustin Padilla is filling the artist’s seat, and doing a spectacular job of it. As far as story goes, we get to dive deeper into the characters as they face tough odds in a very rough, very dangerous country. And new players also enter the game."

Infinite Earths: "Predator: Hunters featured a cast of familiar faces from throughout numerous Predator comics, will the sequel follow in its footsteps?"

Chris Warner: "We’ll have the same key characters who were on stage in the first series finale, but focus within the team changes. Tyler Swain, a former private security grunt in Afghanistan, returns to the scene of his first encounter with Predators, a meeting that left him scarred and shamed. We’ll get deeper into Swain, and we’ll find out more about Jaya and her operation."

Infinite Earths: "What can you tell us about the human characters that'll be making up Predator: Hunters II?"

Chris Warner: "Jaya Soames, the leader of the team, is dealing with an existential team crisis, while Enoch Nakai, Mandy Graves, and Tyler Swain reexamine their own motivations and future plans in the face of the losses suffered in the Amelia Islands. Turns out hunting Predators is bloody work. Who knew?"

Infinite Earths: "What sets this new book apart from all the countless Predator titles that have come before it?"

Chris Warner: "It’s a team book and maybe more character driven than some of the other Predator stories. To me, the film Predator is so strong partly because of the personalities and chemistry of the team. Hopefully I’m able to plug into off some of that."

Infinite Earths: "What will longtime fans enjoy most about this new series? At the same time, what does it offer newcomers?"

Chris Warner: "The key to a Predator story is the cast who have to face off against the alien hunters, and I’d like to think we have a great cast, some taken from earlier Predator stories, some new. For newcomers, even though this arc continues from the first, I don't think this is too tough a continuity to jump into."

Infinite Earths: "What's it like working with an artist like Agustin Padilla? Is this the first time you've collaborated on a project together?"

Chris Warner: "I'd never worked with Augustin before, but I’d seen a lot of samples from his agent, and I thought his work was first-rate and didn’t look like any other comics artist out there, which I always hope for. But you never know how a situation like this will pan out until you see pages, and I was super impressed from the very first that arrived. I write pretty detailed scripts and provide tons of reference—I want as much authenticity as possible—and Agustin isn't afraid to do the hard stuff. That gets me excited."

Infinite Earths: "How does writing for a character like the Predator differ from others that you've worked on before?"

Chris Warner: "Unlike most characters, you can’t really get into a Predator's head, so you have to figure out how to express character through action. Not every Predator is the same, some are more bloodthirsty than others. That’s a challenge, since you don’t want to cast the Predator as just the boogey man."

Infinite Earths: "If there's one thing you'd like to highlight about Predator: Hunters II above all else, what would that be?"

Chris Warner: "We haven’t had a continuing Predator storyline in quite a while, and we can therefore broaden the scope of the overall story. We don’t have to start from absolute scratch."

Infinite Earths: "You've worked on many Alien and Predator books during your time at Dark Horse Comics, what keeps you coming back?"

Chris Warner: "They’re cool, what can I say? Back in the eighties, Predator was the first comics series I worked on that really made an impact with readers, and it’s the series I’m most known for. I’m constantly amazed how many artists tell me that my Predator stuff really grabbed them when they were kids and made them want to draw comics, too. That’s really gratifying, and while I’m not much of a back-in-the-day guy, revisiting Predator always feels a little like coming home. To a slaughterhouse, sure, but it’s still nice to be home."

Infinite Earths: "Given the massive fan base behind these creatures, do you ever feel an added pressure to ensure you deliver a story that fans will not only love, but pay a respectful homage to the Predator's history?"

Chris Warner: "I don't really worry about what readers will think. I worry about what I think, and I’m a big Predator fan, so if I like what we create, my guess is that Predator fans will enjoy the books. One standard I cling to is to not try to reinvent the wheel or insinuate myself too much into the mythos. That kind of thing is usually pretty lame. Predators are interesting because they’re mysterious. Why draw back the curtain just to find a little old man pulling levers?"

Infinite Earths: "What do you think has allowed a franchise like Predator to grow and flourish over the last three decades?"

Chris Warner: "There’s a dark reflection of humanity within the Predators, so even though they’re mostly impenetrable, we can still relate to them on some levels and even sometimes admire them. Plus, the original movie is so good, so iconic, that any kid who watches it becomes a new Predator fan. Predator will still be kicking ass in reruns and making new fans long after I’m dead."

Infinite Earths: "Settle this once and for all—Alien vs. Predator, who wins and why?"

Chris Warner: "One on one, a Predator would have the upper hand. They’re powerful, fearless, and intelligent. Aliens have the numbers and are all-in all the time—and there’s that acid blood poison pill, of course—but mano o mano, I’ll put my money on the Predator."

Infinite Earths: "What are your thoughts on the first teaser trailer for The Predator? Are you looking forward to seeing a new Predator movie after nearly ten years?"

Chris Warner: "I’m always amped for more Predator. Hell, I still watch the first movie any time I run across it on TV. I just stop whatever I’m doing and dive in. All things considered, it’s an almost perfect movie."

And we must admit, we agree!

Infinite Earths would like to personally thank Chris for taking time out of his busy schedules to speak with us! We are honored to have you as a fan and supporter of our work at Infinite Earths and look forward to speaking with you again in the future! 

For more information on this exciting new series, be sure to follow Dark Horse Comics on Twitter, and be sure to pick up the first issue of Predator: Hunters II on August 8th.

Until next time, Infinite Earths fans!  

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