In a matchup that has been years in the making (or just since Marvel acquired the comics rights to the Predator character), the mutant who is the best there is at what he does takes on one of the greatest hunters in the galaxy.
Fans have been clamoring for this crossover for years, pretty much since the Predator first appeared in 1987, and after over 30 years, it has finally happened. Predator has faced off against other superheroes before, notably Batman, in three separate mini-series. Still, a face-off between the Yautja and everyone’s favorite X-man actually makes more sense than taking on the Dark Knight, as they both are brute fighters.
Issue #1 of the four-part mini-series teases a years-long fight between the two rivals as it takes place in three time periods: 1900 Alaska, in South America during Wolverine’s time with Weapon X, and finally, a brief glimpse of a modern-day hunt. The South America and modern settings are basically teasers for the rest of the series, though, as the bulk of the action for Issue #1 takes place in Alaska in the year 1900, with a still young Wolverine taking on a lone Predator in the rugged northern wilderness.
A young Logan breaks away from his secluded lifestyle and takes on a job seemingly helping a wealthy businessman retrieve his son, who is being held for ransom only for his double-crossing boss to be killed by a recently landed Predator, which leads to the first showdown between the two. The battle seemingly ends with the Predator defeated. Years later, Logan and his Team X teammates Sabretooth, Jackson, Kruel, and Maverick encounter a group of Predators in the South American jungle, setting up what looks to be a pretty exciting second issue.
Some will probably view this comic as a novelty series or a flimsy excuse for corporate synergy by Marvel’s parent company, Disney, who recently purchased most of the Fox catalog of characters and franchise, but I think it’s just a fun excuse to have a brawl between two super popular characters.
Admittedly, the first encounter between Wolverine and Predator doesn’t come off as exciting as it could be, but it provides a preview of a battle that will be even longer and bloodier than the first, so hopefully, this mini-series will pick up steam in the next issue which looks like it will. I am disappointed they seem to be skipping Logan’s time in Japan, but a fight between the Predators and Team X in South America looks fun and exciting.
The narration by Wolverine, which forms most of the backbone of the narrative, seems pretty on point for the character and adds to the story, which is mostly devoid of dialogue since it’s mostly a young Logan fighting the Predator.
While Benjamin Percy handles the writing, the art is divided up between artists, with Ken Lashley doing the art for the modern-day teaser, Greg Land and Jay Leisten providing the bulk of the issue with the young wolverine segment and Andrea Di Vito drawing the final Team X segment which sets up Issue #2. Each artist has their own strengths, which work well and differentiate each story, giving them each a unique style that is cool to see.
While Issue #1 of Predator vs. Wolverine starts somewhat slow, it does manage to set up some big action of Issue #2, and the use of different art and Wolverine narration work well to provide an exciting start to a crossover fans have been seeking for years. I would recommend checking it out if you are a fan of either character.