Over the course of their storied careers as antagonists in film and comics, the Predators, AKA the Yautja, have hunted some powerful foes. Most of them have been heavily armed and/or highly capable humans created for a Predator film or comic, but they have also stalked some famous faces like the Xenomorphs of the Alien film series and have had several comic crossovers that have pitted them against heroes from DC, Dark Horse Comics, and even Archie Comics. There's one famous face the Predator hasn't hunted yet, whose savage nature and signature set of claws make him a perfect and exciting target for the Yautja -- Wolverine.
That all changes this September when longtime Wolverine writer Benjamin Percy and the art team of Greg Land, Andrea Di Vito, Ken Lashley, and Kei Zama kick off the crossover miniseries Predator Versus Wolverine. The four-issue series is a history-spanning tale where the titular adamantium-enhanced X-Man becomes the target of several Predator hunting parties and one, particularly persistent Yautja. CBR spoke with Percy about the series, the appeal of the Predator, the time periods his story unfolds in, and how natural it feels to have Wolverine and the Yautja hunting each other. Marvel also provided CBR with an exclusive first look at some of Greg Land and colorist Frank D'armata's pages for Predator Versus Wolverine #1 and the cover and solicit info for November's Predator Versus Wolverine #3.
CBR: In the press release for this project, you talked about being a child of the ‘80s and falling in love with the film Predator. What was it about that movie and its titular alien hunter that initially captured your imagination? And what is it about the Predators that makes them such compelling characters to write about now?
Benjamin Percy: As a child of the '80s, I worshiped at the altar of Arnold and Stallone. Predator was the apex movie. I was in third grade when it was released, and though I wasn't allowed to see rated-R films, there is always that kid in the neighborhood whose parents don't give a shit. (Thanks, Kevin.) I saw it at his house on VHS maybe five times, and it lit up my nervous system like an electrical grid. This was when I was living in Hawaii, and we used the jungle hillside and river behind our houses as a stage for reenacting the film, setting traps, [and] firing off Nerf guns. Since then, I honestly can't tell you how often I've rewatched it. Dozens. It's committed to memory like a kind of bloody scripture.
As for why it appeals to me now… The Yautja are technologically advanced. Their intelligence is superior to humans, you could argue. And yet they engage in primal behavior, putting their lives in danger to hunt dangerous prey. This is for sport, but we sense it's for something deeper and more spiritual as well. I come from a hunting family. I also love to hike and fish and ski and kayak. I never feel more at peace than when I'm in the woods away from my computer and phone, away from the bills and deadlines, away from the myriad distractions of contemporary life. And I've never felt more alive than when I've almost died falling from a cliffside, facing down a moose on a trail, or getting pulled out to sea by a rip current. I imagine that the Yautja -- like me -- need to escape the digital circuitry and plug into something more elemental to remind themselves that they are made of bone and blood, that we are all perishable nothings in the vast, cold indifference of the universe. That's when things feel truest.
Wolverine and the Predators share traits like claws and savage nature. Pitting them against each other feels organic and has been a dream matchup for film and comic fans since the ‘80s. How does it feel to be the one to finally tell the story of this clash?
I'm guessing most people reacted the same way to the news of this announcement: how has this never happened?
Predator and Wolverine is a pairing like peanut butter and chocolate, shoes and socks, or whatever. They belong together. This event -- their union-- has been an inevitability.
The fact that I'm writing it? For the first time? Doesn't feel real, honestly. I'm aware of the responsibility, and I'm delivering the goods required of me for this kind of royal rumble. I've been pushing for this since I learned about the Disney acquisition of 20th Century Studios So [it's been] years. I've been asking and asking and asking for years, and I'm thrilled it all finally came together.
Wolverine's claws, healing factor, combat capability, and depending on the time period, adamantium skeleton mean he's no easy target to even the most seasoned Predator. What does it mean for the Yautja to find a being like Wolverine? What kinds of Predator would even attempt to hunt him?
This is not a single hunt. This is a story that spans decades. It begins when both Logan and the Yautja are young. In fact, the first issue is titled "First Hunt." They will each evolve and pivot in profound ways as time progresses.
Prey illustrated the Predators' long history with Earth, and Wolverine has been alive on Earth for a pretty long time. I understand that shared longevity and history is part of Predator Versus Wolverine. How many years will this series span? Which periods in Wolverine's life will this story cover?
Predator Versus Wolverine will dance between the raindrops of Wolverine's storied past. We're going to see him living his Jeremiah Johnson life, trapping and hunting in the frozen north. We're going to see him on black ops missions with Team X. We're going to see him as a mindless arsenal with Weapon X and more! The Yautja will be one of the recurring adversaries who has influenced the course of his life in surprising and profound ways.
What can you tell us about the Predator(s) Wolverine interacts with in this story? Is this a tale of his many battles against the Yautja? Or is it ultimately a tale of Wolverine vs one Predator?
There is more than one Predator in this story. I'll say that. But the relationship between Logan and one particular Yautja is the emotional core.
Your history-spanning approach affords you the opportunity to employ a multitude of different backdrops in the Predator's battle with Wolverine. What's it like having your title characters throw down in iconic Wolverine locales like Madripoor and the Canadian Wilderness? Are there any other settings you can talk about?
I don't want to reveal everything. I've got to leave some surprises. But the variety of backdrops, time periods, and character evolutions will make every issue feel constantly fresh and compulsively readable.
What's it like working with your art team of Greg Land, Andrea Di Vito, Ken Lashley, and Kei Zama?
The art talent on this event is sick and spectacular. I'm lucky to work with all of these rock stars, and they're each bringing their particular skillset into play. Beautiful mayhem awaits.
Finally, Wolverine has been part of many groups over his long history. So, what else can you tell us about the supporting cast of Predator Versus Wolverine? Will any other familiar Marvel characters be drawn into their conflict?
There are some familiar characters, but you're just going to have to stay tuned to find out who makes an appearance. In addition to legacy characters, there [are] also some new names I hope readers will enjoy.
I don't take it lightly that I've been given this opportunity. I'm putting everything I've got into this event, and I hope the fans will show up for it.
PREDATOR VS WOLVERINE #3 (OF 4)
BENJAMIN PERCY (W) • KEN LASHLEY, KEI ZAMA & MORE (A)
Cover by MARCO CHECCHETTO
TIME TO BLEED!
The most gruesome chapter yet! Years after his first encounter with the Yautja, Wolverine's gone feral – just the way the Weapon X program likes him! If the Predator thought the mutant was hard to kill before…now he'll meet the real beast. But the prize this time isn't just the kill. Now Wolverine carries something precious within him, something a Predator's never encountered. An indestructible metal that would give the hunter the edge over prey on any world…
On Sale 11/29
Predator Versus Wolverine #1 is due out on Sept. 20.