Aliens vs Avengers vs Predators – Two New Marvel Comic Series

Aliens vs Avengers & Predator vs Black Panther Covers

Marvel Comics made the surprise announcement recently that Jonathan Hickman, custodian of the Krakoan era X-Men, the new Ultimate Universe, and original Marvel property G.O.D.S. would be working a new project.

However, something that no one would have guessed was that that property was none other than crossover between two titans of the entertainment space – Aliens vs Avengers!

And that’s not all. Remember the sales behemoth Predator vs Wolverine? Your local comic book store certainly does. Well, series writer Benjamin Percy isn’t done with the Yautja just yet, as Predator vs Black Panther is also coming to readers in Summer 2024.

The New Custodians of 20th Century Fox Comics

Between the Alien, Predator and Planet of the Apes series, 20th Century Fox has a long history of producing extended universe material dating all the way back to 1988 (or 1974, in the case of the Apes property).

Originally, both Alien and Predator comics were published through Dark Horse Comics, home of titles like Hellboy. They remained there until 2020, when Dark Horse lost the licence and published the last few series that it had solicited with Alien: The Original Screenplay and Predator: Hunters III.

As of March 20th 2019, Disney officially acquired 20th Century Fox and all of its assets for a grand total of $71.3 billion. With that, the publishing rights for any comics based off of 20th Century Fox properties naturally reverted away from Dark Horse and were granted to Marvel Comics, also owned by parent company Disney.

Since 2019, Marvel have been diligently producing new series under these licences, as well as reprinting old material for new audiences.

Prior to the announcement of Aliens vs Avengers and Predator vs Black Panther, numerous mini-series have been released, including five volumes of Alien, three volumes of Predator and even a Predator vs Wolverine series that debuted to rave sales figures.

Top Talent for Marvel’s Top Licences

There’s always a risk when licenced comics are announced that the talent behind the page will be less than stellar. Licences are expensive, which eats into the cash available to pay for top-shelf creators. Then there’s the fact that the best creators are either working on the largest properties available at companies (your Batmans, X-Men etc.) or on their own ventures, and you’re sometimes left without great talent to work on these books.

However, Marvel has been clever in its approach to these new series. I mentioned a diligent approach to production above – that’s in reference both to talent and to frequency.

Instead of flooding the market with hastily put-together comics, Marvel took its time. Rising stars like Phillip Kennedy Johnson were paired with industry stalwarts like Salvador Larroca on titles like Alien, and when those series were done new ones were solicited in their place. Over time, they’ve then built to bigger events.

Benjamin Percy, writer of Predator vs Wolverine and the upcoming sequel Predator vs Black Panther even noted on ComicPop Returns how restrained Marvel’s approach to attaining the licence was, choosing not to go straight into crossovers and spectacle and instead to build to it.

And what a build it’s been, as the team behind Secret Wars (2015) reunintes for the first time since to bring readers Aliens vs Avengers.

A four-part limited series, Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic are teaming up to deliver the knock-down, drag-out action-horror book that only they could craft.

‘Probably one of the coolest things about the project is how we’ve found really fun ways to ‘Avengerize’ Aliens and ‘alien-up’ Avengers. I think fans will be surprised at how elegantly some of those things fit together,’ Hickman says, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Aliens vs Avengers releases its first issue on August 28th 2024.

Building on Momentum with Predator vs Black Panther

Following that up, and sequelising the aformentioned Predator vs Wolverine from last year, comes Benjamin Percy and new series artist Chris Allen on Predator vs Black Panther.

Early preview art (albeit without colours or lettering) can be seen below:

Percy comes off of a monumental run on both Wolverine and X-Force this year (one that we’ve had lots of positive things to say about). Allen recently worked with the warrior king of Wakanda on the last ongoing Black Panther series. So, both creators are primed and ready to craft four stunning issues of violence and warfare.

Releasing around the same time as Hickman and Ribic’s project, Predator vs Black Panther #1 launches on August 21st 2024. Ken Lashley, Edwin Galmon, Skottie Young and more will provide variant covers.

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