Updated 2:50 PM Eastern with Dark Horse’s statement.

A pair of iconic cinematic universes have found a new comic book home. IGN reports that the licenses for the AlienPredator, and (naturally) Alien Vs. Predator film series and characters have all been acquired by Marvel Comics. The deal will see Marvel publishing comics based on both properties beginning next year. While no other details on the publisher’s plans for the properties have yet been revealed, Marvel has released a pair of illustrations by David Finch that highlight the signature creatures of each property in a pair of familiar locations.

The Alien-centric illustration features a xenomorph skulking around the halls of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship (get away from Starlord’s Walkman, you b*tch!):

Meanwhile, the illustration featuring the Predator shows the creature standing atop Avengers Tower, a robotic Iron Man head in hand:

Alien and Predator are the latest properties to join Marvel’s lineup. The two franchises, owned by 20th Century Fox, come to Marvel following parent company Disney’s acquisition of Fox, which was finalized early last year. Marvel also acquired the license to Robert E. Howard‘s Conan and associated characters in late 2018, and began publishing its own massive line of Star Wars comics in 2015 following Disney’s 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm.

All four of those properties have one thing in common: they were previously licenses held by Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse has seen nearly all of its licensed properties move to other publishers in recent years, with the other major license they held, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, having moved to BOOM! Studios in 2018. The publisher still has the license for Netflix’s Stranger Things, as well as numerous video game properties, not to mention creator-owned series like Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy and Jeff Lemire‘s Black Hammer. In fact, in their own statement on the loss of the Alien and Predator licenses, Dark Horse mentioned the many licensed properties they still have the rights to:

Still, for a publisher that’s also been facing a lot of questions of late regarding its shielding of editor Scott Allie from sexual misconduct allegations, as well as allegations of racism and harassment from former employees that have circulated on social media, the loss of two of their biggest properties is just another piece of bad news.

Despite the crossover appeal of the Finch-drawn images, THR clarifies that, at least for now, the creatures of Alien and Predator won’t be crossing over with The Avengers or the rest of the Marvel Universe. Let’s be honest, though: it’s only a matter of time. Maybe Knull will run into the xenomorphs on his way to Earth, and we’ll end up with an army of symbiote-wearing Aliens running around. (That actually doesn’t sound entirely implausible.)

Check out the full statement from Marvel on the Alien and Predator acquisition below.

New York, NY— July 2, 2020 — Today, Marvel Entertainment announced three iconic franchises – ALIEN, PREDATOR, and ALIEN VS. PREDATOR – will be launching all-new stories with Marvel Comics starting in 2021! Revealed exclusively by IGN, the new comic series will feature new and classic characters from Earth and beyond to explore never-before-seen corners of both the Alien and Predator universes.

Following the debut of Alien in 1979 and Predator in 1987, the films built a cult following and expanded rapidly to include toys, games, novels, and comic books, eventually leading to 2004’s landmark crossover Alien vs. Predator. Marvel’s new stories will draw from all of these properties, building on decades of multimedia storytelling. Get a first look at next year’s deadly new chapter with spine-chilling cover art by David Finch!

“There’s nothing more thrilling than a story that will keep you at the edge of your seat, and Alien and Predator have delivered that time and time again!” C.B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel, told IGN. “I can clearly remember where I was when I saw each of these modern masterpieces for the first time, and reveling in how both masterfully weave extraterrestrial dread and drama into some of the most iconic scenes we’ve ever seen on film. And it’s that legacy that we’re going to live up to!”

“The incredible legacies of both franchises offer some of the most compelling and exciting worldbuilding in all of science fiction,” said Marvel Editor Jake Thomas. “It is a thrill and an honor to be able to add to that mythology and continuity with all-new stories set within those universes.”

Alien and Predator are the two of the most identifiable, iconic characters of all time, and I love them for that,” said Finch. “But mostly, it’s being fortunate enough to be a kid when they were new. I’ve seen every movie they’ve ever been in, and I cannot wait to see them wreaking havoc in the Marvel Universe. I drew my pictures of them with a massive smile on my face.”

“As a visual medium, comics are the perfect place to build on those moments, and we here at Marvel are honored to begin telling these stories for fans everywhere,” added Cebulski. “As our release schedule continues to return, we can’t wait to share more in the coming months!”

Details on upcoming ALIEN and PREDATOR comic book titles, collections, reprints, and creative teams will be shared at a later date. For Marvel’s most up-to-date release schedule for your favorite comics, visit Marvel.com/newcomics. Be sure to ask your local comic book shop about their current business policies to observe social distancing or other services they may offer, including holding or creating pull lists, curbside pick-ups, special deliveries and other options to accommodate. Find and support your local comic book shop at http://comicshoplocator.com or by visiting http://marvel.com/lovecomicshops.

10 COMMENTS

  1. The first Dark Horse comic I ever bought was the first issue of Aliens back in 1989.

    It’s getting to the point where I’ll be amazed if they’re still in business five years from now.

  2. “Dark Horse has seen nearly all of its licensed properties move to other publishers in recent years, with the other major license they held, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, having moved to BOOM! Studios in 2018.”

    And I think that also falls under the 20th Century Studios brand too, so how long do you think until that announcement comes out of Marvel?

    I know Marvel has a history of licensed books, but this recent push between stuff they “own” (Star Wars, and this announcement) and stuff they don’t (Conan, Ultraman, Warhammer) seems more aggressive than normal for them.

  3. @MisterSmith , 20th Century Studios actually owns a minority share of Boom!, so it’s unlikely the BtVS and Firefly licenses leave anytime soon.

    The levels of abuse at Dark Horse is honestly terrifying. And the fact that so few of the creators who work with them are willing to take a REAL stand and ask for the removal of Mike Richardson is shameful.

  4. Yeah, it sucks for DH to lose these two high-profile licenses but let’s remember that Aliens and Predator aren’t the money-making machines they once were. There’s not a lot of output of the two and licenses cost money to buy. There can’t be too much loss of profit.

    Second, let’s also remember that Mike Richardson does not own Dark Horse anymore. The company was bought a couple of years ago and Richardson is there mostly as a figurehead for continuity’s sake. Should he step down? Yeah, probably years ago and for many reasons. But he was always ignorant of the rank-and-file’s doings and his removal won’t fix the problem of all the other people who are there that did nothing.

  5. Denis: I expect most of the creators who work for Dark Horse ARE disgusted by the behavior. But you also have to realize that these same creators are probably trying to figure out what a potential split from Dark Horse means for the books they work on or characters they created. See Jeff Lemire/Black Hammer

    Much like Amazon, Facebook, etc. the real damage to these companies will be felt 2-5 years from now, when they can no longer attract the top notch talent they need to remain competitive. The reality is that the poor (to say the least) handling of Scott Allie and now the racism complaints, will make Dark Horse an extremely unattractive option for creators with potentially successful projects. BOOM!, Ahoy, Aftershock, AWA, & Image will all benefit from the mismanagement of Dark Horse.

  6. Sad for Dark Horse, who usually do quality work on their licensed properties. Marvel, on the other hand, aside from their 1970-80s Conan and their very early (1st 50 or so issues) Star Wars – way back in 1978 – have a very poor record on licensed properties.

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