Predators - or, in their tongue, Yautja - are large bipedal, humanoid aliens. They stand anywhere from 6-8 feet in height and weigh hundreds of pounds. Their body is very muscular; due to their lifestyle-and, presumably, diet-very little of their body weight consists of fat. The colour of their skin varies from individual to individual-sometimes it is a pasty yellow, a light or dark green, or gray.
They almost always wear masks when they go on hunting excursions, and as a result their faces are rarely seen. They are very distinct, and nothing like a humans. They have small, green or yellow eyes and large broad foreheads. Their mouth is covered by four mandibles and behind those are another mouth-a sort of "mutated crab" appearance. On the back of their head are long tubes that resemble dreadlocks.
Physically, Yautja are faster, stronger, and more durable than any human-they have shown the speed to evade bullet fire, the durability to take bullets and explosions, and the strength to punch through concrete. Unlike ours, their blood is a neon green-easily seen by it's distinct colour. It is uncertain but believed that all of their sense are superior to humans as well-however, they can also use the systems built into their masks to have heightened vision in many different ways, and increase their hearing capabilities. Yautja also have great physical strength, shown when most Yautja hunters are able to almost effortlessly tear out spines from human corpses.
They need to breath air to survive, and prefer a hot, humid environment (although they can still survive in cold conditions easily, as a trio of young Yautja walked the ice of deep Antarctica with no support). Predators are able to breath Terran atmosphere, although the Jungle Hunter in the 1987 movie was shown to wear a breathing device after its Bio-Mask was taken off.
It is possible that they live longer than humans can possibly hope for, possibly into the hundreds of years. However, it is also possible that their "longevity" is relative to humans due to interstellar travel.
A sub-species of Yautja are called the Super-Predators, who are typically taller, paler, and bulkier than mainstream Yautja.
It is believed, but not confirmed that Yautja males stay with their mothers for a long period of time until they mature. Their first rite of passage is the binding of the "dreadlocks" to their heads-this process is said to be extremely painful and lasts for upwards of a month. If the young Yautja moves or shows any sign of the pain, the ritual is to be attempted again and again until successful.
The entire civilization of the Yautja revolves around the Hunt. While most species would pick a satisfactory area and stay with it, the Yautja move from planet to planet and area to area, based off of the hunting conditions. The most important ritual that a Yautja will have to pass is the first Hunt-alone, or in a small group, they leave the rest of their clan to hunt one of the most prized prey, "The Serpents", or as humans would call them, " Xenomorphs" or "Aliens". If successful, the Yautja will receive his more advanced weapons (Plasmacaster, energy bolts, etc.), and be invited onto more hunts. The Yautja bears a scar on it's forehead, generated by the acidic blood of the Xenomorphs, proving that he killed a Xenomorph.
If a Yautja were to flee and return without evidence or proof, he would commit suicide with a sacrificial dagger, which is the ultimate disgrace. After successful completion of the ritual, the Yautja are considered of the Young Blood class. The mark on their forehead is not only a sign of respect, but one to mark which clan they belong to-every mark is different and exclusive to one clan. Young Bloods are viewed as ambitious and reckless. They bear the trophy of their first kill - the skull of the Xenomorph - as a symbol of power. After holding the title for a length of time, the Yautja are simply known as Blooded Hunters.
While initially they may appear to be ruthless, brutal, and savage, the Yautja and their hunts are really governed by a strict code of ethics, much like the Samurai. It promotes honor, skill, and loyalty to the Clan. Those that follow this codes will not kill the female or weak of the prey species, as it is dishonorable to kill those that cannot defend themselves (though not always the case, as some females are well worthy of hunting). The Yautja that strictly follow and believe in the code are of the Warrior class. The Warrior Yautja travel across the universe alone, looking for worthy hunts.
When a Yautja demonstrates great honor, skill, and determination, they are viewed with respect. If it is great enough, they may be promoted to the Elder class. The Elders of the Yautja are of the highest respect and of most honor. They are the oldest, the wisest, the most skilled. They are the greatest Predators that have ever lived. Elders often have spared other species that have demonstrated such honor, usually from either defeating or fighting in line with a fellow Yautja. The Elders view these individuals as equals, regardless of species or gender.
The lowest of the ranks in the Yautja society are that of the Bad Blood. They are the disgraced Yautja, those that have disgraced the Hunt, broken the codes and performed other foul deeds. There are two classes to counteract the Bad Blood - the Honoured class, those who are skilled in all ways but not quite Elders, and the Arbitrators, the Yautja law enforcement. They are permitted to eliminate any Bad Blood on sight. Bad Bloods travel alone, running constantly. Some may be misunderstood, but others are evil and kill anything they see-perhaps even other Yautja.
An exception to this law are the Super-Predators, who exhibit little regard of Yautja hunting traditions and have been in conflict with mainstream Yautja society for an unknown period of time. The Super-Predators employ the use of traps and train Xenomorphs as bloodhounds, all of which are forbidden by Yautja tradition.
In the female society, not much is for certain. It is known, however, that they are larger than the males, and possibly stronger. They stay in the dwelling while the males hunt, and care for the young Yautja - they are extremely protective of their young.
Yautja hunters also have great respect for humans who are demonstrate capabilities enough to defeat one of their own or fight alongside them. Humans who have killed a Yautja or Xenomorph are honored with a trophy, usually an antique weapon.
Yautja Honor Code
The Yautja have a codified law which is followed religiously by all members of their species, specifically hunters and warriors. They can be summmarized in these points:
- Hunting Worthy Game; a Yautja hunter must ensure that their prey pose sufficient threat to them and show unwillingness to be hunter. Typically, unworthy game include children, the elderly, pregnant females, and the sickly.
- Honorable Death; hunters are expected to commit suicide when faced with failure in combat. Those who do not are viewed as cowards and outlaws, and Arbitrators are tasked with killing them.
- Hunt Weak Prey For Food; formidable prey cannot be eaten so as to purify their species' genetics.
- Do Not Claim Others' Trophies; it is a great offense to take other hunters' Trophies.
- Do Not Kill Wounded Game; game whose injuries are inflicted by other hunters cannot be killed by someone else whenever possible. If the game is still able to defend itself, the Trophy shall be a Joint Trophy.
- Never Interfere With Other Hunts; Yautja hunters must never enter the hunting grounds of another hunter without their permission.
Communication and Language
The Yautja language is complex-they have both a full alphabet as well as slang. Their verbal language consists of chirps, roars, and barks. Most well known of their verbal ways is their chilling, nerve-racking laughter.
They have a sign language that they use to silently communicate while on the hunt. Among these signs are movements of their mandibles to show emotions. The three most common signs go as followed-lower mandibles spread means aggression, mandibles flared means anger, and having mandibles flared as well as arched is pure rage.
Yautja hunters who have spent some time on Earth also possess at least some understanding of human communication. In the movie Predator 2 (1990), a hunter was able to imitate English and a leader of a Yautja clan is able to communicate in English.
Civilization and Methods
It has not been discovered whether or not the Yautja have a specific home world. It is likely that they originated from a specific planet, but as with their nomadic ways it is almost impossible to directly pinpoint the first planet. As it is, the Yautja inhabit many different planets for different Clans. For a home world to support a species such as the Yautja, it must have a few requirements, and thus we can describe what must the origin home world had been like.
The Yautja breath air-thus, the planet must have been much like our own, able to support life easily. Due to the hot preferences of the Yautja, it is likely that the planet was hot and humid, with a large amount of plants giving out the natural gases necessary for them to survive. In the movie Alien Vs. Predator-Requiem, the lead Yautja, Wolf, leaves his lair on a jungle planet. This supports that the Yautja most likely colonize or originated from a hot, humid, forested environment. It's also likely that it had multitudes of alien life on the planet-perhaps enforcing the Hunt mentality onto the Yautja.
Since the vision of the Yautja seem to be in infra-red mode, it is possible that the home world's sun, or light source, was very far away-making the planet dark and the Yautja's vision necessary to survive.
As for the Yautja's superhuman durability, strength, and speed, it's possible that the planet from which they originated from had a much higher gravity than ours, making the Yautja need to evolve in order to survive. It's also possible that, with the trees and other dangerous life forms, the Yautja evolved in order to become acrobatic as the easily move in the jungle environment.
It is not known how-other than the Hunt mentality-the Yautja civilization controls itself and maintains order. It's possible that, with the Elders representing their individual clans, there is a Senate or group of Yautja who form the decision makers of the species.
It is also possible that instead, a war was fought, with the dominant Clan forming a total dictatorship over the others. It would face much opposition if true.
The final theory is that, since female Yautja are in greater number and possibly stronger than the males, they dominate the civilization in all other aspects of life besides the Hunt. Then, it is easy to assume that a single leader controls the species-a Yautja Queen.
The Yautja''s technology is superior to humans and much more advanced. It is unknown whether or not the Yautja created this technology.
While on a Hunt, a Yautja will carry a large pack of equipment in it's belt, backpack, or different storage compartments. Different Yautja personalize their equipment in different ways, but generally this is the equipment present on a Hunt.
A standard for every respected Yautja hunter-the mask is an invaluable tool while on a Hunt. Contained within it's operating systems are different types of vision (including Infra-red, motion sensing, and night-vision, among others), sound improvements, and breathing aids. It also includes a sort of word-copy device, which allows the Yautja to communicate with alien life by mimicking the sounds it heard earlier. Also in the masks systems is a tracking device for any shoulder-mounted weapon.
Every mask is created by the Yautja that wears it, and thus, no two are alike.
Body Wire Mail
This is the basic clothing of a Yautja while hunting. It provides electricity-generated heat to keep the hunter warm in cold climates, and also serves as a component to their cloaking device. It is worn under the armour of a Yautja, and covers the entire body with a padding or mesh.
The armour that a Yautja wears while hunting is a single plate comprised of unknown metal-like everything created by the Yautja. It is light and maneuverable, but can still take heavy blows. Some armour is even capable of resisting the acidic qualities of Xenomorph blood.
There is another type of armour used only for ceremonies, but that is more for show than actual defense.
The cloak is a invaluable piece of equipment to a Yautja while on the hunt. It bends the lightwaves around the hunter, and makes them almost totally invisible to the naked eye. However, it isn't foolproof-a shimmer can be seen while the Yautja is moving, much like a heatwave. The cloaking seems to disrupt or malfunction while surrounded by water, so it is likely that it is unused in a fog or raining environment.
Mounted weapons are cloaked by the effect, but once they are revealed and combat ready (such as a extend-able spear) they become fully visible.
The Wrist Blades are arguably the most used weapon by a Yautja. They are range from twelve to eighteen inches long, are almost totally indestructible, and are capable of cutting straight through bone. They are either of straight, pointed design or more stylistic with ridges and curves for maximum cutting power.
However, they have shown significant vulnerabilities to Xenomorph blood.
The Plasma Caster, or Shoulder Cannon, is the most deadly weapon that a Yautja will carry on a normal hunt. It is controlled by the targeting system inside the mask, and fires rapid, long range plasma pulses capable of killing a Xenomorph in one shot.
It can be fired either by the hand or by a trigger inside the helmet via mandible.
It may not be capable of killing, but it is just as useful as any weapon. The Med Kit is a small kit that a Yautja carries with them in case of medical emergencies. It contains supplies to stop bleeding from gunshot wounds as well as heal the body internally. However, it seems more painful to use than to deal with the wound-most Predators roar in fury and pain when they apply the medicine.
It also includes emergency breathers, surgical blades, and a medicine crystallizer, among other things.
The Spear Gun is a weapon that can fire long range, spear-like projectiles form a far distance-the Yautja equivalent to a sniper rifle. The bolts can either kill instantly or impale a target against a wall or obstacle.
There are two modules of the Spear Gun-one is built in to the Yautja's wrist compartment, and the other is a larger weapon that must be carried around individually.
The Naginata is a bladed weapon of similar design as a partisan. It can be either one-sided or dualed, and the Yautja in question wields it like a bow-staff. It is very ceremonial and a respected weapon. It is made of nigh-unbreakable alloy and can be used for either cutting or stabbing strikes.
The Dagger used by the Yautja is for skinning their first kill-a Xenomorph, and for their first rite in order to put a scar upon their forehead signifying the kill. It is either constructed from the bones or is coated with the skin of the Xenomorph, making it immune to the acidic qualities within their blood.
The Net Launcher is a small weapon, either carried or inside of the wrist compartment, that, when fired, launches out a net made of unknown steel. Should it wrap around a target, it will gradually close tighter and tighter until the target is killed. The pressure can be released by the Yautja should he feel the need.
It has been shown to be vulnerable to the acid blood of Xenomorphs, as the bleeding alien burned through the steel and killed it's Yautja attacker.
The Combi-Stick is a spear that first appears very small, but once a button is pressed on the outside it extends in both ways. It is very sharp on both ends, like a spear, and is wielded like a bow-staff. It can be thrown to puncture targets from afar, and when it is swung electricity surrounds both tips to maximize cutting power.
There are many different designs of the Combi-Stick, and some have been shown to be even triple pronged to one side.
The Smart Disc is one of the most useful weapons in a Yautja's inventory. It is a round, slim disc with razor edges. When thrown, a heat field is generated around it, increasing the already impressive cutting power of the weapon. Internal gyros ensure that it returns to it's thrower, but should it become stuck in a solid object a press of a button will have it come flying back.
It was once shown to easily cut straight through several frozen cow carcasses and then straight through a man who was fleeing the Yautja hunter.
The Shuriken is much like the Smart Disc, but of more stylistic design and slightly more primitive. When hidden, the Shuriken is a small, slim, round disc, but at the push of a button it extends and several long razor edges protrude outwards and it becomes a multi-edges throwing star. Like the Smart Disc, it has internal devices to always ensure that the weapon returns to the wielder once thrown.
It can be used for either close combat or long range attacks, and has been shown as able to cut straight through a fully grown Xenomorph.
The Burner is the most devastating weapon a Yautja can carry with himself. Due to their destructive power, they are not normally carried on simple hunts as they are viewed as dishonorable. The Burner is a weapon that fires out either large explosives fireballs or huge streams of flame. They are used only for raids on Xenomorph colonies to seize a new queen. It was once recorded showing a Burner take the head off of a fully-grown Queen with one shot.
The wrist compartment can be used for many things-changing vision modes, language mimics, but the most dangerous is the self-destruct mechanism, a Predator's most powerful weapon. Should a Yautja warrior be defeated, this is his last act to ensure honor. The countdown can be set, but once it reaches zero a semi-nuclear explosion erupts in a 360 degree radius and destroy anything in the vicinity. The Device can be detached if needed.
There are different forms and classes of Yautja space ships, and are used in different situations. However, many are used for the purpose of only one thing-the Hunt.
If necessary to initiate a Hunt, a small, one Yautja large shuttle will be launched from a larger ship with a Yautja still inside. It's course cannot be altered, and thrusters on the back of the small shuttle are used to punch through the atmosphere of the target planet. Once through the atmosphere, reverse thrusters are used to slow the descent of the shuttle. They impact in a upright position and then open for the Yautja to exit. They cannot be used to leave a planet-it is a one-way trip.
A ship large enough for one Yautja to live in and store his equipment and trophies. It contains basic navigation systems and is used for short interplanetary travel. It can be landed onto a planet and cloaked, or bury itself underground and await for it's owner to return.
These large ships can transport entire Clans. They are of unique design for each individual Clan and are capable of long range travel. They are controlled by the most respected hunters of each Clan and provide comfortable living quarters for each Yautja on board.
It is also capable of trapping a Xenomorph Queen and has a egg processor, so as to prepare the ritual for new Yautja warriors.
A class rumoured to exist, it is a mobile space base capable of supporting hundreds of Yautja within it's decks as well as housing numerous craft for hunting expeditions. It almost never would itself go out on a Hunt, leaving that to smaller Clan crafts. Here, Yautja can seek a mate, battle for respect and honor, or trade new equipment.
The first comics in the Predator series are focused around Detective Mike Shaefer who is the brother of Dutch (Arnold's character) He is determined to find his brother since Dutch has disappeared after the events in the first movie. Since the launch of the series their have been numerous crossover involving famous or well known characters, Including Batman vs Predator, Magnus Robot Fighter vs Predator, Judge Dredd vs Predator, Superman vs Predator, and the most well known crossover Aliens vs Predator, just to name a few.
During the Aliens Versus Predator series, their first meeting published on a comic takes place on a recently colonized planet called Ryushi. The settlers, unknown of the planet's historical use to the Predator as a hunting ground, raise cattle for export to nearby planets. Meanwhile, a Predator ship approaches the planet for initiation rites for new potential hunters. They prepare their prey to let loose on the planet, which are eggs of a Xenomorph Queen.
When the eggs are released by the Predator hunters, they quickly infect the planet. When the Predator hunting party sets foot on the planet, they unsuspectingly come into contact with human settlers in which a battle is commenced and the Predator leader, Broken Tusk is captured and wounded. The hunters soon decide that the humans are their newest prey and decide to hunt them.
Elsewhere, the infected colony known as Rhynth has loaded their shipment of cattle which among the infected livestock is one with a Queen growing inside that escaped the Predator ship and an Alien hive starts to grow. Soon Aliens start to attack the predators and humans who are clutched in a battle. Broken Tooth soon recovers due to the aid of a human doctor and he decides to side with the humans to destroy the Aliens.
During the new alliance and fight, Broken Tooth is nearly killed and with the last of his strength left, he marks a human, Machiko Noguchi the leader of the colony with the sign of Broken Tooth's clan. At the end of this brutal story, Machiko is visited by a rival clan of Broken Tooth and their leader accepts her as a member of the hunt.