The alien killers that have come to be known as Predators have been terrorizing and delighting viewers with their spectacular predator skills since 1987's Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and there have been several Predator variants over the years. Over the course of four Predator films (Predator, Predator 2, Predators, and The Predator) as well as two crossover films (Alien vs. Predator and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem) fans have been introduced to more than one kind of Predator whose hunting abilities vary from the previous Predator. The Predator race cannot be contained to just one version and as fans who've followed the franchise over the years know, there are more Predator variants than anyone can fathom.
This is because the kinds of Predators that have been created for this franchise are not just limited to the movies. There are also Predator comics and novels which have been running since the 1990s, expanding the world and the canon lore of the Predator species. Through all of these materials, fans have been able to learn about the multiple clans of Predators that exist, their motivations to hunt, their internal conflicts, and their personal journeys. Plus, with more than 30 years of material to choose from, it's no wonder the Predator franchise is going strong, able to pick and choose which Predator variant to put at the center of a new story.
So, the time has come to nail down as many established Predator variants as possible. There have been so many over the years and so many that have come in contact with humans to either terrify them or try and make contact with them. Who are these Predators and what are their backstories? Let's take a look at a majority of the established Predator variants which have been seen in the comics as well as all of the films from the original Predator movie to 2018's The Predator.
The one that started it all is the Jungle Hunter Predator. It was the very first Predator introduced in the Predator franchise. He appeared in 1987's Predator and was responsible for stalking and killing a group of mercenaries led by Dutch Schaefer (Schwarzenegger) in the Val Verde jungle. The blueprint of what makes a Predator, who will all come to be revealed as members of the alien race called the Yautja, begin with the Jungle Predator. It's believed the Jungle Hunter had been using the Val Verde jungle as his hunting ground for years before Dutch and his crew arrived, meaning the Jungle Hunter had plenty of time to refine his hunting skills. He quickly earned the moniker "El Diablo que hace trofeos de los hombres" ("The demon who makes trophies of men") from locals because of his stealthiness and killing techniques. Predator also introduces Yautja hunting accessories like the Bio-Mask, which detect body heat in the dark and have the ability to record and send information back to the Yautja's home plant of Yautja Prime. The Jungle Hunter also reveals what makes himself and the other Predators so special: they have the ability to camouflage and they naturally have infrared vision. The Jungle Hunter's Bio-Mask recordings were seen by the City Hunter, inspiring him to then travel to Earth to do a little hunting of his own.
The City Hunter Predator was the leader of the Predator gang in 1990's Predator 2. The City Hunter is pretty bold in his actions, hunting and terrorizing his prey which includes LAPD Detective Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover). He was inspired to go to Earth after viewing the Jungle Hunter's Bio-Mask recordings from Val Verde. Although he lands with a crew of other Predators, he's the only one to leave the ship and make use of Los Angeles as a prime hunting ground. The City Hunter is seen actively hunting during the day and night, taking advantage of an existing turf war between two cartels and picking off members from each group. He also makes a prime target out of Harrigan, whom he considers a warrior, and proceeds to engage in a game of cat-and-mouse to draw Harrigan to him. Harrigan eventually kills the City Hunter. Over the course of Predator 2, a lot of advance Yautja technology is introduced because it's part of the City Hunter's arsenal, including a Plasmacaster, Netgun, Combistick, and Smart Disc, as well as a Wrist Gauntlet with a self-destruct mode, a short-range energy projector, and communication device. It's also established in Predator 2 that Predators have had previous contact and conflict with the Xenomorphs, the aliens first seen in Alien.
The Predator 2 Gang
In Predator 2, there's more than one Predator that comes to Los Angeles. The City Hunter may have been the leader but he brought with him an entire gang of Yautja as back-up. They're responsible for overseeing the City Hunter, eventually retrieving his body after he is killed by Harrigan. It's notable that the gang of Predators led by the City Hunter stayed on the ship for a majority of the Predator 2. When the finally showed up, they did not attack Harrigan, who had chased the City Hunter back to his ship and killed him. Instead, the Predator gang gave Harrigan a trophy, an antique flintlock pistol, for killing the City Hunter. The gang then took the City Hunter's body back to Yautja Prime.
The Ancient Predator was first seen in Alien vs. Predator. He's an imposing Yautja elder, standing much taller than other Predators and shown to be older by the "facial hair" (what appears to be spikes) on his face. He is seen to not be combative or predatory like other Yautja members, but instead chooses to make peaceful contact with the the film's protagonist, Lex Woods (Sanaa Lathan), at the very end of AvP. His appearance is brief but it's presumed he was there to oversee the initiation hunt that involved the film's younger Predators Scar, Celtic, and Chopper. The Ancient Predator watched as Lex worked with Scar to defeat a common enemy, choosing to reward Lex with her life rather than kill her during their meeting. The Ancient Predator gifted Lex with the Combistick, a Yautja weapon similar to a spear made of lightweight material.
The Predalien is the spawn of a Predator and a Xenomorph, first seen during Alien vs. Predator. It's only glimpsed for a moment and, like the other Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise, is shown to be a chest-burster when it first comes to life.The Predalien was born of Scar, a Predator, after Scar was somehow impregnated by a Facehugger (an Alien variant) during his hunt in the pyramid underneath Bouvet Island. To this day, the Predalien is the only known product of a Facehugger and a Predator having a child (so to speak) and will likely be the only one to ever exist in the franchise since it was killed during AvP. Because it was both Facehugger and Predator, the Predalien possessed physical traits of both species, emitting a different infrared pattern when viewed through a Bio-Mask and having the facial features of a Facehugger but the dreadlocks and body of a Predator. The Predalien was also able to command Xenomorphs, bringing two Xenomorph Warriors and numerous Facehuggers with him to Colorado in AvP.
Remember the Jungle Hunter for Predator? Well, if you turned the Predator dial up to 11, you would be met with the Super Predator of 2010's Predators, the third film in the mainline series. The Super Predators are a larger, stronger version of the Jungle Hunter. Physically, they stand as tall as the Jungle Hunter but have more reptilian faces and their dreadlocks sit further back on their heads. When it comes to weaponry, there are some slight differences in preferences between the Super Predators and their Jungle Hunter counterparts. Super Predators prefer Gatling gun-like weapons to the traditional Plasmacaster and utilize single blades which spring from their Wrist Gauntlets. They also make good use of vocal mimicry and cloaking to hide from their prey until its the right time to strike. It's revealed in Predators the Super Predators clan is at war with the Jungle Predators clan, causing conflict that manifests in the movie and exhibiting how two Predator clans can come to blows.
The Predator dogs appear in 2018's The Predator. The dogs are in service of the Ultimate Predator and the Hybrid Predator. They essentially look like the Yautja version of a dog, walking on four legs with elongated faces and have rows of sharp teeth with much bigger, broader bodies. They are skilled trackers and capable of running at great speed and distance to catch their prey. However, after the humans in The Predator face off against the Predator dogs and get in a few blows, they manage to subdue the Predator dogs to the point that they essentially become large alien watchdogs who are more bark than bite.
The Ultimate Predator, along with the much bigger and more menacing counterpart occasionally referred to as the Hybrid Predator, appears in 2018's The Predator. The Ultimate Predator was a genetically-modified Predator sent to Earth to destroy the "Predator Killer," a weapon that was also sent to Earth to destroy Predators and protect the humans. Physically, the Ultimate Predator had an unusual advantage because of all its genetic modifications, with DNA brought in from various alien species and fused into its own DNA to enhance it and make it more of a skilled warrior. At 11 feet, he stands taller than previous Predators and could actually manipulate specific areas of his body, so he developed an armor-like covering to protect himself.
Bad Blood Predator
Taken from the Predator comics, the Bad Blood Predator is a rogue, unstable Predator variant notorious for having gone on a killing spree. The term "Bad Blood" is used to refer to any Yautja who has broken the Yautja Honor Code and gone against its fellow Yautja, thereby harming the community as a whole. This particular Bad Blood Predator caught the attention of other Yautja when it went on a killing spree in New Jersey. The Enforcer Predator was eventually called in to take it out. However, the Enforcer failed and the Bad Blood Predator was eventually killed by Black Ops agent Mandy Graves - another character only found in the comics - instead.
As tough as the name suggests, the Enforcer Predator was specifically tasked with taking out the rogue Bad Blood Predator in the comics. Its mask is different to other Predator Bio-Masks, giving him the appearance of a specialized hunter or soldier to show he's a specific kind of Yautja. Unfortunately, the Enforcer Predator was unable to subdue the Bad Blood Predator and is eventually killed after confronting the Bad Blood Predataor over its killing spree.
The Infected Predator can be found in the Predator comic series Fire & Stone. It's a monstrous creature, made with the help of a black substance created by the Engineers, the sentient beings with possible ties to humans that were also seen in the Alien franchise film Prometheus. The black substance turned the Predator into a mindless killer, easily manipulated into doing the bidding of whoever controlled it.
Big Mama Predator
The Big Mama Predator has claimed her place in Predator history as the only female Predator to ever exist within the franchise. She appears in the Predator comic Alien vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species. In the comics, she is tasked with hunting down Caryn Delacroix in a simulator known as TOY. Big Mama and Caryn forgo their potentially antagonistic relationship and, instead, Big Mama becomes a mentor to Caryn, teaching her Yautja ways and fighting techniques.