Predator: Fire and Stone #1 (Comics Review)

Coming in at the tail-end of the 1980s, Predator stands as one of the best contemporary action-horror SF movies I’ve seen to date. Sure, the movie has a rather thin plot and the characters are archetypes for the most part, but come on, it had Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers trying to out-bicep each other and the whole concept of an alien tribal hunter stalking a special forces unit in the jungles of Central America. I think it is pretty great, personally, specifically the second half, which I think is fairly strong on its own. Though, must be said that most Arnie action movies are awesome. Its Arnie!

Going along with Dark Horse’s recent revival of the Alien and Predator franchises, this week saw the release of Predator: Fire and Stone #1, which is set after the events of Prometheus: Fire and Stone #4 (not yet released) and Alien vs Predator: Fire and Stone #1 (released). The timeline juggling is interesting, but the great thing is that Joshua Williamson focuses on the immediate story and gives the reader just enough about the previous stuff that it is not a crutch. This is a great survival horror story, or the start of one, and artist Christopher Mooneyham does an incredible job illustrating all of it.

Predator - Fire and Stone 001I’ve read all of the new Fire and Stone subtitled books released by Dark Horse in the last few weeks, and they have all been fairly strong. Some of them have been out of sync with each, with regards to the timeline, but by and large, the stories have been great, and so has the art. With the newest entry to the revived franchise, Predator: Fire and Stone #1, it looks like things are getting even better.

Imagine if you will that the original Alien story is modified so that instead of the Xenomorph we have a Predator, and that he is hunting down the three crew members of the ship in question as per the new ongoing story. Joshua Williamson captures everything that was great about the original movie by Ridley Scott and transposes it to the Predator franchise, and he manages to execute it near-flawlessly. He takes the character of Galgo Helder from the Prometheus: Fire and Stone series, and tells a relentlessly-paced story of how the former security chief of the Geryon fares up against one of the deadliest hunters in the galaxy.

This is a horror story, plain and simple, and Joshua Williamson takes every chance he can get to reinforce that tone and vibe with his story. You really don’t need to have read the previous stuff that has come out, or the prologue stuff that will be coming out in the future weeks to fully appreciate what happens here, but you do get a strong sense of jeopardy and tension here, and that’s a good sign.

The Predator is a patient hunter who can draw his prey in and , ambushing it again and again until he is victorious, and that is exactly what I took away from this story. Joshua also shows the cocky Galgo in a great light, and we also learn that is quite the duplicitous bastard too, always looking out for the number one i.e. himself.

The story plays out beautifully, from the moment that Galgo finds out that something is aboard the Perses, to him waking up the two other members of his short-staffed crew, to the grim finale, and it is a joy to read, more than the other Fire and Stone comics even. Thing is, you really do feel that you are watching the old Predator movie again, a feeling that is indeed quite euphoric for someone like me who likes the movie. What can I say?

Christopher Mooneyham’s art and Dan Brown’s colours combine to really bring Williamson’s story to life, in a very mesmerizing way. The art is dark and gritty, and their vision of the Predator, an ugly old thing but no less deadly for that, is also something to be admired. They really nail the characters and the monster himself, who I believe is brought over from the other books. It makes sense since there is apparently a larger story at work, given the Fire and Stone subtitling of all the titles. And the cover art by Lucas Graciano is definitely among the best covers of the year as well. No doubt about it. Loved it.

Bring on more, I say!

Rating: 9/10

More Fire and Stone: Prometheus #1-2.

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Posted on October 27, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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