Alien vs Predator: Fire and Stone #1-2 (Comics Review)

Dark Horse Comics’ big re-energising of its various Alien, Predator and Alien vs Predator franchises began last month when the publisher launched new 4-issue mini-series for each franchise, and also another one for Ridley Scott’s last, Prometheus, which is the prequel to the first Alien movie. All four books have been quite amazing so far and the great thing about them is that they all flow from one to the other, to show how Prometheus‘ LV-223 came to be infested with Xenomorphs and how they spread out and how the Predators got involved. Really fun stuff!

Christopher Sebela and Ariel Olivetti’s Alien vs Predator: Fire and Stone is the story of how the survivors of the Geryon and the other ships get off LV-223 and how they bring xenomorphs aboard thanks to the android Elden who is somehow corrupted during Prometheus: Fire and Stone and becomes the big bad monster of this series. Following the scientist Francis and the gun-arm Galgo and even Galgo, this is pretty much how I expected a fight between the Xenomorphs and Predators to go down. Ariel Olivetti’s leaves some things to be desired, but the sheer ferocity of the Predators and the horror of the Xenomorphs is captured very well!

Alien vs Predator - Fire and Stone 0102

Much as with the two Alien vs Predator movies (none of which was good by the way), this new series is pure SF action/horror. Since it builds up on the characters and setting introduced in Alien: Fire and Stone and Prometheus: Fire and Stone, it also turns out to be a much better story with better character progression and better overall story progression. Taking place concurrently with the Predator: Fire and Stone series, these two issues of Alien vs Predator show how corrupted-Elden begins to take control over the command ship Geryon. And how Galgo and Francis resist the monstrosity he is becoming with the help of a squad of Predators who were hunting in a nearby star system.

And the best thing in all of this is that while Prometheus: Fire and Stone and Alien: Fire and Stone did have a lot of Xenomorph-slaughter, this book really takes things to the next level, as it should. This is the Predators, some of the best sentient hunters in the galaxy, up against the Xenomorphs, some of the most horrific and dangerous monsters in the galaxy, duking it out in a ship. And the Xenomorphs are led by a crazy-SOB who used to be an Android. That’s damn awesome and Sebela’s script definitely gets across the whole action vibe of the story.

Then again, there’s a strong horror component to it as well, though it is weaker than the other three series. And part of that is because the deaths, while often very violent and sudden, don’t leave much impact for the reader. They certainly didn’t for me. I loved what Sebela was doing, but I kept wishing that he would make the deaths of some of the Predators matter more.

Looking past that though, Elden himself makes for a really creepy monster himself. He can be downright cheesy at times, but he’s going absolutely crazy, so that’s fine really. This sets up Galgo and Francis to take the lead as the “protagonists” of the story and they do quite an admirable job of dodging Elden’s Xenomorphs and the alien Predators, though not always with the right amount of success. And knowing what is happening in Predator: Fire and Stone, things are even better for Galgo than they look otherwise.

But then there’s the kicker: the black goo accelerant that turned Elden into the monster that he is has some unintended side-affects on an injured Predator, and that’s what I’m really looking forward to in the next issue!

The art in these two issues is by Ariel Olivetti, with letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot and cover art by E. M. Gist. Ariel’s artwork has a very strong computer-generated feel to it, rather than something more… organic and natural. It is not a condemnation per se, but it does hamper the tone and mood of the artwork in a few places. Still, these are violent issues and Ariel definitely nails the violence and the gore and the action in general. And the maniacal look on Elden’s face does wonders in showing how far gone he is.

Good, decent start and I want to see more.

Rating: 8.5/10

More Fire and Stone: (Predator) #1, Prometheus #1-2.

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Posted on November 10, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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