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Monday, October 20, 2014

Comic Spotlight Review: Predator: Fire and Stone #1

This Wednesday sees the release of Predator: Fire and Stone #1, the last of the #1 issues in Dark Horse’s relaunch of the Alien and Predator properties. While I loved the Prometheus and Aliens entries in the story, the Alien Vs. Predator issue relied too heavily on the yet-unpublished ending to Prometheus: Fire and Stone. While the solo Predator part of this crossover is chronologically the last, luckily Joshua Williamson and Christopher Mooneyham don’t let this one fall into the trap of continuity.

This first issue follows the ever present Galgo, who is now just trying to get his crew home to Earth with their prize, an alien weapon stolen from the Engineers. However, there’s one challenge left–they’ve got a stowaway on board, the stealthy and cunning Predator. Galgo and his crew are forced to wake from cryo-sleep and fight for survival against one of the universe’s fiercest hunters.

Here we see what I’ve really been interested in throughout this crossover: creating a new situation for a familiar monster. In some ways, it takes a cue from the Aliens comic, which took the titular aliens out of a sterile spaceship environment and put them in a more Predator-like jungle setting–we get to see almost what the first Alien film would have been like if the invading creature was instead a predator. What follows is a brutal and clever battle with some pretty intense pacing.

The subversion of setting and application of a horror tone is enough to get me interested, but Mooneyham’s art is quite compelling on its own. It’s got a real classic sci-fi comic feel particularly with Dan Brown’s colors, and he creates a dynamic action to the fights that feels authentic to both the Predator and Alien franchises. Of course what stands out most is seeing things from the Predator’s point of view, with neon yellows and pinks highlighting the heat signatures of its prey.

I haven’t traditionally been a big fan of the Predator franchise, but placing a predator in a very Alien-like scenario is a really engaging story that I never knew I was missing out on. Combine that with nice art and a pretty intriguing final page twist and I’m suddenly onboard with the mini-series I was least interested in initially.

Predator: Fire and Stone #1 releases this Wednesday. Read the preview here.
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