Rating: 3.5/5 – Quiet Moments Make This Survival Horror Issue Stand Out.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Dark Horse’s Fire and Stone crossover event carries on as it continues to explore the world of Aliens, Predator and Prometheus over the course of six months and four mini-series with a couple book ends to round it out. Each mini-series can be read on it’s own, but to enjoy this event on a deeper level and for some larger portions of the story to make sense, it helps to read all four titles. Aliens is probably the most self contained series of the four and although there are larger plot points going on in the background, the story is mostly about a group of people trying to survive against a group of deadly Aliens on a harsh and exotic word.
Although there’s the story of a group of survivors doing everything they can to survive, the best part of this series is with the character Derrick Russell, a terraforming engineer. It’s his story that really stands out and ultimately made this series and this individual issue something more than just a survival story for me. In this third issue written by Chris Roberson, Russell is all alone and asking the questions of how life has formed so quickly on LV-223. Although his story doesn’t get as much time as I’d like, it’s still the strongest part of the book and the part I most wanted to read about since the Prometheus movie left so many questions unanswered.
The majority of the book deals with a group of survivors and how they’re dealing with the Aliens on a hostile planet. This part of the story is exciting but is similar in themes to that of a Walking Dead, just replacing zombies with Aliens. Still enjoyable, but something I’ve seen plenty of times before. I’ve enjoyed this event from the beginning, but get the sense that the chronology of the storylines could have been planned better. This series takes place before the events of the first issue of Prometheus which can be a bit confusing for readers not following all four titles.
As for the art, Patric Reynolds does a great job of upping the horror in this issue. Seeing the effects the “black goo” has on a human and alien combination is terrifying and Reynolds does a great job of making it seem real. His aliens are drawn wonderfully, really capturing the feel of these horrific creatures, while the body language and facial expressions of their victims capture the hopeless situation they’re in. The weak point of the art comes from the backgrounds. There’s a great opportunity to capture the alien world that has sprung up on LV-223 and I never really got a sense of it. The plain colored backgrounds with minimal and sparse scenery gave the world an average and uninspired look.
As a whole, the Fire and Stone event has been a fantastic read and this issue of Aliens despite its flaws fits nicely into the overarching story. Most of this issue deals with survival against terrible odds but the quiet moments with Russell stand out the most and provide the most fascinating parts of the story. With only one issue left in this mini-series, it looks as though a lot of the focus will be on Russell and his journey to find answers, and that’s an exciting prospect as this mini-series moves towards it’s conclusion.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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