Aliens: Fire and Stone #1
Dark Horse Comics
Posted 9/27/14 - 11:30 AM ET
Official Dark Horse Comics Solicitation: "During a vicious xenomorph outbreak, terraforming engineer Derrick Russell leads a desperate group of survivors onto a rickety mining vessel. They hope to escape the creatures overrunning their colony—but they’ll face horrors both in space and on the strange planet they crash on. Ties in with the Prometheus and Aliens films!"
Script: Chris Roberson
Art: Patric Reynolds
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover Art: David Palumbo
Variant Cover Art: Fiona Staples
Assistant Editor: Roxy Polk
Editor: Philip R. Simon
Release Date: 9/24/2014
Part of the big Fire and Stone cross over series Dark Horse is doing to fill in gaps and cement the connection between the Predator, Aliens, and Prometheus series (in particular reinvigorating Prometheus with a sequel film on the horizon); Aliens: Fire and Stone takes place after the events of the Prometheus film, the year 2179 to be exact. No time is wasted on back story, readers are plunged headlong into a xenomorph attack on a group of miners and salvagers. Action is the main point of the plot at this time, escape or be killed, narration provides details on the original cast of characters introduced here while panels provide all the current happenings and carnage.
Fiona Staples Variant Cover - Courtesy Dark Horse Comics
Artwork is somewhat minimalist and yet highly detailed at the same time, fitting linework for sci-fi/horror in the Alien/Predator/Prometheus universe. Colors match the atmosphere the linework lays out well, Dave Stewart has never disappointed this reviewer for matching his colors to not only the tone of the story but the art as well (as long as the art lines up with the tone the script has laid down). With the pace the script moves in this first issue, it's hard to predict which characters have a chance at surviving the series, if any given the franchise. It's also hard to connect with any of them at this point, which is not a detractor, granted this is a four issue mini-series but that doesn't mean everything in it has to move so fast that the story feels like filler. And so far, despite the breakneck pace of this issues panels as the pages roll by, it's not feeling rushed.
I like too, that Roberson and Reynolds aren't relying so heavily on claustrophobic environments to up the scare factor and fear building, in both script and art, that the original film did. Not to distance the franchise from the it's beginning, though this is a prequel so it's a follow up to Prometheus before it's anything else, but it's a nice change and shows how scary the concept of what the xenomorphs are can be in any environment.
More reviews will be following over the course of October as the other Fire and Stone series (Predator, Aliens Vs. Predator) start and the Prometheus: Fire and Stone series continues. This cross over has my personal and life long interest in the Aliens and Predator movies (including AVP, AVP: Requiem, Alien: Resurrection, and yes even Prometheus) peaked as the timeline that connects them all is added to and a little further solidified.
Aliens: Fire and Stone #1 gets a 3.5 out of 5, it's good, not great but a good solid start to the mini-series.
For more on Aliens: Fire and Stone #1 and the rest of the Fire and Stone event check out www.darkhorse.com and get out to your local comic shops and support them before they disappear!
- Michael Meade