Predator: Fire and Stone #2

Awesome alien action that leaves me wondering do I root for the Predator or the human?

The cover: The one eyed Predator trudges through the foliage of LV-223. He looks like he’s on the hunt for something. Behind him is a slimmer and older looking Galgo. This is an okay cover by Lucas Graciano, with the title character looking sharp and the background nicely done. I do wish that the Predator hadn’t been so darkly colored and that Galgo looked more like how he has been rendered in the other Fire and Stone comics. Please note, the image used in this review is much, much lighter than the physical copy of the book I purchased. Still, not bad. Overall grade: B-

The story: The issue begins with a seven paged flashback revealing how the one eyed Predator ended up short in sight. What’s really neat about this flashback, and all the scenes involving the Predator, is that writer Joshua Williamson never once has a translation of what is being said. This has got to be a really tricky endeavor by a writer, since the artwork must tell the story for readers. However, if the writer makes it perfectly clear to his or her illustrator about what’s going in, it shouldn’t be an issue, and it’s not in this book. These seven pages are easy to follow and full of all the action one would expect from a Predator on the hunt. I was surprised by what occurs at the top of Page 4, but after a moment of coming down from the intensity, why should it have been surprising? That is what Predators do…Pages 6 and 7 have an interesting tease that ties in with Prometheus and I’m very intrigued at where this could be heading. I normally don’t review comics with specifics past Page 4, and since this is a flashback with no human dialogue, there’s not much I can say specifically. However, the story does return to the present. Galgo does return to the story and it moves forward with him providing dialogue. His situation with the Predator does change, but not to his liking. There’s some new Predator tech introduced on Page 14 that’s outstanding and has more than one use. The last page is an absolute jaw dropper. I double dog dare you not to peek! This was a highly entertaining read with plenty of action and mystery. Overall grade: A+

The art: Stunning visuals from Christopher Mooneyham on this book. The flashback sequence is amazing because the story is told entirely through the illustrations since nothing is in human speak. Nice tease with “Predator vision” on Page 1, and a wonderfully graphic moment on 4 that defines the Predator of this series. Pages 6 and 7 were excellent showpieces for “those” characters going to other worlds. Loved the introduction of Galgo to the story, which defined this relationship with his captor in one panel. I really enjoyed the final two panels on 13–I’m a sucker for circular panels and the one that Mooneyham uses is excellent. Page 16 was creepy as all hell, even though nothing was moving, save the flies. Page 20 and 21 was just brilliant, with the visuals not needing the dialogue, but made all the more delicious because of it. Again, circular panels–I’m in heaven! That final page was also brilliant. If the action wasn’t shocking enough, this full page splash will leave with agape for 30 days. Overall grade: A+

The colors: When I picture the Predators in films, it’s never in bright light. They operate in the shadows or the night, and Dan Brown obviously knows this. Even on the surface of the opening alien world, the colors are dark, and should color emerge, only momentarily, it foreshadows extreme violence. The red-orange-yellow that cuts across the second page is startling. The putrid green that flies on Page 4 grotesque, and the images in the cave that are calmingly blue are destroyed with orange. The interiors of the ship are dark, but Brown still has every detail in the art visible. The new tech that’s introduced is a fantastic dark red. Brown is excellence personified. Overall grade: A+ 

The letters: There’s a lot for Nate Piekos of Blambot to do. He has to create Predator speech, scene setting, alien speak for the new race shown in the opening sequence, sound effects, dialogue for Galgo, screams, grunts, groans, alien animal wails, and a fantastically wicked font for next issue’s tease. I found myself cracking up that some of the Predator’s speech was in a darker font, as if it were meant to be italicized, showing the stress in the creature’s voice. Wonderful job. Overall grade: A+

The final line: Awesome alien action that leaves me wondering do I root for the Predator or the human? Overall grade: A+

 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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