In Review: Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #3

Recommended for fans of the films or those that like terror in space.

The cover: Things have really gone wrong–horribly wrong. A Predator has been infected with a genetic accelerant and, as can be seen, has mutated into something else entirely: its size has doubled, its muscles and head have grown in grotesque fashion, a third arm is growing out of its shoulder, but the most obvious change is with its mouth, which has become an impossible wide maw of teeth. Yet, this creature still retains that it has to kill the xenomorphs. E.M. Gist has captured the power and hideousness of this creature in superb fashion. This is the one cover of this week’s books that just screams wrong. Overall grade: A

The story: Last issue ended with synthetic, mutating Elden being attacked by the alien drones that once followed him. He can’t understand why this is happening as the creatures tear at his body, and in dramatic fashion tear off his face, revealing he’s more Alien looking than he expected. As this is occurring, Francis is being held at knife point by a Predator. Just as it seems this character will kill him, the Predator smells his blood and drops him on the floor. Francis is dying and is not worth pursuing or killing. As the Predator walks away to find better prey, Francis yells at its back, “If you see Elden…Tell him I’m looking for him.” The mutating android is trying to keep the xenomorphs off of him, telling them they are on the same side, but they’re not having it. As he tries to protect himself, readers see a blue outline appear, showing that Elden’s battle is being observed. This penultimate chapter by Christopher Sebela moves at a really quick clip. Elden is fighting the aliens, meets the Predator, face-to-face, and has a confrontation with Francis. The mutated Predator is lurking in the shadows, and its appearance changes the situation instantly. The biggest twist in the book is Francis getting his wish. This book has building to this moment and Sebela in no uncertain terms reminds readers to be careful what you wish for. Lots of action, lots of changes, and a terrific cliffhanger. Only one more issue to go, and don’t want this experience to end! Overall grade: A+

The art: Art and colors done by Ariel Olivetti. Gorgeously graphic moments involving all the characters. Elden already had won the award for Most Likely To Have Been a Clive Barker Nightmare, but his look changes in this chapter. It definitely alters how readers thought of this character before and made his dialogue on Pages 15 – 21 unsettling. As the lone human, Francis seems as though he would get boring for an artist to illustrate or an audience to focus on. Not this month, folks. Something happens to him that makes him an individual that draws the eye…in the worst possible way. The unaltered Predator is movie quality perfect and the mutated Predator is nightmare quality perfect. It’s so gross, but I just cannot stop looking at it. The xeonmorphs are also perfect, and as they attack and are attacked they make me want to watch one of their films right away. There’s quite a bit of action that all the characters go through, with individuals being thrown, beaten, attacked, attacking others, and dying. The motion of the characters is solid, with Elden being the most active in the book, and his scenes against the rebelling aliens look the best. The setting of Kamos is consistent with ships seen in the films, and there’s always a dark corner where someone can take pause or something is just waiting to explode from. Excellent visuals. Overall grade: A 

The letters: The lettering in this issue is done by Nate Piekos of Blambot, who provides dialogue, sounds, Predator speak, ship transmissions, and special Francis speak. I loved the latter, as it highlighted what Francis was enduring. Overall grade: A 

The final line: Evil is shown in many forms and all are amazing to watch. Recommended for fans of the films or those that like terror in space. Overall grade: A 

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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