In Review: Predator: Fire and Stone #3

Perfect action in space with one of the most infamous cinema aliens.

The cover: It looks as if Security Chief and all around “me-first” jerk Galgo Helder is teaching Angela how to fire a gun, but the Predator that’s appeared behind them doesn’t seem too worried. This is a really monstrous Predator by Lucas Graciano. I like the pose and look of the creature, but it’s just too big compared to the two humans in the foreground. Angela looks very similar to how she’s been illustrated in other Fire and Stone books, but Galgo looks like Jean Reno. That’s fine, but he’s really thin compared to how he’s been shown before. The coloring is good–I like the orange as a backdrop. Decent image, but a little off. Overall grade: B

The story: Things are coming to a head in this installment by Joshua Williamson. The story opens with a surprising flashback. A ship is about to blow and Galgo tells Captain Angela he’s just going to check on something, which happens to be a supply of cash, but upon entering a room he finds no money but scared survivors who’ve barricaded themselves in. Angry and frustrated, he takes the people to safety and is called a hero by Angela. If only she knew the truth. Back in the present, she knows, as Galgo left her and a few survivors on LV-223 to die at the hands of the overwhelming numbers of xenomorphs. On the planet, attached to a Predator by an electrical manacle, Galgo screams at Angela to run as his Predator leaps at her. This was a really neat showcase for the relationships Galgo has with others. He can’t really comprehend his Predator, but the creature does have a bond with him. Their exchange of war stories was great. Angela would kill him if she could, but she sees that the Predator has got him in hand. What the Predator wants is finally clarified and comes to a head in the final pages, but that will have to wait for next month. This is as anti-hero as storytelling gets. Overall grade: A+ 

The art: Beautiful pencils by Christopher Mooneyham and inks by John Lucas. This work continues to remind me of Klaus Janson’s work. The first page has got a lot of energy after a quick establishing shot of the setting, Galgo is shown running down a corridor, which is then extended to show how far away his goal is. He uses his gun to blast his way in. The reaction shot at the bottom of the page nicely shows the chaos he’s added to an already chaotic scene and how he feels about what he’s found. This is perfect layout and execution. I really like when Galgo lays on the charm after doing something morally corrupt, such as in the bottom corner of Page 3. When the Predator enters the story, and he’s in it a lot, he looks great. His screaming entrance on Page 4 makes wish that comics were in 3D again. When it and Galgo scream at each other on Page 5 it’s a classic “Who’s worse?” moment. The sharing of war stories is a great sequence, with Mooneyham and Lucas moving their point of view around excellently, considering this is just two characters sitting in a cave. The double-page splash of 20 and 21 is the scene stealer of the book, as this is what everything has been leading up to, and Page 22 is a great tease before it gets violent. Just great looking. Overall grade: A+

The colors: In other Fire and Stone books, LV-223 has been a pretty drab and dreary place. Rightfully so, mind you, but not exactly a location that would make a colorist do cartwheels. That’s why it’s so impressive to see what Dan Brown brings to this book. The opening three page flashback is very grey, reinforcing that it’s a moment from the past. Brown uses a very pale blue and pink to introduce the Predator and Galgo, with their energy bond being bright red. This keeps the planet in its ominous state, but it’s brighter. In fact, take a look on Page 5 as Brown beefs up the colors, brightening them. Even when the sun goes down, brilliant blues set the mood, rather than blacks. Brown is on fire for Pages 20 and 21, with oranges being tremendous. It’s a really pretty scene, that’s going to be absolutely undone by next issue’s violence. Overall grade: A+

The letters: The eternally gorgeous lettering of Nate Piekos of Blambot continues to grace this book. Rather than giving every type of text the same font, Piekos differentiates things superbly. His selections of fonts show the difference between scene setting, dialogue, communication transmissions, sounds, and the stunning Predator font. I would love to know if Piekos actually has a key for what he’s doing when the title character speaks or if he’s making it all up. Whichever it is, it’s gold. Overall grade: A+ 

The final line: Perfect action in space with one of the most infamous cinema aliens. I’m getting sad that there’s only one more issue, because it always entertains. 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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