In Review: Prometheus: Fire and Stone #4

An excellent conclusion to an excellent series. Highest possible recommendation.

The cover: I couldn’t really appreciate the detail in the cover by David Palumbo until finding it online. The actual printed cover is much, much darker than what this should be. Surrounded by several, seemingly, dead peers in exploration suits, stands one of the female crew members of the Geryon. The item she’s holding is unknown, but it must be important if she’s willing to go into dangerous territory to get it without a suit. Seeing this image online I saw why she should be terrified: her peers are being supported by xenomorphs. She’s in the lions’ den and doesn’t know it. Great creepy image from Palumbo who has done some dynamic work on these covers for Dark Horse Comics. Overall grade: A

The story: Paul Tobin’s tale comes to end as characters fight to stay alive. The synthetic crewmember Elden has evolved into something dangerous, controlling the xenomorphs as he seeks Francis Lane, the man who injected him with the alien accelerant. The creatures are in the Helios and it’s every man for himself. People fall before the onslaught, leaving Captain Angela Foster outside waiting to see if any of her crew has survived. Some have and try to escape in the buggies but many are picked off. There’s only one safe place to hide from the creatures, the alien ship. The thrills aren’t only happening on LV-223, but in orbit as a trio of men stage a mutiny. I thought that Tobin had written himself into a corner. Reading the other books in the ongoing Fire and Stone series, I know how some of this will end. I had assumed that there would be a generic blood bath on the alien ship and that would be it. How naïve of me to think that Tobin would do this. Pages 8 and 9 bring the reader into new territory during the calm before the storm. I love how information is dangled jointly before the characters and reader with no obvious explanation. Doing so elevates this story to that of the film that inspired it. And then Page 15 rolls around. Talk about an unexpected moment! This would create an instant hush in the theater if it were filmed. Just as I was floored by what was occurring, Page 17 took my breath away. Wow! Fantastic moment! Things are then put in place for Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone, but the ending leaves the door open for more. Let me be the first to say, “MORE! MORE!” This was fun reading every month. Overall grade: A+

The art: Juan Ferreyra does art and colors on this book, with Eduardo Ferreyra doing some color assistance. This is a great story that could have been completely undone if the visuals weren’t up to the task. Juan Ferreyra makes this story outstanding. The art is very realistic. I love the humans on this book. They convey excellent emotion, even when they’re not speaking. If there was no dialogue on this book (and that would be a crime) the story would still be understood by the reader. My favorite shots are of Foster as she’s yelling at her crew. It happens a lot and it shows the stress and the passion of the character. The second to last panel of this issue is a heartbreaker. Elden is a wonderful hot mess on this book. He’s transformed into the figure that he’s been shown in other books and yet continues to terrify. Page 18 is a great scene to show how insane he is. The settings on this series have also been a highlight, and this final installment continues to impress. The human ships look great and Pages 8 and 9 introduce a new location that is just awesome–familiar, yet creepy. The first two panels on Page 20 are a great silent coda for all the action that has occurred. Let’s not forget the xenomorphs. They look fantastic just standing and are wonderful when killing. I know that’s sick, but I don’t care. They are everything I could have hoped for. I also really liked Pages 15 – 17, but can’t go into details. This book looks great. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Great lettering on every page by Nate Piekos of Blambot. He’s created an anxious transmission, a calmer transmission, yells, screams, sounds, dialogue, and a poster’s text. I’ve said in other reviews how much I enjoy the thin lettering Piekos is using and this is no exception. It’s elegant lettering that connotes a future in space, and it always seems to emphasize how frail those using that lettering are against the xenomorphs. Pages 4 and 5 are my favorite pages, with the sounds at the bottom of 7 a close runner up. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The perfect continuation of horror in space. An excellent conclusion to an excellent series. Highest possible recommendation. 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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