Possibly the best illustration of what Dark Horse Comics is trying to pull of with their Fire and Stone series is found in “Alien vs. Predator” #2, which releases on Wednesday, November 5th. Thanks to the good people at DHC, I was able to sit down with “AvP” #2 and look back at all the stories that have come before. The success of this series relies on it properly telling an intriguing story that not only reveals a new shade on the well-chronicled sci-fi series, but also connects together four titles in what is billed as “a universe of terror drawn to one world.” With “Alien vs. Predator”, we are given another story that helps this well-oiled machine continue to run and is also a stand-out for artist, Ariel Olivetti.
“Alien vs Predator”, much like “Predator” is just such a fun read thanks to the sharp talent of writer, Christopher Sebela and artist, Ariel Olivetti. Much like DC’s powerhouse team of Snyder and Capullo, Sebela and Olivetti are easily alongside them in creating a story that not only is a revelation that goes beyond some of the best sci-fi has offered, and is rife with dialogue that reflects human nature in a way that some of the best Star Trek episodes treated us to. But the art? Oh, the art. Ariel Olivetti has created a book that stands out from the rest of the Fire and Stone series and simply looks cool. Be it from his designs of the interior of the Geryon Armada to the muscular action between the aliens and predators, the title feels as if you’re looking at snapshots from the best “Alien vs. Predator” movie never made!
“Alien vs. Predator” #2 continues the mind game that “synthetic” (android like Ash, Bishop, and David 8) Elden is playing with the sole human survivor of the ship, a terminally ill scientist named Francis Lane, whom we met in Paul Tobin’s second issue of “Prometheus: Fire and Stone.” The characters of Elden and Francis are some of the finest examples of smartly written, completely relatable characters that populate well told stories that make us care. If it wasn’t for Juan Ferreyra’s original depiction of Elden (“Prometheus” #2) as an innocent, naive, android with a child-like awe for humanity and the moon of LV-223, we wouldn’t have such sympathy for the monster he becomes in Sebela and Olivetti’s “Alien vs. Predator.” Due to the creative teams on the Fire and Stone series working so closely together, we are given interwoven tales that never feel flimsy or lacking in any department. However, this does prevent each book from being fully enjoyed as a stand-alone title. While one could watch “The Avengers” independent of viewing “Iron Man”, the MCU works so much better on having viewed all five films that precede the team-up film. This is exactly how Dark Horse Comics’s Fire and Stone series operates. If not to more of a degree of necessitating the reader to pick up all four titles.
Sebela and Olivetti’s story in “Alien vs. Predator” is perhaps the story with the most heart and soul. Despite the monster mash aspect of seeing aliens and predators wage war in a colorful way that only Olivetti could illustrate, we are treated to the existential problem android Elden is facing as he grows from being a synthetic, to a man, to that of a god. While his enemy, Francis, taunts him on what it means to be human, “[to]learn what it’s like to hurt, to be afraid, to stare death in the face”, Elden reveals the full nature of The Engineers (perhaps the most mysterious aspect of Fire and Stone and the film, Prometheus.) Sebela’s work on the monster aspect of Tobin’s human side of Elden creates the perfect blend of a character that populates great science-fiction. They have given us a character, who reflects the nature of man being inherently “a caveman, trying to understand the stars” to that of the earliest of intelligent beings able to create fire and stone.
With Dark Horse Comics’s release of Predator #1, Aliens #2, and November 5th’s Alien vs. Predator we are starting to witness the genesis of the next great sci-fi/horror saga that Dark Horse became so well-known for during the 90’s. “Fire and Stone” has quickly risen to must pull and must read territory, thanks to talents such as Chris Sebela and Ariel Olivetti (not to mention Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra) and is possibly the dark horse of currently published comics!
Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #2 gets five out of five Predator Trophies!
(click the link below for the rest of the preview at darkhorse.com)
Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #2
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Cover Artist: E. M. Gist
Genre: Action/Adventure, Horror, Science-Fiction
Publication Date: November 05, 2014
Format: FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
UPC: 7 61568 92137 3 00211