As a big proponent of reading comic books, and helping create an awareness of their value as an art form, I don’t mind whether you read them digitally or in print. The bottom line is that you are reading. But, just like some that prefer their music on vinyl; I prefer my books in print. One of the better examples of my enjoyment of the medium is of how much more I enjoyed Dark Horse Comics’ latest “Fire and Stone” offering, “Aliens.” This is a title that I was fortunate enough to read digitally a few weeks ago, courtesy of the good people at DHC who sent a preview for What’cha Reading. But, seeing that it released today and can be found at your local comic store (such as Forest Hills’ Royal Collectibles) I thought it would be the perfect time to revisit a well written story.
Every comic book company has their soap to sell. They know what works, what looks the best, and what to run with. For Dark Horse Comics, they have had the main license for 20th Century Fox films, such as “Aliens” and “Predator” for years. Recently added to that list is the Ridley Scott Alien-ish “same DNA” prequel of sorts, “Prometheus” and as of this month, DHC began their current crossover title event “Fire and Stone.” “Fire and Stone” is a massive event for those that love their classic science fiction films made famous by the likes of Sigourney Weaver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and for those that enjoy a good sci-fi/ horror story. Being hailed as an event set in “a universe of terror drawn to one world”, this is the story arc that most have waited for to be handled right by a more than capable creative team. Chris Roberson and Patric Reynolds have created a great looking and suspenseful story unique to the “Aliens” series and distinct enough to stand out from the other “Fire and Stone” titles. Artist, Patric Reynolds delivers a very clear, fluid, and dramatic portrait of the Aliens that stands out more so than any other “Alien” series that comes to mind. As said by Russell, engineer of a terra-forming operation on one of the most well known of moons from the Aliens series, LV-426, in reference to the xenomorphs “the things were horrible, relentless, but somehow beautiful in a way.” That wording perfectly describes the carnage and blood soaked story writer, Chris Roberson has set out to tell. While the book is horrific, and at times graphic there is a real sense of organic beauty that comes off of each panel and splash page.
If “fire and stone” were two of the most beautifully organic of things to be paired among the early days of humanity, than “Aliens” writer, Chris Roberson and artist, Patric Reynolds perfectly compliment each other in the same way. The original story of terraforming group, Hadley’s Hope, first encounters with the xenomorphs and attempts at survival are perfectly told within the pages of “Aliens.” Perhaps too much more success than Dark Horse Comics’ previous offering “Prometheus.” The story begins with the ball rolling (or blood spilling) right from page one. The pacing works and is a terrific achievement in the horror/ science-fiction/movie tie-in genre. While many stories could fall flat based on the fact that most people who are reading are all already well versed in the mythology, Chris Roberson has a way of re-introducing us to the “Alien” brand while maintaining all the right elements from the hit film series.
“Fire and Stone: Aliens” gets five out of five face huggers.
Aliens: Fire and Stone #1
Writer: Roberson, Chris
Artist: Reynolds, Patric
Cover Artist: Palumbo, David
On Sale September 24, 2014
Publisher Dark Horse
Diamond Id: JUL140054