Alien Vs. Predator: Thicker than Blood #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on December 11, 2019

Writer: Jeremy Barlow
Art: Doug Wheatley
Colours: Rain Beredo
Letters: Michael Heisler

The first thing that stands out about this comic is the art by Doug Wheatley. It is incredible. The characters really come to life on the page. Even characters that only feature in one panel are so detailed and stand out in the crowd. I am going to make a point of looking up some of his other work because it is truly amazing. As are the colors from Rain Beredo. I was already a fan of his from his work on Venom recently, here he reinforces my opinion on how good he is.

On paper this comic does a lot of things right. It takes the usual Alien/Predator/AVP formula and twists them into the unexpected. Instead of the typical badly lit horror environments we’re onboard the USSC Double Down, a luxury star liner, and everywhere is brightly lit. There is also a unique take on the primary antagonist as well. At one point we seem to get the strong female protagonist ala Ripley, but we soon learn this isn’t the case.

So we’ve got great artwork and colors. A new take on the old tried and tested formula. So this should be great right?

Unfortunately not. It falls short in a couple of places. First off I don’t care about any of the characters that have been introduced so far. Not that many last more than a few panels. Two characters look to be our main protagonists for the series, one of whom I took a bit of a dislike to and the other was paint by numbers.

At the end of the day though this is an AvP comic and if we don’t have great human characters that isn’t the end of the day, we’re here to see great battles between Xenomorphs and Predators. Which leads me onto my next problem. Considering the ALIEN part of the title I would actually expect them to feature in the comic, and they are absent until the very final page.

I don’t have a problem with a comic taking a bit of time to build up to the conflict, giving us characters and/or stakes that we care about, but we don’t get that here. We get introduced to our main characters and then there’s a lot of senseless slaughter. This isn’t a case of Predators on the hunt, it is literally a slaughterhouse. All because the ship took a detour through their territory. That doesn’t quite ring true to me either.

Despite it’s attempts to differentiate it from the crowd of subpar tie ins to the Alien or Predator franchises it misses the mark. Phenomenal artwork is the only reason to pick this comic up. There is potential here, but as a four part series and the first issue missing the mark I have concerns for the rest of the series.

Our Score:


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