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Alien Vs. Predator: Fire & Stone #1

by Sean Tonelli on October 08, 2014

Alien Vs. Predator: Fire & Stone #1
With the Star Wars property no longer in Dark Horse’s hands, the company has shifted their focus to a property that helped put the publisher on the map: The Alien/Predator franchise. Joined by the Prometheus property, Dark Horse continues the universes expansion, and hopes to finagle a few new fans, with their massive Fire and Stone crossover. While we have already seen Prometheus and Alien, this month readers are treated to Alien Vs. Predator: Fire & Stone #1.
AvP is a property whose name in the 90’s brought fan boy dreams to life… then Hollywood made two movies and essentially wiped their posteriors with the name in the early aughts. Dark Horse, cleverly, is choosing to ignore everything that happened with those 2 atrocities and is starting fresh with this new comic. The question everyone wants to know is: is this a return to form or another black spot on the AvP resume?
While not a perfect start, Alien Vs. Predator: Fire & Stone #1 is a definite step in the right direction. The premise is simple enough, as the mercenary crew of the Perses leaves the horror of LV-223 behind them, one passenger reveals a terrible new danger, and the crew soon find themselves in a deadly struggle between predator and prey. Writer Christopher Sebela (Ghost) is clearly a fan of the properties and has a good idea about what fans want from the properties. While it’s too early to tell just where Prometheus fits in, readers can definitely feel the Architects influence in the mutated droid, one of the books antagonists. Sebela’s also has the pleasure of introducing readers to the franchises new Han Solo-eqsue character Galgo—who will be featured in the upcoming Predator: Fire & Stone.
While the story is enjoyable, there is an inherent sense of confusion. The book takes place after the events of the Prometheus: Fire & Stone story which unfortunately is still ongoing. No doubt many of the questions will be answered but right now, things are a bit muddled. Sebela throws the reader right into the middle of a conflict and, for better or worse, avoids hand holding.
The art is a tad disappointing as well and this depends wholly on your appreciation of Ariel Olivetti (Conan and the People of the Black Circle). For a book set in the future, his work suffers from the reliance on digital colouring. Everything seems slightly too polished and inorganic. Considering this is a book about alien xenomoprhs, the irony is not lost on me.
Overall, Alien Vs. Predator: Fire & Stone #1 is a step in the right direction for the franchise. While it may feel a tad incomplete, AvP should offer enough fan service to keep readers coming back for more. With Predator: Fire & Stone by Joshua Williamson up next, it’s definitely a great time to be a fan of these universes.   
Alien Vs. Predator: Fire & Stone #1
Script: Christopher Sebela
Art: Ariel Olivetti
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: E. M. Gist
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

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