Alien Vs Predator: Thicker Than Blood #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on January 15, 2020

Writer: Jeremy Barlow
Artist: Doug Wheatley
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: Michael Heisler

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first issue, but decided to stick with the series anyway. I will see it through to its conclusion in case things look up but so far this second issue isn’t convincing me otherwise. I did enjoy this issue more than the last thanks to some brilliant AVP action, but it’s still not as good as I would hope.

Before I go any further though I do need to comment on Doug Wheatley’s art skills. They are incredible. While I may not be blown away by the rest of the comic it looks absolutely gorgeous. He is incredibly talented and Rain Beredo’s colors manage to bring the best out of his work. More on that later though.

One of the biggest drawbacks of this series for me so far has been the main characters. Now that the first issue is out of the way I can talk about them in a little more detail. I like the concept of Tyler being an android. By having a child android as one of the main protagonists it’s a different spin on the usual story. However they haven’t really done anything with him or set him apart in any real way. There were a few panels in the last issue, and a few in this one, where he behaves like a little boy. It almost feels like they’re trying to look at where A.I. stops and personality takes over, only it isn’t fleshed out enough and seems more like an afterthought than one of the themes of the story.

Then we have the “sister” Maria. So far she has been quite unlikeable. Nasty to Tyler, unfazed by her parents death, I just don’t root for her at all. This issue introduces another survivor. His introduction and departure are rushed and probably don’t have the effect that Jeremy Barlow was going for. No doubt he’ll prove important further down the line though.

Of course this is an AVP comic, and so far I haven’t mentioned them. The Alien was introduced in the final panels of the last issue and it’s not really a spoiler to say he gets free in this issue. And we have some glorious fight scenes between the Xenomorph and the Predators. This is the reason that anyone wants this comic after all and they really don’t disappoint.

I’ve mentioned the art before but it really shines in these fight scenes. I would read these comics just for Doug Wheatley’s art, even if the weak script lets the rest of the comic down. I don’t know what he does best, the alien, predator, people, backgrounds, fight scenes, they’re all out of this world. He brings it all to life in a way that most Alien/Predator/AVP comics (or comics in general) don’t manage.

Rain Beredo’s colors also deserve another mention. He helps make this comic atmospheric, there’s flames, explosions, sparking electricity, blood, shadows. While Wheatley draws them masterfully they wouldn’t be anything without Beredo’s colors so he’s earned a shout out for his skills.

There is a twist in the last few pages, nothing overly original in the AVP world, but one that might just make the rest of the series a little better. Will it be enough to make the whole story arc enjoyable or a case of too little too late? We’ll find out in the next issue.

Fantastic artwork isn’t enough to save this comic from mediocrity, unlikeable protagonists only carry the story so far. The fight scenes lift the score from last issue but still nothing incredible. I hope the rest of the series proves me wrong and improves, but it needs to be a drastic improvement.

Our Score:


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