Review – Alien versus Predator #3 (of 4) (Dark Horse Comics)

92194Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Release Date: 3rd December 2014

After getting off to a great start, the Aliens versus Predator arc of Dark Horse’s Fire and Stone shared universe lost its way a little in the last issue with the introduction of the bizarre, big-headed mutant… Predator… thing. An unnecessary addition (in my opinion, at least) to what was shaping up to be a compelling game of cat and mouse between deranged synthetic Elden and his increasingly desperate ‘creator’ Francis, its introduction sidelined the storyline significantly, detracting from the tension of the arc and turning the whole thing into a bit of a gimmick in the process.

Thankfully, the accelerant-mutated Predator… thing is used sparingly here, although he does find himself joined by yet another mutated abomination in the closing pages, removing this series even further from the franchises it’s based on. Hey, I’m all for trying new things, but while the other three arcs in the ‘Fire and Stone’ event have managed to employ subtle adjustments and creative innovations to the pre-existing franchises with stunning effect, AvP’s approach seems to be to hurl random mutated behemoths at the wall in the hope that something sticks.

Writer Sebela does a solid enough job with what he’s given, keeping the dialogue fairly engaging – if a little ‘on the nose’ at times – and continuing to make Elden one of the overall highlights of this event with his inquisitive monologue and intriguing interactions with Predators and Xenomorphs alike. Unfortunately, Ariel Olivetti’s artwork seems to be getting more and more sterile as the arc progresses, and while he undeniably shines in his depiction of stationary characters and dramatic splash pages, things start feeling awkward and ‘posed’ as soon as the bodies start moving.

Unfortunately, the way the storyline is progressed within these pages means that this arc is unlikely to pull out of its nosedive in the final issue. There’s a great story just begging to be told here, but unfortunately, it’s one which seems to have been completely sidetracked by the creators’ fascination of seeing what kind of effect accelerant has on different species. A rare misfire from the Fire and Stone team, then, and while there are a few undeniably bright spots along the way, I can’t in good conscience recommend this one.

Rating: 2/5.

Don’t forget to check out our Dark Horse: Fire & Stone Review and Interview Hub for all of our coverage of this event in one place.


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The writer of this piece was: 576682_510764502303144_947146289_nCraig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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