Review – Predator: Fire and Stone #3 (Dark Horse)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Christopher Mooneyham
Release Date: 16th December 2014
It is truly impressive how each of the separate arcs in Dark Horse’s “Fire and Stone” event have managed forge their own unique style. Thus far, we’ve been treated to the ‘haunted house’ horror of Aliens, the psychological torment of Prometheus and the weird… Predator… thing… of AvP. Ahem. And now, we’re back in what could probably best be described as the swashbuckling action series of the event, as charmless scoundrel Galgo continues to be lashed to his aging Predator ally in their hunt for the elusive Engineer ‘trophy’.
Unfortunately however, the tense cliffhanger of the previous issue – where Galgo found himself coming face to face with the very people he left for dead on LV-233 – doesn’t really deliver on its potential. Angela’s reaction to seeing Galgo again, aside from her initial ‘greeting’, does seem to be a little bit out of character, and her overall approach to being abandoned in such a way does seem a little… understated… to say the least.
I feel like I’m constantly going back to the same thing with these reviews, but the simple fact remains that Galgo is still not exactly the most likeable character, making it difficult to become too invested in his situation beyond a vague nagging feeling that, should anything bad eventually happen to him, well, he probably deserved it. Writer Joshua Williamson seems to be fully embracing that now, particularly during a flashback to one of Galgo’s previous ‘heroic deeds’. Once again however, Galgo’s interactions with the one-eyed Predator go a little way towards resolving that, particularly during a somewhat amusing scene where the two compare war wounds, but unfortunately it seems like a case of ‘too little too late’ in terms of making him a particularly likeable protagonist in any way.
That said, there’s still a hell of a lot to like about this series. For an unlikeable scoundrel, Galgo does come out with some great lines of dialogue, and – as I mentioned above – his interactions with the Predator are extremely entertaining, providing the backbone of this series. It’s also worth repeating just how fluid and dynamic Chris Mooneyham’s artwork is, subtly portraying the emotions of the characters in the quieter moments before exploding into frenzied, dynamic motion during the action scenes. He also shines during several of the splash pages in this issue, particularly with a jaw-dropping double-page spread near the end.
Overall, by the final page of this issue, all the pieces have been moved into place for what should be a fiercely dramatic resolution, although it bears mentioning at this point that I’m not really sure exactly what role Kelly Sue DeConnick’s “Omega” title is going to play in the overall narrative. Tying up loose ends? Laying the groundwork for something else down the line? Either way, with DeConnick at the helm, there’s no concerns about the quality, and with a lot of ground to cover before we even get there, it’s safe to say that Fire and Stone continues to cement itself as one of the most impressive uses of these franchises for quite some time, and serves as a showcase for four uniquely talented creative teams.
Don’t forget to check out our Dark Horse: Fire & Stone Review and Interview Hub for all our coverage of this momentous event in one place.
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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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