Review – Predator: Fire and Stone #4 (of 4) (Dark Horse)

25648Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Christopher Mooneyham
Release Date: 28th January, 2015

And so, we finally come to this. With the Aliens, AvP and Prometheus strands of Dark Horse’s Fire and Stone event already wrapped up – with varying degrees of success – it’s time to see whether Messrs Williamson and Mooneyham can stick the landing of their Predator arc. The pieces are definitely all in place for what should be an epic finale, with professional coward and backstabber Galgo and his Predator ‘partner’ Ahab finally tracking down their Engineer quarry at the conclusion of the previous issue. So, does this final chapter manage to live up to the incredibly high standards of the series so far?

Well… yes and no.

Mooneyman’s artwork, while still undoubtedly impressive in places, does slip just a little during the course of this issue.   Don’t get me wrong, this is still head and shoulders above most of the other comics on the shelves right now, but with the bar being set so incredibly high by his previous work in this series – as well as his stunning track record with Five Ghosts – he doesn’t quite rise to the occasion here like I’d hoped he might. Some of the panels lack his trademark level of detail, and while the scratchy, kinetic style does come to life during the physical exchanges, there are a few awkwardly posed moments here and there.

Williamson keeps the dialogue to a minimum here, letting the physicality of the showdown take centre stage – a wise choice, in my opinion. However, it’s the exchanges that occur after the dust has settled that fell a little flat to me. Something about the resolution to this issue came off feeling a little forced, almost like a desire to wrap this arc up in a neat, tidy bow – a stark contrast to some of the more ambiguous, poignant endings of the other series’ in this event.

Don’t get me wrong folks, this is still a strong comic by anyone’s standards, but I can’t help but find myself having to rate it based on the three issues that have come before it. In that respect, and after such a near-flawless build-up, the payoff here doesn’t quite pop the way it should, leaving me actually feeling slightly disappointed – something I never thought I would say about this series. If I’m honest, I don’t think I ever really got on board with Galgo as a central character, and as impressive as the monumental showdown between Ahab and his “white whale” undoubtedly is, there just isn’t enough of an investment in the human side of things to really tie everything together.

Overall though, the Predator strand of Dark Horse’s Fire and Stone web can definitely be considered to be a major success, and all eyes now fall on Kelly Sue DeConnick’s “Omega” issue to wrap things up entirely. I for one can’t wait.

Rating: 3/5.

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: 576682_510764502303144_947146289_nCraig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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