Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Andrew Mutti
Release Date: July 13th, 2016
After a somewhat lackluster opening arc, Dark Horse’s Life and Death event rumbles into the second issue of the Prometheus portion of the story here, with the quality continuing to trend upwards as we’re treated to stronger characterisation, an improved aesthetic and a far tighter story.
This issue sees our bruised and battered colonial marine survivors – now effectively stowaways on the Engineer ship – being taken against their will to a fairly… familiar planet, to say the least. Quite why the Engineer is taking them there remains to be seen, but the gradual splintering of the agendas within the group, not to mention the pressing concerns regarding food, water and the local ‘wildlife’, make this a far more engaging read than the previous arc.
Additionally, writer Dan Abnett yanks back the curtain midway through this issue and reveals the true scope of the story, and while it’s undoubtedly a bold decision, it’s also one that I absolutely love. I’ve made no secret of my feelings that the characters introduced in the Predator: Life and Death arc felt – with a couple of exceptions – like little more than expendable fodder, so the fact that Dark Horse are tapping into the rich history already established in this shared universe fills me with a renewed sense of optimism for the rest of this event.
Andrea Mutti once again does a fantastic job with the artwork, particularly in providing us with our first glimpse of the swarming, menacing Xenomorphs. It’s always interesting to see how different artists interpret the aliens themselves, and while Mutti’s approach is far from revolutionary, he clearly displays a firm grasp of just what makes these creatures so utterly terrifying. There are a few rough edges along the way, sure, but for the most part this book perfectly captures the tone of the story with its bleak, washed-out aesthetic.
Overall then, Dark Horse’s Life and Death event seems to finally be hitting its stride, with the inclusion of some familiar places – and faces – giving the series a much-needed injection of life as it surges forwards. My cautious optimism is gradually giving way to genuine excitement, and if this issue is anything to go by, the rest of the Prometheus arc is going to be an absolute treat.
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