Review – Alien Vs Predator: Thicker Than Blood #1 (Dark Horse)

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Jeremy Barlow
Artwork: Doug Wheatley
Colours: Rain Beredo
Letters: Michael Heisler
Release Date: 11th December 2019

Given all of the films, novels, comics and computer games, you’d think that the well would be running dry by now on the AvP franchise. There’s an ongoing allure with all things Predator and Xenomorph though, so folks like me will happily read anything ‘new’. And whilst there’s plenty of recurrent, some might say rehashed, themes here, there’s also enough of a fresh take on the central characters here that this could end up being a standout.

It’s not going to be an Alien story without an android, and rather than try to build up to a shock reveal, it’s made clear from the start that ours comes in the form of one of the central characters. Rather than an apparently super helpful psychotic Englishman, here it’s a youngster acting as child and younger brother within a family unit. Now childlike androids or AI aren’t exactly a novel idea, but within the AvP world this is an opportunity to explore some interesting themes. The title suggests familial bonds will definitely be under the spotlight during this mini-series; just maybe not in the way we expect.

Plot wise, the story takes place on a luxury space liner which finds itself off course in the forbidden zone. The ship gains another passenger in the form of a Predator intent on taking some trophies. Why exactly the Predator would attack unarmed folks on a luxury cruise, albeit in their territory, is not exactly clear but it’s easy to gloss over. Mayhem and carnage obviously ensue, and it’s down to the ‘young’ android, Tyler, to get his sister, Maria, to safety.

The art is of a high standard throughout with plenty of detail in the characters. As one would guess, there’s a fair bit of action and it’s delivered well with plenty of gory detail. The lettering makes this an easy read and never finds itself in the way of said detail. Unfortunately though, for all the great stuff, I found that the minimal style for the backgrounds felt like a missed opportunity given the impressive set pieces we’ve seen. That said though, I’m not knocking what’s here as there’s a fine balance to be had.

Overall, this is a fine enough addition to the AvP range which has a fair bit of promise.

Rating: 3/5.


The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster

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