Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #2

Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #2

Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Letterer: Nate Piekos
Cover Artist: E.M. Gist

Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #2 is action packed and page after page of some beautiful artwork. However, the story is a little confusing. Elden, the android turned engineer monster, is trying to hunt down Francis. Through the hunt, they both have to deal with alien xenomorphs and predators waging their own little war. It’s a lot of panels of fighting and carnage with Elden and Francis providing the only dialog.

One of the problems with the story is the lack of a sympathetic character. Francis seems like the likely candidate because he’s the only human. But Francis was stupid enough to create the monster that Elden has become. On top of that, he still seems to think that the accelerant is a good idea, that he can somehow still use it to cure himself. So the main character is driven by selfishness and stupidity. It’s not a set of endearing characteristics. Truthfully, I’ll be glad to see Elden tear him to shreds.

On the other hand, is Elden really the sympathetic character? He is definitely the victim in all of this. He just wanted to help Francis. Francis went and forced the accelerant on him and turned him into a hideous, rampaging creature. It’s only fair that Elden seek vengeance against Francis. But Elden is pretty freaking hideous. He’s more terrifying that either the aliens or the predators. He also talks way too much. It’s to the point that he’s a very annoying character. Still, he’s more sympathetic than Francis.

That leaves the predators. While one could make an argument for the aliens, they’re just mindless beasts that attack everything. The predators have some sort of culture. They can talk, they make things to help them on their hunts. They’re easier to understand. For them, this is a dangerous game hunt and they’ve got in over their heads. Taking out humans and xenomorphs is one thing, taking on a mutated android thing like Elden is another. Throughout the comic, I found myself rooting for them more than anyone else. I wanted to see one of the predators take down Elden, Francis and all the xenomorphs. Yet my chosen sympathetic character received the short end of the stick. They’re no match for their adversaries, especially when one of their own becomes a mutated monstrosity.

All of that amounts to a hard story to bond with. I don’t care for the intended main character and could care less if he dies or suffers. The primary villain is annoying with his neverending dialog, and the predators get their butts kicked. I’m left with no one to root for. Then, at the end, the aliens turn on Elden which doesn’t make any sense. Up until this point, they seemed to be working together, though that hasn’t been explained yet either. At this point, I really don’t know where the comic is going.

The one redeeming aspect is the artwork. There’s a nice cover by E.M. Gist and some wonderful interior art by Ariel Olivetti. Ariel creates panels that have a rich texture and color palette. He has a way of making the art pop off the pages. Stylistically, it differs from traditional comic art. It’s unique, it’s vivid, and it adds a lot to the story.

As much as I was disappointed in the dialog and structure of the story in Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #2, it’s not a complete wash. Not all of the predators or dead, and with the super predator going around, maybe they now have a chance to take out Elden. I’m holding out hope they can still win this in the end. As such, with that thread of hope in mind, and in consideration of the wonderful imagery in all the panels, I’m going to give this issue a four out of five metal bikinis. It’s only issue #2 in this arc, and it might read better once all the other arcs in the Fire and Stone lineup catch up. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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