It has been a good four years or so since we have explored the comic book universes of Aliens and Predator. These heavy hitter have been battling it out in the pages of Dark Horse Comics since the late 80’s and early 90’s. If fact the very first crossover of the two took place in issue #36 of Dark Horse Presents, and since then we can’t get enough!
In 2012, Ridley Scott introduced a new story called Prometheus that would explain the origins of what happened in his classic 1979 film and more. It was only a matter of time before Dark Horse would adapt what happened in the film, little did we know it would be on this scale! Right out of the gate, the very first Prometheus comic would be part of a grander project called Fire and Stone. Ridley Scott has stated that he is done with Xenomorphs and that his further tales of what happens to Elizabeth and David would be in whole new direction. But it doesn’t mean that the lore he created can’t be used by others to tell stories like F&S.
Fire and Stone is an epic comic book event that has four core stories; Aliens, Predator, Aliens vs Predator, and Prometheus. Each series within F&S will span four issues each and all lead into one final confrontation between these three heavy hitters. At first the series seems a little confusing, but trust me, by the second issues things start to make more sense. The “problem” is that each book is set during a different time during the overall story. For example, Aliens #1 takes place before the events of Prometheus #1, which sets up the events to follow. Both of the previously mentioned issues both take place before Predator #1 and Aliens vs Predator #1, with these later two intertwining. So as reference (and less confusion) I am recapping each first issue by the point in the timeline that they take place.
The story takes place after the events of the movie Aliens, in which we learn that some members of the doomed colony, Hadley’s Hope, actually escaped the fate of their comrades, well almost. Some of the Xenomorphs hitch a ride to the neighboring LV-223, a location that should sound very familiar, where the events of the Prometheus movie played out. The crazy thing about LV-223 is that this once barren moon has been mysteriously transformed into a lush jungle environment! We meet Russell, an engineer from the colony and Genevieve, who along with Russell take charge of the situation, and the survival of their group. The others in tote are mostly there to be victims for the Aliens. After the crash, as usual, things only get worse from there.
Another crew is following in the footsteps of Elizabeth Shaw’s exploration of LV-223. The issue opens up as Clara Atkinson is filming a documentary aboard the spaceship, Helios. It is a neat way to introduce all of the characters that are involved in this part of the story. The important names to remember from this are Francis a biologist, Elden a Synthetic, and Galgo who is chief of security. Clara has some insight into what happened on LV-223, including knowing the secret that Peter Weyland actually came to explore the mystery of the Engineers. Clara wants to know the truth, something that of course will get her into trouble. This was the first issue to hit stands and we first learn about the CRAZY transformation of LV-223 into a jungle here. As the team explores this unexpected environment, besides the plant life, we also see new species of animals! Including some really scary looking monkey creatures. The “Black Goo” from the film plays a major part in the series, and the team finds ponds of it in the jungle. At the end of the issue, they come upon the crashed ship from Hadley’s Hope, now covered in vines. Deciding to investigate what happened inside, the issue ends as the panel shows the reader what waits for them inside, a legion of Xenomorphs!
Aliens vs Predator #1
Predators are on the hunt! After skinning up some animals during the first few panels, they turn their attention to an Armada of ships which are made up of The Geryon, Kadmos, and Perses. Aboard we find Francis, Elden, and Galgos (and his merc buddies) who seem to be the only survivors of the horror that took place in the pages of the Prometheus series. For some reason or another the mercs are keeping Francis locked up. That reason is something has happened to Elden, which is a little confusing until you read the second issue of Prometheus, but he is pissed at Francis and wants revenge. Elden takes over the comm system and we are soon shown what this synthetic has turned into, a monstrous alien-looking monster with Xenomorphs in tow! Elden is approaching on the Helios, he talks directly to Galgos and offers him survival if he turns Francis over to him. Galgos is all about saving his own skin so he decides to follow Elden’s instructions. Elden of course is not even considering holding up his end of the bargain and tells his Alien pets that they can eat the others. How this thing controls the Xenos I have no idea, and I’m really looking forward to finding out! The Predators approach and secretly board the Armada. The negotiation fails when the ship senses that there are unexpected visitors, this sets off Elden who forces his way onto the ship! The creepiest part is that everywhere he goes a strange alien vine seems to take over the ship. The Predators slowly make their way through, eliminating any threats in their way. The Xenos on the other hand make quick work of the wounded who are hiding in the med-bay. Galgo is making his way with Francis as a hostage, that’s when the Predators attack! Galgo fights them off with his Engineer gun and Francis escapes. Things quickly turn into a cat and mouse game, as Elden hunts for Francis, with the Predators not too far behind him. The last panels show the Predators finally reveal themselves to Elden and his Xeno troupe.
This brings us to today’s release of the final #1 issue, Predator. The story takes place after the events of AvP #1 and looks to intertwine with that series. The hunter has become the hunted, as Galgos has realized that a stranger has stowed away. Finally we get to the part I’ve been waiting for, the appearance of the Ahab Predator! You’ve seen the NECA toy, now see him in action! Galgo and his buddies put up a decent fight at first, but it’s pretty futile against this hunting machine. Galgo even sacrifices his own man to try and flush the beast out into space. This doesn’t work and Galgo and the Predator go toe to toe! Impressively enough he holds his own for a little while, but is eventually defeated. But the Predator does not murder him, instead he takes the Engineer weapon and shows Galgo what his true intention is, hunting down its owner! Looks like we have another human/Predator team-up on our hands!
Amusingly enough this series uses a lot of the old archetypes from a lot of the previous stories of the past and rehashes them in a very workable manner. You have to do what works I guess! The comics are released in a good sequence so that if you are following along the story makes more sense. Do not give up on this one based on the first issues! I understand that it can be a bit confusing at first, but with the release of issue #2 of both Prometheus (last week) and Aliens (next week) you’ll really start to see things open up!