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Evil Geek Book Report – Aliens: Fire & Stone & Prometheus Fire & Stone #1-4

Aliens

First let me say that’ I’m in the minority of people who really enjoyed Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. You may recall me starting a series of articles reviewing all of the Alien movies, I stopped after the second one but do plan to some day pick it back up. Alien is one of my all time favorite movies, so when I heard that Dark Horse was going to begin doing more comic book stories with the franchise I jumped at the chance. Especially since two of the titles would also tie into Prometheus. The other two were centered around Predator as well as the Aliens Vs. Predator series. That’s not my thing really, so today we are going to focus on both the 4 issue Aliens miniseries as well as the Prometheus one, both subtitled Fire & Stone.

Aliens

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The Aliens series chronologically happens first, something that is noted inside the front cover of each of the issues, but strangely not in the Prometheus ones. 90 years after the events of the movie Prometheus a planet that was being terraformed becomes overrun with Xenomorphs. The crew escape on a cargo ship but some of the aliens manage to infiltrate a portion of the ship. An officer named Cale could have sacrificed himself to seal off and dislodge this portion of the ship and abandon the creatures, but chooses not to. The ship crash-lands at their nearest destination, a moon (LV-223) which is the barren wasteland that the events of the movie Prometheus take place on.  The Xenomorphs are unleashed on the planet and crew but curiously the former rocky exterior of the planet has since become a lush jungle with plenty of vegetation.

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After some wanton wholesale destruction a small band of the crew escape into the wilds of the planet. Clark Russell, one of the ship’s technical engineers manages to find the Engineer’s ship along with one of the solar rovers that belonged to Captain Shaw’s team from the movie. He is able review some of the technical data uploaded into it including the secrets to how the planet was teraformed in such short period of time. But perhaps more interestingly,  it identifies the whereabouts of an Engineer that is in cryosleep. The tension picks up as we see the crew slowly get picked off during different Xenomorphs encounters (including an interesting death involving sharks) soon whittling them down to next to nothing.aliens-fire-and-stone-01-page-05

Russell hauls himself up in a cave where it seems someone previously had stayed and kept volumes of notes about the planet. Through this as well as his own testing he find out that the black goo (which the planet seems to have in ample supply) is an accelerant of sorts. It can merge with recipients DNA and have drastically different effects. Indeed, in this miniseries we see someone merge with a Xenomorph and create some sort of hybrid. The cave itself appears to protect Russell or at least repel the creatures on on the planet, but it’s unclear how or why. The story ends somewhat on a mild cliff hanger, where we aren’t sure of Russell’s fate. It is mentioned earlier that deep underneath the cave he’s staying in there is a human buried. This is never resolved and hopefully gets touched upon in the next series.

Prometheus

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Roughly 40 years later we are introduced to the crew of the Geryon, 3 ships sent by the Weyland-Yutani corporation to travel to LV-223 to find remains and salvage what they could of the ship from the original Prometheus movie. Captain Angela Foster secretly plans to find the reason for Peter Wyland’s death and finish his research about the Engineer’s and mankind. When they touch down on the planet they are surprised to find it teeming with all sorts of life.

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On one side of the planet Foster’s crew uncover Russell’s ship from the Aliens miniseries which has become infested with Xenomorphs. On the other side astrobiologist Francis and android Elden discover the cave Russell took shelter in. Francis is revealed to have cancer and after making their way through Russell’s old notes decide that the black goo in small doses could have regenerate qualities. He decides to inject Elden with a tiny portion of it which turns him into a synthesized monster.

Francis reunites with the rest of his shipmates but their main vessel is surrounded by Xenomorphs. Foster dispatches a few of the crew to get in their other ship and try and chase them off. They end up ditching out on them and escaping from their planet. Elden arrives back at the ship whose partial crew was still inside with code protected entrances. He easily is able to enter it and allow the Xenmorophs entrance and a feast.

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I’ll hold off putting out everything here, but the last issue is a fast paced high octane finale. It’s a bloodletting, but you do get to spend some time back in the Engineer’s ship as well as a cameo from one of them. The story unfortunately, abruptly ends with something that feels like you get a little bit of closure but not much. What’s the deal with the body buried beneath the cave? Is everything tied up in the Prometheus: Omega one shot that’s out in February? I’d guess so, but i’m not sure.

This series thanks to Juan Ferryra’s visuals really captured the look and feel of the movie Prometheus. The space suits, the ship designs, instruments and land rover buggies all carried that same atheistic. Paul Tobin’s story was adequate, it feels like he didn’t have much to do here. The dialogue at times could become pretty juvenile but was fine all things considered. We do get to see some more connective tissue from the earlier Aliens miniseries when in Prometheus the crew comes across a breed of crazy xenosharks too which are certainly a welcome edition. Chris Roberson was the writer of the Aliens series with Patric Reynolds serving art duties. While I may have preferred Reynolds art style by leaps and bounds to Ferryra’s, Prometheus is still the more interesting book. Roberson just doesn’t really have a ton to tell us.

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These two miniseries fall short of being essential reading for fans of the franchise. They are i’d say, an interesting curiosity though and worth a read. At the very least, they are sanctioned by Ridley Scott as official cannon and I know the writers made a point of it not interfering or contradicting with the story that will take place in the actual Prometheus movie sequel. So this is what actually takes place after the original movie. For that alone it might be worth a look.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on January 7, 2015, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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