• Aliens: Fire And Stone #2

    Aliens: Fire And Stone #2
    Published by: Dark Horse Comics
    Published on: October 29th, 2014.
    Written by: Chris Roberson
    Art by: Patric Reynolds
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    Picking up directly where the first issue left off, Aliens: Fire And Stone #2 brings us back to LV-223 where the ragtag crew have landed unaware that their ship had aliens aboard. The attack that closed the last issue has left everyone in rough shape. Russell, however, has noticed some sort of circular drone patrolling the area. He starts tracking its movements and trying to figure out what this things and after capturing it, deduces that it’s old Weyland-Yutani equipment, a probe, possibly left over and somehow still active from a previous expedition. When he tinkers with it a bit, a strange light emits and it says ‘Prometheus, we are now mapping.’

    The rest of the survivors bicker amongst themselves about the best way to survive, with Cale insisting they bring the attack to them rather than take a more docile approach. Genevieve, however, wants the group to entrench and hold out. Cale has a point, however, in that the crashed ship has food and a rescue beacon they could use if they could get to it. The survivors have found edible food in the area but so too have they found a strange oily sludge that mutates whatever it touches. The aliens have been launching raiding parties of their own, however, and because of this the human numbers on LV-223 are dwindling. While Cale and Genevieve continue to argue, Russell accesses the probe’s internal memory and learns that although the probe has only been scanning for ninety years it has documented what amounts to millions of years’ worth of evolution. He’s excited about the discovery, they others… not so much.

    As they get better at evading the aliens, Russell starts to explore a little bit on his own and comes across a huge face carved out of metal or stone and the leftovers from a terraforming operation inside what may or may not be a huge ship laying dormant for ages. He also finds a cryo chamber with something in it…

    Roberson’s story builds nicely off of the first issue and it’s now starting to become clearer how all of these ‘Fire And Stone’ mini series are tying in together (for those not paying attention there’s an Aliens series, a Prometheus series, a Predator series and an Alien Vs. Predator series) though there’s plenty of mystery left to discover. A knowledge of the Prometheus movie helps here but even if you go into this series blind (starting with the first issue, that is) it’s a rewarding read. There’s some interesting speculation on the part of Russell as to the evolution of the planet and humanity’s role in that as well as how and why the aliens are here doing what they do. This unfolds almost entirely from his point of view as he starts keeping a journal as any good scientist would in his situation. The other characters don’t get as much to do in this issue, they’re just sort of there, but at the same time without them there to continue to live, there wouldn’t be much of a story so while they don’t develop the way Russell does, they’re still necessary.

    Patric Reynolds continues to kick all kinds of ass in the artwork department, hitting the right mix of sketchy movement and more solid, heavily inked drama in almost every panel. The book is very well laid out on a visual level and Dave Stewart’s coloring compliments this all rather well. All of this is tucked away under another impressive cover piece from David Palumbo. A solid read indeed for anyone with an interest in the franchise.