• Aliens: Fire And Stone #3

    Aliens: Fire And Stone #3
    Published by: Dark Horse Comics
    Published on: November 26th, 2014.
    Written by: Chris Roberson
    Art by: Patric Reynolds
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    Picking up directly where the second issue left off, Aliens: Fire And Stone #3 once again brings us back to LV-223 where an ever dwindling group of space miners have crash landed unaware that they’ve brought some vicious Aliens to the planet with them. As a few scavenge for food they’re set upon by a creature that appears to be half Alien-half human. It attacks and a survivor named Ramona heads back to base camp with the creature right behind her. They deduce that one of their own, Luiz, merged with the Alien right before Cale puts a spike through it and puts it out of its misery.

    Cale confesses to the rest that he let them take off knowing that an Alien was onboard with them and that he shut his mouth to save his own skin. Dione understandably lashes out at him, but the others pull her back. As they do, Cale tells them his plan – there’s enough gear and communication equipment onboard the wreckage of their ship that he figures if they can make it there, they can call for help and survive long enough to an EVAC to show up. Science officer Russell has second thoughts though – despite the dangers on the planet, he’s grown to like it. He knows the potential that scientific exploitation of all that is there holds. Cale and his crew head to the ship and open the hatch, but when they do, well, let’s just say that Cale was wrong about what would be waiting for them.

    This penultimate issue sets up what is sure to be a pretty big finish for this four issue series that once again shares plot threads with other titles currently running in the Aliens/Predator/Prometheus universe. Cale, who set all of this off in the first place, albeit unwittingly and in the interest of self preservation (a natural instinct if ever there was one) tries to redeem himself here with interesting effect while we see Russell further alienate himself from the rest of the survivors as Dione tries to hold everything together as best she can. As such writer Chris Roberson gives us a solid mix of action, drama and yes, some pretty solid suspense, particularly with that final page. The characters are reasonably well fleshed out for a relatively short series with Russell standing out as the most attention-grabbing – it’ll be interesting to see what happens to him in the final issue as it’s definitely going to tie into the other storylines. Full points for crafting a solid story here.

    Once again, Patric Reynolds is never less than impressive. His illustration style is unique and is really effective at capturing facial expressions at key moments. At the same time, he convey fast motion and action well, paying enough attention to both the foregrounds and the backgrounds of his panels to make it all work. Dave Stewarts colors compliment this perfectly and that cover by David Palumbo, it’s a stand out work of macabre beauty.