• Aliens: Fire And Stone #4

    Aliens: Fire And Stone #4
    Published by: Dark Horse Comics
    Published on: December 24th, 2014.
    Written by: Chris Roberson
    Art by: Patric Reynolds
    Purchase From Amazon

    The fourth and final issue of the Aliens: Fire And Stone mini-series closes off this chapter of the events surrounding LV-223. When we last left off, Cale had admitted that he knew the alien was onboard the ship that the survivors took off in and convinces the survivors to make it to the ship where there’s enough supplies to keep them alive until they can be rescued. Science Officer Russell isn’t interested in leaving, however, and he decides to stick around. Cale and the crew found the ship, but there were a lot more aliens around than they’d anticipated.

    As Russell explores, he finds the wreckage of another ship that came from Earth. He finds some salvage he might be able to use and starts to plan to explore the area outside of the jungle – what else does LV-223 have to offer? The next morning he goes out to find food but finds instead a journal left behind by Standish and then he learns firsthand what became of Cale… the accelerant has caused some strange mutations to occur. He heads back to the wrecked ship and deduces that Cale must have come into contact with the accelerant and somehow with some alien DNA at the same time. At the same time, Russell is starting to talk to himself a lot. His only companion at this point is the Rover camera orb that follows him around. On top of that, he’s starting to have difficulty putting his thoughts together and he’s suffering from severe headaches. When he has Rover scan him, he’s none too thrilled with the results.

    When he heads to tend to the burial ground, where he and the others laid to rest those that were killed on the planet, he once again runs into Cale, and then the aliens…

    This is a conclusion in that it ends the Aliens portion of the story but at the same time, it leaves quite a bit more left to be explored in this universe and quite obviously sets up some of the stories as yet untold in the other Fire And Stone four issue runs. The emphasis here is on Russell’s mental state – he’s not doing well and he knows it. He also knows what he needs to do if he wants to survive on a planet that’s overrun by killer aliens, even if he doesn’t like it. He knows this option has risks all its own and is unsure which is the better choice. Roberson’s writing does a good job of getting us into his head and of getting us to understand and sympathize with his plight. He’s a likeable character, but like most men, he’s also quite flawed. His actions here will obviously have ramifications elsewhere.

    Patric Reynolds’ artwork continues to suit the storyline perfectly. Lots of heavy inks and great use of shadow here give the book a particularly dark look, but that’s pretty appropriate given how the story plays out. He has, since the first issue, shown real strengths in creating some memorably grotesque beings in this series and once again he does this with the introduction of the mutated Cale. David Palumbo again contributes a slick painted cover. A fitting ‘end’ to a solid series – it’ll be interesting to see how the events in this final issue continue to affect the rest of the Fire And Stone storylines.