Aliens Vs Predator: Life And Death #3
Released by: Dark Horse Comics
Released on: February 22nd, 2017.
Written by: Dan Abnett
Illustrated by: Brian Albert Thies
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“Discovering that their distress calls enabled a Predator tribe to track them to the Alien- and Engineer-infested planet LV-223, Captain Paget and her crew of Colonial Marines and survivors find themselves in a face-off with the deadly hunters. Ahab, a Predator cohort of one of the survivors, has a chance to save the humans, but he must battle to the death with the tribe’s champion as part of a ritual to regain his status among the Predators. When Ahab wins, there is no time to celebrate, as an alien horde swarms both sides, seeking to reclaim the larval queen that is implanted in one of the humans…”
It’s all-out war at this point as the aliens attack the Predator hunters en masse, while Paget and her crew prepare to enter the fray only if needed. Their plans get dashed pretty quickly when Chris says ‘it’s moving inside me.’ The Queen larva inside her wants to be born. Jill reassures her that she’ll be okay, or at least she tries to, but she’s not having any of it. Melville makes a point though – Weyland Yutani is greedy enough that if they can get Chris to the ship and transport to their lab, they’ll maybe be able to surgically remove it thus allowing the company to keep the alien and hopefully let Chris keep her life.
Cross works on getting the remote link functioning, while the aliens and Predators slaughter each other. Paget keeps the troops at bay, knowing full well that if the aliens make it past the Predators that the bugs will be coming straight at them to get Chris. Protect the queen. When the aliens flank the Predators, what’s left of the Colonial Marines opens fire, but they’re outnumbered and seriously low on ammo.
With one issue left to go, Abnett has pulled out all the stops. This issue is action packed and ridiculously tense. As he took his time in the earlier installments letting us get to know the different characters well enough to make them matter to us, the payoff is coming in these later issues. At this point in the game we really want to know how it ends, especially when this penultimate chapter ends on such a tense cliffhanger as it does.
Brian Albert Thies’ artwork has been a good fit from the start and this time around he gets to pencil some pretty nasty imagery. He does it well though, there’s a very fluid sense of movement to the action set pieces that make up so much of this issue, and nice detail in the Marines armaments and the Predator’s tribal outfits. Rain Beredo’s coloring work enhances this in all the right ways and once again the issue benefits from a beautiful painted cover piece by Dave Palumbo.
An excellent issue, this one. Can’t wait to see how it all wraps up next month!