Aliens Vs Predator: Life And Death #4
Released by: Dark Horse Comics
Released on: March 29th, 2017.
Written by: Dan Abnett
Illustrated by: Brian Albert Thies
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"Set upon by a massive horde of aliens, Captain Paget and her Colonial Marines must fight side by side with the Predator tribe that once hunted them to planet LV-223. While the killing skill of the Predators is unmatched and the firepower of the Colonial Marines is explosive, the Aliens, who are determined to retrieve the unborn queen that gestates inside one of the humans, number in the thousands. Realizing how the battle must end, the impregnated crew member, Chris, makes a bold decision to change the course of the battle!"
Chris knows that she's the one that the bugs are after, because of what's gestating inside her stomach. She heads out into the oncoming horde, clutching a grenade, and while the aliens surround her, they do not attack. The predators on the other side of the fray simply watch. Chris talks to the aliens, tells them that she knows what the engineers spilled on the planet caused them to mutate and that since then the only way that they can reproduce is for a 'queen' to lay eggs. She carries that queen inside her - the only hope their species has for survival.
Meanwhile, Paget and her team watch with baited breath, understandably both nervous and upset with what they're seeing. But Chris- her speech to the bugs is intensifying as she starts yelling how she's sick of it, sick of life and sick of death, but she still believes in love and she still loves her wife Jill. But before she can finish that speech, her chest starts throbbing... and we'll leave it at that so as not to spoil the ending not just of the AVP run but of the Life And Death series (to be followed up by Prometheus: Life And Death - Final Conflict, the concluding chapter of Abnett's epic!).
You can kind of see where this one is heading early on, but the ending seems appropriately inevitable and of course, there's still the final chapter to be told. Still, getting to this point has been a pretty exciting ride. Allegiances, some very unorthodox, have been formed, there have been a lot of casualties on all sides of the conflict - human, alien and predator - and we've learned a bit about the role of the engineers in all of this. It ties into the recent AVP story lines that have been coming out through Dark Horse quite nicely, their talented stable of writers are doing a fine job of building an interesting universe. Abnett holds his own against those that have come before him and he has a good handle on the characters as well as on the creatures.
The artwork from Brian Albert Thies continues to impress - lots of great movement in this issue and some genuinely striking panels, particularly in those scenes where he illustrates poor Chris surrounded by the alien horde. Rain Beredo's coloring work compliments the pencils wonderfully, keeping things dark and moody but never overdoing it in that regard. Add to the mix another great cover painted by David Palumbo and this runs ends on a high note.