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‘Predator: Fire and Stone’ - Advance TPB Review

Predator: Fire and Stone brings the Fire and Stone cycle full circle with what started in the excellent Prometheus: Fire and Stone as we head back to LV-223, thanks to an extremely dedicated Predator. This hunter is after his Moby Dick, with which writer Joshua Williamson (Aliens: Colonial Marines - No Man Left Behind) smartly draws a comparison. I won’t say what that Moby Dick is, but for a Predator story, there are some nice twists and turns.

I say “but for a Predator story,” because I’m not a terribly huge fan of the Predator franchise. Aside from the first Predator film and maybe the Adrien Brody one, I’ve never really enjoyed the Predator character, or at least how he’s been represented. It usually boils down to this versus that, and they punch each other and the human characters are left fairly paper thin. Here, Williamson smartly gives us a great rendering of the despicable, but likeable, Galgo (who turned tail and ran in the Prometheus book), who I hope returns in other stories. He is a true-blue anti-hero, who if he can’t fight his way out of something will talk or manipulate his way out. Galgo is willing to make any decision to secure his own survival, especially against those just as seedy as he is (Honor among thieves – pah!), but deep down isn’t evil enough not to save a stranded group of people left to die on a space shuttle. I don’t want to meet him, but I will follow his adventures any day of the week.

What the Predator is up to exactly, I won’t say, only that each issue brings some fun twists and turns and some questions still left unanswered for future Prometheus installments would be my guess. It’s a worthy ending to the Fire and Stone cycle. Part of this is due to the artwork of Christopher Mooneyham. He is pretty new to the industry, but I see him having a long future. He has a Joe Kubert/Klaus Jansen/John Romita Jr. appeal, which is a great place to be. John Lucas swings in to ink the second two issues, a real pro who doesn’t lose pace with Mooneyham’s style. He keeps everything uniform. Using Dan Brown, who also colored Prometheus, to color here was incredibly smart, bookending the series, bringing LV-223 to life for a second time so effectively. He keeps things fairly monochromatic in space, with greys and blues, but then brings the violence and the planet to life with red and orange hues, with some greens and yellows slipping in to surprise us.

One thing I really appreciated about this story is that while the Predator is definitely set on being a Predator, he has nuances that give him motivation, that show he has some level of individuality that allowed me to be invested in his journey. I think this would be a healthy thing to explore in future Predator installments – they aren’t Borg after all. Let them evolve in a direction that isn’t trying to be exactly like the Xenomorph.

I’ve been falling in love with putting headphones on and reading certain comics to music, and the late, great James Horner’s Aliens score works great with this one.

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