I’m back and forth on this new storyline that brings together the worlds of Aliens, Predator, and Prometheus. Prometheus the movie was ambitious, but deeply flawed, and the first Prometheus comic book took that ambition and filled in a lot of the gaps. It got rid of the more convoluted aspects and made the mythology terrifying. This new storyline by Dan Abnett seems to excel when the characters are in the heat of battle. Issue #2, when our band of humans suddenly find themselves surrounded by Aliens, was really exciting, but I don’t know if Abnett really knows what to do with the Engineers, the “gods” from the Prometheus storyline.
In this issue, one of the Engineers wakes up a second one, but we don’t know why we should care, because we still have no idea what they are up to. At this point the only reason we’re given to fear them in this story is because they are almost unbeatable in a physical altercation. To me it’s not enough. The Aliens and the Predators, they represent the visceral thrill; the Engineers should excite the esoteric thrills. That means developing what they are all about, but instead of even the smallest of answers, one of the characters asks all the same questions detractors have been asking since the first movie. It’s a little maddening, but in the wrong way. The Engineers have the potential to be the Cthulu’s of this universe. The mere idea of what they are should drive people to madness. They bring chaos to the natural order as we see it. This is horror on a purely esoteric level. Instead, we’re more often than not treated to these god-like creatures as if they were kind of lazy Frankenstein’s Monsters. They slowly walk after their prey, they can kill with a single blow, and they carry around these pods containing what seems to be red herrings (storytelling joke!)
I don’t understand why people are having such a difficult time grabbing onto the psychological fears that the Engineers represent. The first film gave creators such a broad palette of ideas to play with. I don’t even care if what they are doing doesn’t make sense to us. What a god does shouldn’t make a lot of sense, but how their actions affect us should be known. I’m still on board, because I love these worlds and I’m invested. Fingers crossed that this next issue and the next mini-run will delve deeper.