First encounters with alien species might seem like an entertaining prospect. There is a romanticized quality from major franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars, yet history proves this is not always the case. In particular, the recent introduction of “Engineers” from the film, Prometheus, proves that discovering new life can be absolutely terrifying.
Prometheus: Life and Death takes place one year after the events in the Fire and Stone comic book series, and overall extends this follow-up to “approximately forty-three years after the events in the motion picture Aliens.” Engineers, proven to be quite powerful and unforgiving, are clearly not the only reason to be anxious while reading this trade paperback. In classic form, we have a team of Marines dealing with unidentified technology and soon find themselves stranded on a planet with a number of unknown elements. There is a quick recap at the beginning of this series to help explain what led up to this point, indicating key factors that will be familiar: Engineers, Aliens, and Predators.
Writer Dan Abnett and artist Andrea Mutti construct this tale with haughty command speak and imagery that’s laced with shadows. Abnett creates leaders who take charge and keep those in their command in check, despite vulgar language flying left and right. Mutti’s style provides darkness to partially cover determined expressions or team members walking in the distance, helping to foreshadow what might burst onto the page. The realization that this storyline takes place after Aliens inserts an immediate sense of tension for the reader, as you wait for them to come onto the scene; a long, spiked tail, an elongated, curved head, and numerous jagged teeth are waiting to sink into anyone’s skin. And to remind those not familiar with these quick, crawling creatures with an extended reach, they often do not come alone. Also, their blood is deadly, so killing one with a close-range attack might doom that person’s fate, as green acid sprays from its open wounds.
This stranded team will have their hands full as they try to comprehend ancient discoveries and the ramifications of those truths. Not only will they have to deal with the potential origins of multiple species, they will have to endure the pursuit of those very things that might’ve been created alongside them and the creators themselves. Have I mentioned there are Predators, too?
This series follows Predator: Life and Death and will then transition to the third chapter featuring Aliens. It reads well without the initial Predator series, but you will want to push forward to the next installment, as the ending builds up enough tension that it’s ready to burst through your chest. You can only hope it’s just a feeling.
Prometheus: Life and Death is available for pre-order now before its January 11 release.