Written by: Christopher Sebela Art: Ariel Olivetti Letters: Nate Piecos Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Welcome to the party, and by party I mean welcome to being the solo human in the midst of a Xenomorph and Predator throw down! To add to the fun factor, we have a synthetic man that is endowed with a mysterious genetic accelerant and he just happens to have a murderous agenda. So the stage is set for an action packed, claustrophobic horror. What we receive however, is a rather tepid tale of revenge and fury. One of the criticisms that has been leveled following the emergence of the seminal Alien film, is that the tension and horror has been lost. Similarly, what we are presented with in this tale, are largely anonymous Xenomorphs that lack any real feel of their magnificent origins. The mighty Predators fare a little better in terms of their representation, but they derive from not quite a horror filled origin. The action itself is functional for the most part, a few key images on display, though you feel that these are almost frame representations of movie icons trotted out for the sake of it rather than for the purpose of the book.
The story is standard fare in this genre, Aliens, Predators and the token homo sapiens playing avoid the monsters. The added inclusion of the Synthetic Elden as a plot mechanism doesn’t elevate the story beyond the humdrum, middle of the road material. Art wise, Ariel covers the bases in terms of the anatomy, pose, expression and structure. The detailed elements are the strongest part of Ariel’s work I feel. Panel layout is not bad, not the most interesting I’ve seen but quite workable. In terms of the gore, there are some nice touches – a Predator getting the top of its’ head ripped off is quite nice.
Upon reaching the end of the book, we are presented with two dramatic confrontations, one involves Elden and a pack of Xenomorphs while the other, involving our sole survivor, pits him against a Predator. While we feel some mirth at the fate of Elden, we don’t really feel engaged by our token human, the terminally ill scientist – who happens to be the target for Elden’s wrath.