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I’m sure that most of you noticed by now that I am a Mortal Kombat fan after reading my review on that book. With the iconic alien creature Predator now a playable character in the game, I’ve had a bit of a Predator kick lately. I rewatched the movies (the good ones) and even started reading a few of the comics starting with this one, Predator: Fire and Stone.
Predator: Fire and Stone by Joshua Williamson and Christopher Mooneyham, is the fourth part of an ongoing series set up in the Dark Horse comic universe which encompasses the Alien, Predator, and Prometheus franchises. I didn’t know that was the case when I picked this title up and thought it was simply a standalone story. There is a brief summary at the beginning which goes over the previous events which occurred in the story, but I will look at this as someone who did not pick up those other books and just wanted to read a cool Predator book. After all, every comic is someone’s first and whether or not a book serves as a good entry point is something worth considering.
The story in Predator: Fire and Stone follows a man named Galgo as he is reluctantly brought back to the planet LV-223 (not to be confused with LV-426, the setting of the first and second Alien films) which is filled with xenomorphs and other feral creatures by a Predator named Ahab so that they can help guide him to the next target of his hunt, an Engineer.
The story is pretty simple and a bit short but, unlike with the Mortal Kombat series, this series does it much better. With Mortal Kombat, it felt as if the writers attempted to stuff as much as they could into the little space they had. Contrast that to Predator: Fire and Stone, which is filled with action and character development, something I would rather have in a book. I’m not looking for anything groundbreaking in a Predator story, just something enjoyable, which is what I feel that I got here.
At first the two leads end up starting as enemies but, over the course of the four issues, they start to bond a little and become comrades in arms. Galgo starts off as a selfish prick who is willing to boot one of his crew mates out of an airlock in order to kill Ahab. Towards the end, he sacrifices his one chance to escape the planet and risks his life in order to save the Predator from dying at the Engineer’s hands. Galgo is still a bit of a jerk, but its nice to see someone redeemable go through a character evolution like this. Since I never read any of the previous books, I don’t really know what the full extent of his character’s journey is. That said, Predator: Stone and Fire was good enough that maybe I’ll pick them up at some point just to see. On the other hand, Ahab is just simply awesome. He is a seasoned warrior covered with scars who wears the trophies of his previous kills, and always looks for his next challenge. That is how you make a Predator. The human/Predator team up is something which isn’t really all that new to the franchise, as we’ve kind of seen it happen a few times in some of the films. That said, this is the first time that I’ve seen it done well. If 20th Century Fox ever decides to make a new Predator movie, it would be great to see that concept used as well as it is in Predator: Fire and Stone.
As much as I enjoyed the characters and the story of the is book, I’ll admit that the art just wasn’t the best fit. It comes off as a bit scratchy at some points but it did grow on me as I read on. It didn’t ruin the expressiveness of the characters or the dynamicism of the fight scenes for me, but it may not succeed as well for every reader.
Predator: Fire and Stone is a short and simple story with so-so art, good characters, great homage to the Predator franchise, and awesome fight scenes. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s still a fun journey which will make you want to turn to the next page in anticipation and excitement.
FINAL SCORE: 7.5 out of 10