Story: Chris Sebela
Art: Ariel Olivetti
What They Say:
As a desperate scientist’s violent evolution reaches its deadly apex, an alien-and-predator battle royale erupts in the bowels of the doomed Geryon armada! Now, on a ship of killers—there can be only one survivor . . .
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This series comes to its conclusion feeling just as weird as it did at the start. While I enjoy a good Aliens vs Predator story, and there have been a few over the years in the comics, this one just felt like an extraneous part of the equation rather than a useful part of the whole Fire and Stone storyline. For me, it’s been the weakest of the four books and this issue just brings it all to conclusion in a weak way as well, though open for plenty more to happen from there. Part of what hampered it at times was the whole Predator angle itself with their lack of speech and more just primal hunting aspects as it can go only so far. While a positive in other stories, here it just felt like it weighed the whole thing down.
This installment really just feels like a slugfest for so much of it as we’re down to four living characters in the book and they just go at it. Elden spends his time railing against the normal Predator at the start of it, wanting to know why it’s just attacking him and being like a human rather than something else. It’s not an illuminating fight and Elden’s whining takes it down a few notches. We also get Francis coping with his Predator, which has had some of the accelerant in him as well that’s warped him a bit and made him pale and uglier. Francis is struggling with his own existence in this form, realizing that the illness has gone from him but that his body is essentially eating itself and will give out before long, turning him into a brute savage as well. Elden and Francis started off all of this together and through their fighting, they drew in a lot of others and are now back to being the only ones.
They do amusingly enough take out the last mutant Predator together and it’s just weird after all of this to see them working together once again. But a good chunk of the second half of the book is about Elden trying to understand what it is he is now, to be alive and seemingly unkillable, to know what it is he’s supposed to do. While Francis gives in to what he’s become and essentially just waits for it all to end, Elden is railing against his existence and struggles with the concept that’s been pushed on him now. It’s made even worse by being left alone on the Geryon after all that’s happened. Now that it’s just him and a few mindless Xenomorphs, it’s all about waiting patiently for things to change and going forward. What that means is unknown when you get down to it, though you can see someone else coming across them someday and leading to a whole lot of other trouble.
If the point of this book was to send Elden off on his own journey out into the universe, then it accomplished it through a lot of carnage and chaos. And I’m not sure what the point would be of it all. The finale is basically an extended slugfest through four opponents with a few Xenomorphs on the side and it plays that well enough. But for me, there was no real investment here in any of the characters. Elden simply either was overconfident or a whiny child. Francis was in fear until he was freed but it lead to his death. The Predators were just looking for a good fight but were overpowered and lost in the end for different, meaningless, reasons. The only ones that make out good are the Xenomorphs since they’re just patient killers waiting for their next opportunity. I suspect we’ll see Elden again, but this doesn’t make me enthused for that.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: January 14th, 2015