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PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE #1 Review: Rocky Start to an Intriguing Crossover

To say the 2012 film Prometheus was divisive is an understatement. On the one hand, many were excited that Ridley Scott was returning to helm the Alien prequel after basically abandoning the franchise after the 1979 original. On the other, many were angry and annoyed at the involvement of Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof–no stranger to controversy–and what they saw as massive plot holes in the story.

Regardless, the back story Prometheus offered up is now ripe for the picking, adding a whole new era to the Alien mythology. Dark Horse intends to capitalize on that with the new ongoing Prometheus/Alien/Predator crossover, Fire & Stone. The first chapter of the four-issue Prometheus miniseries, also called Fire & Stone, is available now. With beautiful artwork shorted by a script that stumbles for half the issue before righting itself, the crossover kick-off starts a bit shaky.

The Story

Written by Paul Tobin, best-known for his all-ages work on Spider-Man, the story takes place about 200 years after the events of Prometheus. More Weyland-Yutani-funded ships, the Greyon and the Helios, arrive at the barren moon LV-223, with the crew intent on salvaging a crashed exploration vessel for a huge profit. Through a documentary gimmick by filmmaker Clara, we’re introduced to the many and various members of the crew, including Captain Angela Foster, astrobiologist Francis Lane and android Elden, one of many “constructs and synthetics”–the difference between the two is never elaborated upon–onboard, similar to Michael Fassbender’s film character, David.

But unlike David, Elden doesn’t seem that particularly smart. Add to that a secret video by Capt. Foster explaining that the mission’s true purpose is to figure out why Weyland-Yutani founder Peter Weyland journeyed to LV-223 200 years ago (as depicted in the film), but never made it back, as well as continue Prometheus’ research into how the mysteries of the moon might hold the answers to the origin of life on Earth, and the plot has already thickened long before the crew ever lands.

Speaking of landing, the crew discovers that the moon isn’t as barren as they thought. Instead, it’s a giant jungle. A jungle filled with some sort of mysterious black goo and crazy, little monsters. It’s really here that the script course-corrects and starts showing signs of life. The earlier pages on the ship are crammed with quick introductions and clunky expository dialogue. The sense is that the documentary framing is supposed to make those things a bit easier to bear, but it really doesn’t. Instead, it feels awkward and stilted.

The Art

While Tobin’s script has its issues, it’s made up for by the consistent greatness of Juan Ferreyra’s art. Ferreyra (Colder, Constantine), using digital coloring to its full extent on his pencils, turns in some truly remarkable work. A virtually silent 3-page prologue involving a probe and an Engineer (a giant creature introduced in Prometheus) is absolutely stunning thanks to his work. Like the late H.R. Giger, he manages to evoke a human response to gleaming, cold machines. His background work is equally impressive, lushly drawing the reader into the worlds of both the ship and the not-barren LV-223.

That isn’t to say his human characters aren’t well done either. They are. In fact, Ferreyra gives humans and humanoid androids alike appealing features, distinct faces and expressive body language. He also manages–in tandem with letterer Nate Piekos–to successfully integrate the various points-of-view throughout the issue into a cohesive whole, if at times, it’s hard to tell some of the minor characters apart.

I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that the Xenomorphs show up; it’s a Prometheus/Alien/Predator crossover after all and it’d be cheating if at least two out of those three things didn’t show up. The Xenomorphs don’t really do anything, but Ferreyra draws them with such obvious relish. These guys look properly menacing and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles a fight scene between humans and Xenomorphs in upcoming issues.

Verdict

For all the rich beauty of Ferreyra’s art, it’s still weighed down by Tobin’s clunky script for about half the story. It’s a real shame that this is so. As a fan of Tobin’s Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, which got unjustly buried by the House of Ideas like all their all-ages titles do, I was really looking forward to see how he handled a more mature property. It’s a real disappointment that he can make the leap but not quite stick the dismount.

Still, the Fire & Stone crossover is an intriguing concept. It’ll be interesting to see how the other parts of this crossover–which includes work written by the queen of the Carol Corps herself, Kelly Sue DeConnick–play out, and hopefully, Tobin and Ferreyra will provide work of equal worth in subsequent issues.

3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5 out of 5 stars

Prometheus: Fire & Stone #1 will be available in comic shops and on Dark Horse Digital on September 10.

Cover Image Source: Dark Horse Comics

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Categories: Comic Reviews

Author:Tom Speelman

A lifetime of reading comics and watching television has left Tom with an inexhaustible supply of pop culture knowledge from the obvious to the obscure. Rather than keep it all in his brain for use at parties, Tom turned to writing a few years ago to help him share that knowledge with as many people as are remotely interested. Tom writes for several websites including The Mary Sue, Strange Horizons, Loser City and others. For even further rambling, follow him on Twitter @tomtificate.

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One Comment on “PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE #1 Review: Rocky Start to an Intriguing Crossover”

  1. 09/04/2014 at 3:38 PM #

    Reblogged this on tomtificate and commented:
    Intriguing and I definitely think the whole idea will be interesting and I hope the crossover will be good. But this first issue left me a little cold.

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